Ultimate Bet Poker Releases Pro Players
Blighted online poker site Ultimate Bet has announced that it has terminated the contracts of its 11 sponsored players: Joe Sebok, Prahlad Friedman, Eric Baldwin, Maria Ho, Brandon Cantu, Tiffany Michelle, Scott Ian, Dave Stann, Adam Levy, Bryan Devonshire and Trishelle Cannatella.
After having their assets seized by the DOJ both Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker (who are both operate on the Cereus Network) have been on shaky ground and have done little to inspire confidence amongst their customers. Indeed, the uncertainty over both sites’ futures was shared by their former pros, as Adam Levy described: “I pretty much knew … once we saw the way they handled [Black Friday], you knew there wouldn't be any more operations in the U.S., so [American] pros were kind of pointless for them to have."
The companies released a statement yesterday which read: "Recently, Absolute Poker and UB ceased their U.S.-facing operations due to legal developments in the United States. To ensure the on-going viability of the business, it has been necessary to downsize certain aspects of Absolute Poker's and UB's operations. These efficiency measures have been taken to enable the brands to continue to operate their non-U.S.-facing business. Regrettably, the negative effect of 'Black Friday' has extended to the company's highest profile group of poker professionals, known as 'Team UB.”
Many people in the poker community now believe that Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker will effectively close their operations globally due to a significant of their portion business now being taken away from them. Moreover, thousands of players now fear that their funds won’t ever be released, causing yet more damage to the sites’ already beleaguered reputations. What exactly the future holds is uncertain, but for many this latest announcement will do little to inspire much confidence.