A sizable portion of the poker community have collectively raised their eyebrows over a big hire. Former Absolute Poker COO Paul Leggett is now going to be taking the same position with Canada’s Amaya Gaming. As both Pokerfuse and eGaming reported, he’ll replace former Amaya COO Paul Bertilsson, who will stay on with the company in another role.
Leggett is an interesting, if not controversial hire because he was Absolute Poker’s head man during Black Friday. This day started Absolute’s demise and saw them eventually go offline with millions of dollars in player deposits. So it’s quite strange that Amaya Gaming would want to bring on such a murky figure.
As for his role with Amaya, he’ll oversee the company’s newest purchase, the Ongame Network. Ongame is one of the oldest networks in the poker industry, and they’ve lost some major traffic in recent years. One of their largest rooms, bwin, joined Party Poker, which fueled Ongame’s drop from the fifth most heavily-trafficked network to the 18th most popular.
Leggett’s job will be to help Ongame regain some of their lost traffic and move back up the ladder. However, it’ll be interesting to see if his new role has any effect on Ongame’s new position in the regulated Nevada internet poker market. Last year Ongame signed a deal to provide software for Bally Technologies, which obtained an online poker license from Nevada.
Perhaps just as important as the licensing aspect is what players will think of Leggett’s hiring. The Absolute Poker name doesn’t exactly carry a good reputation because of all the player deposits they never refunded. So with Leggett now heading Ongame, players who were burned by Absolute might think twice about depositing with their Nevada-based poker room.