Ultimatebet and Absolute Poker - why are they still around?

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
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Bierland
I was just thinking about Ultimatebet and Absolute Poker's cheating scandal that has been covered in just about every nook and cranny on the Internet, not to forget just about every major publication to include 60 Minutes, and I'm wondering why are they still in business?

Was it because they had a such a huge player base which permitted them to weather the storm? Have they pushed their marketing efforts offline? Chipleader still seems to be hanging in there via affiliates. Any clue on why they seem to be so resilient?
 

bb28

Meister Member
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Nov 18, 2006
Location
US
I think that it's sad to say that a lot of people who it didn't personally touch (in the pocket, of course) just don't care that they were caught with their pants down. Greed, apathy and a lack of ethics most likely explains it. That's really sad isn't it? :(
 

Casinomeister

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I think that it's sad to say that a lot of people who it didn't personally touch (in the pocket, of course) just don't care that they were caught with their pants down. Greed, apathy and a lack of ethics most likely explains it. That's really sad isn't it? :(
It's the players who keep them in business - so I don't think greed really plays a big part unless AP and UB are making offers that their competitors can't beat.
 

Setsuna

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PABnoaccred
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They are still running , and running well , not far from taking over Ongame (who lost a good chunk of their players due to their new software being a true pain for many players , servers crashing nearly every day , not reimbursing properly players) in number of average players per day
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However , it's only Ultimatebet who gets exposure - mostly thanks to their two superstars Hellmuth and Annie Duke (being The Apprentice finalist helps) and new players added to their pro team during WSOP.

And they didn't forget how to make bad business - recently , rakeback players have been screwed of a good part of their earnings with bonuses deducted from their gross rake , and also by retroactively cancelling bonuses dollars thanks to a new term limiting their validity in time .
 

bb28

Meister Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Location
US
It's the players who keep them in business - so I don't think greed really plays a big part unless AP and UB are making offers that their competitors can't beat.

I see your point but I was speaking more of individual greed, it's comparable to folks who keep playing at the rogues, just as long as it doesn't effect them or they think they are the one's who are getting screwed, (that is the way they justify it.)

Maybe some people honestly think they cleaned up their act and it was a forgivable offense. I don't, but it's possible some feel that way.
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Despite the negative exposure, time is a great healer. They are helped by having those "superstars" on the team, and it these high profile players that bear a lot of responsibility by endorsing these operators DESPITE knowing what went on. Their regulators assisted by allowing a "whitewash" to take place, making it even easier for the healing process of time to be effective.

It will be far harder to "heal" long standing board members though, who remember the scandals so well that the names immediately bring to mind the cheating before it even brings to mind anything else about them. I know very little about this pair, but I DO recall the cheating scandal every time their names are mentioned.

Their next step may be to change their names completely, even the software - this will be hard enough to track for casual forum members, and will remove any chance that casual checks on their new name will bring up threads from their past (until that is, experienced members post a few threads creating links between the old and the new for Google to collect).

I do not recall any coverage here in the UK about this scandal, so whatever coverage there was must have been confined to "special interest" programming, and the inside pages of newspapers. This means many new to online poker will have no idea about this, and are likely to judge the brands on the present.

The near destruction of the Prima network, with the attendant scandal of players losing EVERYTHING they had in their accounts probably eclipses the cheating that went on with the AP and UB skins, and they are probably now picking up the debris of poker players who lost everything with Prima, perhaps twice over (Tusk and then Eurolinx), who are looking for an alternative network with a big enough existing player base.

There may also be a bit of disillusionment, of the form "cheating is everywhere", so players will feel they are asking too much to find a "perfect" network, and accept the risks, and maybe overestimate their ability to spot if they themselves are being cheated.

The scandal of poker bots has NOT dented the wilingness of players to play, indeed many feel they have an advantage over the bots, and relish cleaning them out if they spot them. Poker operators are very concerned about bots, doing everything they can think of to detect and deter, but they do not seem to be losing the confidence of players, even though they are by no means catching all the bots and colluding players, who are engaged in an "arms race" to develop ever better bots and means of colluding to evade detection.
 

secret2

irishbrit62
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Location
New York, United States
I used to play BJ mostly at UB but when they changed from Bet21 to UB it changed dramatically. The drealer had an amazing amount of aces and 10's ...I witnessed 6 dealer bj's in a row. Some newbies were betting $100 hands in a multi player table and I witnessed thousands of dollars lost so fast it was astonishing why they still came back for more losses.

The only thing I miss at UB are the people that I met there. We had a lot of laughs.

Sad that a place such as UB with great chat and the possibility of making it a great and fair place to have fun, has turned myself and other regulars away from there.

