Over the past year, Ultimate Poker has been busy slashing their roster of pro players. Once boasting over a dozen signed pros, Team U now has only a handful of players representing them. And you can count one less because Jason Somerville is rumored to be out at Ultimate Poker (UP).
This is quite strange, given that Somerville is one of the more popular poker pros in the game today. Furthermore, he just launched a webseries called “RunItUp,” which was supposed to be exclusive to UP. However, one sign that Somerville is done at the site includes the fact that he’s been uploading RunItUp episodes to his own channel as well.
As F5Poker reports, the main reason why Somerville could be done is because UP doesn’t have the money to keep sponsoring him. They just pulled out of the New Jersey market after their partner, Trump Taj Mahal, announced a tentative closing date of November 13th. Upon announcing their exit from New Jersey, UP’s parent company, Ultimate Gaming, also said that Taj Mahal still owes them $1.5 million in revenue payments – money they might never see.
Things haven’t exactly been booming in Nevada either. According to PokerScout, UP averages 60 cash game players an hour in Nevada, which trails market-leader WSOP.com and their 100 players an hour. UP’s cash game traffic has remained relatively stagnant over the past year, thus indicating little growth in the Silver State.
Seeing as how the poker room doesn’t seem to be gaining much ground, it’s a wonder if their remaining pros will be around in another year. Antonio Esfandiari, Danielle Andersen and Dan O’Brien are still sponsored by the Nevada-based company. But these three can’t be cheap – especially Esfandiari – and UP continues to struggle in an American online poker market that hasn’t quite taken off yet.