Rumor has it that Ultimatebet has made the decision to distance themselves from professional poker players and no longer feature "endorsements" from such top-notch players as Antonio Esfandiari, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi and other top pros. The rumors would seem to be true, as there are no longer any mention of any of these pros on either the Absolute Poker or Ultimatebet websites (Absolute Poker bought Ultimatebet a while ago.)
Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth, who are believed to own a piece of Ultimatebet, are reported to be remaining with the company but will not promote the company within the US.
Ultimatebet and Absolute Poker state that this decision has to do with the UIGEA. However, given the major drop-off in player numbers on both of the sites as of late (especially on Ultimatebet, what happened to that site?), I think that this move is more of a cost-cutting measure for the company. These endorsements cost the company a lot of money, and I think that they are trying to save every dime that they possibly can right now. Look at the numbers on Ultimatebet now; the number of people that enter their tournaments is dropping on a daily basis.
I personally believe that Ultimatebet / Absolute Poker are on the way out, and won't be around in a year. Either they will be absorbed by a larger poker room such as Full Tilt Poker or Pokerstars, or they will simply shut their doors. I only have to look at their dropping numbers to know the real story behind these player endorsement terminations.
Filed Under: Poker Room News