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ABSOLUTE AND ULTIMATEBET TO MERGE INTO ONE POKER NETWORK
Grabbing the attention of players, affiliates and competitors alike as the week ended was an announcement from Paul Leggett, CEO of both UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, that the two sites are to merge into one large online poker network branded Cereus Poker.
Claiming that the merge will result in the world's third largest poker network (a claim already questioned by industry obervers) statements from the two companies said that Cereus will deliver an enhanced gaming experience for all players, offering new features, more action, and ultimate rewards.
One well informed observer made an early assessment on network size, pointing out that based on a trailing 7 day average the combined number of AB and UB players is about half the size of Playtech's iPoker network, widely regarded as holding the number 3 slot behind Poker Stars and Full Tilt.
The new network is apparently the result of a year's innovation and development through the owner of both sites, Tokwiro Enterprises, headed by the former Kahnawake chief Joe Norton. Absolute and UltimateBet will each retain what is described as 'unique assets' that create the poker experience, but will share more players, more action, more tournaments, and unspecified new features.
Cereus will be competing with online poker titans like Poker Stars, Full Tilt, iPoker, Party Poker and the burgeoning Everest Poker for players - a tough field to beat.
Paul Leggett said: “Our company’s goal is to provide poker players with the ultimate online experience. The launch of Cereus is a major step for us in achieving our goal and we look forward to making many more exciting announcements very soon.”
Given the monumental cheating scandals that continue to swirl around UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, it is perhaps understandable that the Cereus merge, together with persistent rumours of a future rebranding initiative, is being viewed by some as a precursor to a change in corporate identities. That could be one way to help escape the bad reputation that has accrued to these venues as a result of the scandals, which remain the subject of investigation by the experienced players who uncovered the cheating in the first place.
Although Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet are owned by the same (Tokwiro) company, the sites have hitherto offered seperate and distinct poker promotions, and this is likely to end with the advent of a common network. Large weekend tournaments from both sites have been generating solid entry fields despite the bad publicity on the cheating incidents, and are likely to continue - perhaps with wider input from UB's poker ace Annie Duke, who recently revamped the tournament schedule and structure at Ultimate Bet with positive results.
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Gambling News :
Phil Ivey Loses Borgata Casino -
Phil Ivey has lost in his four-year legal tussle with the Borgata over baccarat winnings; on Friday a US federal judge ruled that he and a companion violated New Jersey state gambling regulations in the manner in which they won nearly $10 million playing at the Atlantic City casino.
NYX Gaming in deal with Endemol -
"Endemol Shine’s IP will be a strong addition to the NYX portfolio of content and we look forward to working together to bring additional instantly recognizable brands to market.”
NEW CAMBODIAN GAMBLING LAWS -
After more than two years of debate and drafting, Cambodia may be closing in on final agreement regarding its proposed gambling law changes.
Playtech Acquires ECM Systems -
Online gambling soiftware provider Playtech plc has announced the acquisition of a ninety percent stake in UK bingo software developer ECM Systems for a consideration of GBP 14.9 million.
Marks and Spencer store Manager steals to Gamblie Online -
The Cambridge News reports that a 28-year-old manager of a Marks and Spencer store, Martin Trenor, has been jailed for three years for stealing GBP 254,538.11 in shop takings over the course of a year and spending it almost immediately at online gambling websites.
Chinese Gambling crackdown could damage high roller revenue -
Fast-moving events this week have seen Australian media reports quoting hundreds of millions of dollars wagered by Chinese high rollers in Aussie land casinos, offset to some extent by Crown claims that this whale gambler" demographic generates only 12 percent of turnover.
EvenBet Open Face Chinese Poker -
Open Face Chinese Poker online games provider EvenBet has reported that its Open Face Chinese Poker product is gaining traction with games recently integrated for desktop action at the Malta-licensed operational site Poker Grant.
2016 EPT Malta -
The European Poker Tour is off to a good start in Malta, with German pro Dietrich Fast claiming a well-earned Euro 174,000 main prize in the Euro 10,000 buy-in Single-Entry Rebuy event.
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