They suck so bad now.:(
 

lnspin

Senior Member
webmeister
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WorldWide
I think there still in business a very few people were affected by the scandle. It only affected the highest limit players.

Most of the players on ap and ub are lower limit players, so they think no one will cheat at that level.

To be honest, i still do promote ap and a little bit of UB. signups are on par as they were to before the scandle. But were starting to get hurt on processing fees that are charged 100% to us. So its getting to the point where pulling them both really wont affect us in any way. Probelm is its hard to find poker rooms that take usa players, unless you promote some crappy rooms with no player bases, so even when you get signups people cant play.

@secret2: - I agree with you 100% about ub blackjack. That dealer is amazing. ap blackjack is somewhat better and seeems like a much farer game
 

secret2

irishbrit62
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Inspin...I may give AP BJ a try. I am getting a little bored with slots right now,anyway.

I really would like to know where the best place for multi-player BJ is. I miss playing it without the dealer showing off his amazing BJ capabilities. :rolleyes:
 

pokeraddict

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Location
Las Vegas
Working for a large poker affiliate and being as active in the forums as I am I have the opinion that many/most of the high volume, great players left leaving behind quite a pool of bleeding fish. These players, mostly American with few choices, found the games unbeatable or much harder at Full Tilt and Poker Stars. Poker Stars does not have rakeback, Full Tilt will not retag most existing players to rakeback (Most players with existing accounts can't get moved to rakeback and if FTP does move them they go to Rakeback Pros, widely believed to be an in house rakeback program) and Cake Poker is not HUD/PokerTracker friendly. For those with existing Microgaming account many or most will not play there because of the lack of trust, especially after Eurolinx.

After U.S. players went full circle through all of the major U.S. rooms they seem to have forgiven AP/UB of the scandals and life goes on if for no other reason the games are better at AP/UB than any other major U.S. poker room because some of the sharks will not go back for any reason.

Perhaps things would be different if U.S. players could play anywhere but with so few options it seems very unlikely things will change if for no other reason than their rakeback + loose games which to some players is all that matters.
 

same_old

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I wonder the same thing,

The only thing I can point it down to is the massive amouont of publicity they do, every poker event you see on t/v someone is wearing an AP and UB shirt.

the big name poker players still represent them, and honestly at the end of the day a lot of online poker players I talk with still dont even know the whole story.
 

Tengil

Senior Member
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May 4, 2006
Location
Finland
Ditto what PA said. They also run soft promos and have quick cashouts. And after all the players affected were reimbursed. And many low/mid stakes players think that "it only affected the high stakes players" Im in no danger. Plyers generally dont care if it doesnt directly affect them.

And maybe the biggest reason is that affiliates didnt lose a cent. So no motivation to stop promoting them.

So one could ask the question why do players keep on playing on Microgaming network? After all over 10 million of player funds have gone in a timespan of under 2 years. I still would rather have my roll on UB/AP than on any MG room.

Edit: And some say they have good CS. Cant comment on that, but I know some players prefer Pokerstars over FullTilt because of the quality of CS even if the player field is a bit tougher. At least according to their words.
 
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jetset

RIP Brian
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Earth
Working for a large poker affiliate and being as active in the forums as I am I have the opinion that many/most of the high volume, great players left leaving behind quite a pool of bleeding fish. These players, mostly American with few choices, found the games unbeatable or much harder at Full Tilt and Poker Stars. Poker Stars does not have rakeback, Full Tilt will not retag most existing players to rakeback (Most players with existing accounts can't get moved to rakeback and if FTP does move them they go to Rakeback Pros, widely believed to be an in house rakeback program) and Cake Poker is not HUD/PokerTracker friendly. For those with existing Microgaming account many or most will not play there because of the lack of trust, especially after Eurolinx.

After U.S. players went full circle through all of the major U.S. rooms they seem to have forgiven AP/UB of the scandals and life goes on if for no other reason the games are better at AP/UB than any other major U.S. poker room because some of the sharks will not go back for any reason.

Perhaps things would be different if U.S. players could play anywhere but with so few options it seems very unlikely things will change if for no other reason than their rakeback + loose games which to some players is all that matters.

As usual an interesting and informed view PA.

And as much as one remains suspicious of these guys, one has to admit that their damage control program and publicity was far-reaching and intensive, as one would expect in a business-threatening crisis such as they faced at the time.

I would still like to have seen more transparency on and the prosecution of the major figures involved.

Edited to add an observation on the Microgaming - Absolute Poker comparison. There is a difference imo between a wholly owned operating company whose employees were directly involved in creating the debacle (Absolute/Ultimate) and a software and network provider (Microgaming) working at arms length through an inefficient/incompetent licensee.

