Posts Tagged ‘Ultimate Poker’

Ultimate Poker Long Gone, But Players continue giving Charity

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

ultimate-poker-players-charityIt seems like forever ago that Ultimate Poker closed their operation in Nevada…actually it was less than three weeks ago. But in any case, this failure took some wind out of the sails of US online poker proponents. After all, Ultimate was the first legal US site, opening in April 2013.

Unfortunately nothing can be done to help UP, but some of its former players are doing something to help the less fortunate. A charitable movement started a couple weeks ago when writer Marco Valerio found that he would receive a check for $0.18 upon cashing out. Seeing as how you can’t get a 12-ounce can of soda for this amount, he tweeted the following:

Looks like a lot of Nevadans are getting Ultimate Poker checks for tiny amounts. Is anyone interested in pooling them & donating to charity?

Since this tweet, Valerio has received a fairly large amount of support from Nevadans. $2,741 has been pledged to the cause from former UP players while Valerio has collected $1,666 of the pledges. He announced through his blog that donations are still being accepted for charity.

Not that the size of the donation is all that matters, however, it’s worth mentioning that former Team U member Danielle Andersen has given $500. And perhaps other players will give some sizable donations in the near future.

So where is all of this money going? Valerio plans on teaming up with Billy Vogel, who’s worked with the poker community before to drum up funds during the holidays. And Vogel donates this money to help get presents for kids in need. So all in all, it’s great to see something like this arising out of a negative event like UP closing.

Popular Jason Somerville gone from Ultimate Poker

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

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.

Tom Breitling offers Reasons for Ultimate Poker Struggles

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Ultimate Poker’s initial year in the US online gaming market didn’t exactly finish out in dream fashion. In Nevada, where they’ve been offering online poker since last April, Ultimate’s player base fell from 180-220 hourly-cash-game players last summer to its current low of 55 players. As for New Jersey, UP’s online poker revenue dropped from $100k in March to $50k in April. So yeah, there’s a little bit of a reason to worry.

So has Ultimate’s CEO, Tom Breitling, hit the panic button yet? Not yet, and he actually seems pretty optimistic about where the US online gaming market’s future is going. Through a video called “Year One: Lessons Learned – Market Size,” Breitling talks about how several factors are currently holding internet gaming back.

The key hurdle that Breitling discusses in the video is “friction.” What’s causing this friction is all of the extra steps that players have to take to play online poker. In the past, the biggest headache that players had involved the depositing process, which usually wasn’t that bad. Now they have to provide a lot more, as Breitling explained with this statement:

People who’d played online poker in the past never had to go through this new, detailed process filled with extra clicks. No company ever before had asked for a Social Security Number or for geolocation information. It was like asking people to take their shoes off and step through a metal detector at the airport after years of walking straight to the gate.

The red tape isn’t the only thing holding Ultimate Poker and other legal US sites back. Breitling covers some other good points in the video, including how very few other states are running legal poker operations. Check out Breitling’s speech below: