The fallout for UB.com and Absolute Poker in the wake of online poker’s Black Friday continued Monday, as the entire roster of pros for UB.com were let go by the poker site’s parent company.
Blanca Games, Inc., issued a statement about the status of Team UB, saying their contracts had been terminated. The entire list of pros let go include Joe Sebok, Prahlad Friedman, Eric “Basebaldy” Baldwin, Maria Ho, Brandon Cantu, Tiffany Michelle, Scott Ian, “Hollywood” Dave Stann, Adam “Roothlus” Levy, and Bryan Devonshire. Friedman had been the newest addition to Team UB.
Also let go was one Absolute Poker pro, Trishelle Cannatella.
Here is some of the release from Blanca:
“This was a difficult task for Blanca’s management, and we are very disappointed that we have been compelled to sever ties with our sponsored pros. Over the years, the Company has been successful in gathering a group of young, extraordinarily talented and brand-appropriate poker professionals who have proudly sported its logos. We are truly saddened that circumstances have dictated this course of action, and we regret that we are no longer in a position to partner with our sponsored pros, or to provide them with a source of income for playing the game that they love. We appreciate their significant time and dedication shared with us, and we thank them for the loyalty and patience they have continued to show us even during the unsettling events of the past few weeks. We respect and admire them for their many accomplishments, both at the poker tables and away from them, and we will always be grateful for their valuable contributions to building the UB and Absolute Poker brands and to creating a rock-solid community at the pair of online poker rooms.”
The move is not a shocking one, as Blanca had announced restructuring and downsizing of its staff after the indictments and domain seizures by the United States that affected the operations of AP and UB, along with PokerStars and Full Tilt. The move also comes at a bad time for the pros, with the World Series of Poker less than a month away from its start.