That is not to say that I think that MGS has chosen the right course in not supporting the poker players as has been its policy in casino failures in the past. The perils of damage to reputation in the poker player community vs. the (presumably considerable) volume of licensee losses must have made that a tough judgement call which they may have erred on to their ultimate cost.
 

RobWin

closed account
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Location
A Vault!
And maybe the biggest reason is that affiliates didnt lose a cent. So no motivation to stop promoting them.
How about ethics?

And as much as one remains suspicious of these guys, one has to admit that their damage control program and publicity was far-reaching and intensive, as one would expect in a business-threatening crisis such as they faced at the time.
I guess we should consider ourselves and others lucky then that the likes of the "Virtual Group" and other Rogue Casino Groups don't use this same type of damage control program and publicity stunts to grow their business and keep on ripping off the unknowing and innocent players!
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jetset

RIP Brian
CAG
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That is a remarkable leap of logic from a factual observation regarding the crisis planning of this company (which in no way implied approval for what they had done originally) to dragging in the ace of rogues, RobWin:what:
 

RobWin

closed account
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How about ethics?


I guess we should consider ourselves and others lucky then that the likes of the "Virtual Group" and other Rogue Casino Groups don't use this same type of damage control program and publicity stunts to grow their business and keep on ripping off the unknowing and innocent players!
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That is a remarkable leap of logic from a factual observation regarding the crisis planning of this company (which in no way implied approval for what they had done originally) to dragging in the ace of rogues, RobWin:what:
Maybe I'm not quite getting what you are alluding to here Jet...are you saying that we should not consider ourselves and others lucky then that the likes of the "Virtual Group" and other Rogue Casino Groups don't use this same type of damage control program ?? :confused:

I mean, think of the impact and implications on the player community if they did...

Have you totally mis-understood what I said in the above post....

What is the "remarkable leap of logic" you are referring to there? :what: .... That the player community is not lucky?

I don't get it...

Should I have stated that post like this...

I agree, I guess we should consider ourselves and others lucky then that the likes of the "Virtual Group" and other Rogue Casino Groups don't use this same type of damage control program and publicity stunts to grow their business and keep on ripping off the unknowing and innocent players!

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jetset

RIP Brian
CAG
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Maybe the prefix would have worked a little better.;)

The fact remains that here we are trying to figure out why the UltimateBet-Absolute Poker debacle did not put these questionable folks out of business, and you throw in a known rogue online casino group with no connection to the AB-UB issue, justifying this by observing that we're lucky they don't have an effective damage control program....and then associating that with players being ripped off?

I don't get the relevance of that either, I'm afraid.
 

RobWin

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Maybe the prefix would have worked a little better.;)

The fact remains that here we are trying to figure out why the UltimateBet-Absolute Poker debacle did not put these questionable folks out of business,
Well, I actually thought that you had a great idea there and nailed it purdy well with your statement that their "damage control program and publicity was far-reaching and intensive" ...sorry you did not see or take my statement that way :oops: In hindsight, I guess I should have included the preamble "I Agree" :)

and you throw in a known rogue online casino group with no connection to the AB-UB issue
I don't see it that way, sorry to disagree with you on that one but I still see UltimateBet and Absolute Poker as known Rogues also, therein the connection...I'm actually surprised that you don't!

justifying this by observing that we're lucky they don't have an effective damage control program
I do think that the player community is lucky that the likes of other Rogue Groups do not have that same level of damage control program implemented into their crisis management. I never said that they did not have any damage control program...only the fact that they don't use this same type of damage control program which has proven to be very effective in their (UltimateBets-Absolute Pokers) player retention program...hence the reason they have not gone down the tubes.

....and then associating that with players being ripped off?
Players were ripped off there originally, how is that any different from being ripped off by a Rogue casino?

I don't get the relevance of that either, I'm afraid.
Hope some of that helps you to see the connection and relevance that I am referring to there. I do have to admit though that I was 'taken aback' and really surprised by your disdain you showed toward my post there. But that's cool, we can't always see eye to eye on each and every issue now can we. We wouldn't be the individuals we are, if we did that..:thumbsup:
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jetset

RIP Brian
CAG
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;) Cool!

We can agree to disagree on the question of relevance. I think your choice of the word 'disdain' may be a little strong though - I was puzzled rather than pissed off.
 

RobWin

closed account
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;) Cool!

We can agree to disagree on the question of relevance. I think your choice of the word 'disdain' may be a little strong though - I was puzzled rather than pissed off.
Yea, you may be right...I used that more or less for the "theatrical effect". I don't get to go out much anymore so I am practicing for the day that I do :D

OK, back on topic now..;)
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