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Top News – UB and Absolute (Not) File Bankruptcy, Rox Poker Welcomes US Players

Top News – UB and Absolute (Not) File Bankruptcy, Rox Poker Welcomes US Players

There's been a lot of action in the online poker world since Black Friday – most of the poker sites that were operating in the United States either seized serving American players or they stopped accepting new users from the States. In fact only two poker sites managed to survive the whole mess and remained 100% US-friendly.

One of such sites has just been introduced to OnlinePoker10 – Rox Poker. Other news is that recently the company operating Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker, both of which were Black Friday victims, filed bankruptcy and lay off over 300 employes, or 95% of the staff in their Costa Rican operations center. However, the company had quickly issued a statement saying that they continue to operate in non-US market and the users from outside the US can withdraw their money with just minor restrictions. More on this and other major poker topics – in this week's Top News on OnlinePoker10.

New US-Friendly Poker Site

Since the whole Black Friday thing there's been a lot of chaos in the online poker market – many US-friendly poker rooms have stopped accepting US players making the first days and even week's after April 15th really confusing both to the players and the whole industry. Almost a month had passed since it all happened and a couple of things are getting clear. PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice and reclaimed their .com domains in order to help their American players make withdrawals from the sites. Stars have already begun the process of returning players funds and Full Tilt are said to start doing so in the nearest future.

Getting one's money back is great, but what about the millions of poker-loving US citizens who still want to play poker online? Good news is that two poker rooms are still available for Americans to sign up, deposit and withdraw their money and play real cash games. In other word's they're 100% US-friendly. One of these rooms is a rather new member of the Cake Poker Network – Rox Poker. The site is now available here at OnlinePoker10 for you to download and play.

On Rox you will find pretty much everything you'd expect from an online poker site. Plus, it's a part of the Cake Poker Network which means that if you've played at Cake Poker or any other site on the network you will have no problems getting used to it, Rox Poker offers all the most popular poker games including Texas Hold'em, Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. To check out the site first and then decide whether it's worth playing at you just need to download Rox Poker software, play some free games and see where it gets you.

Another online poker site still accepting US players is Carbon Poker – check out this Carbon Poker review page.

UB and Absolute Poker Restructuring

Following the Black Friday, Blanca Games, the company behind the two popular online poker brands UB Poker and Absolute Poker which were both the targets of the US Department of Justice in April 15th events, has release an official statement about restructuring the company. Although just a few days ago a semi-official rumor spread through the internet about Blanca Games filing for bankruptcy, the statement denies that the company is going out of business and states that both UB and Absolute will continue to serve their players outside the US.

Here's some of what's been said in the statement:

“As previously stated, Absolute Poker and UB ceased their U.S.-facing operations due to recent legal developments in the United States. The company is currently restructuring and is focusing its resources on consolidating its non-U.S., rest-of-the-world operation and software business. In order to have a more efficient and successful future business, an immediate need to downsize and streamline operations significantly at both online poker rooms has been required. Absolute Poker and UB continue to operate their non-U.S.-facing business.”

The statement also explains that there's been a confusion as to what's been perceived as Blanca Games file for bankruptcy by the media: “The apparent confusion over this issue stems from the fact that Blanca recently informed a debt holder, Madeira Fjord, that it was terminating debt payments to, and its relationship with them. As a result, Madeira Fjord apparently filed a notice of bankruptcy in Norway. This notice has no negative impact upon Blanca, the operating company, or its brands. As stated previously, Absolute Poker and UB continue to operate their non-U.S. facing business around the world.”

Another very important issue discussed in the statement was non-US users' withdrawals. Because of the whole uncertainty whether or not UB and Absolute will continue to operate after the Black Friday became even stronger after the reports of 76% Cereus Network (to which both UB and Absolute belong to) drop in traffic. However, the company officials say there's nothing to be worried about and that players outside the US are able to withdraw their funds.

“Non-U.S. players withdrawal limits have been increased to $1,000 for Visa withdrawals and $500 for all other methods. Players can still only make one transaction a week, but the number of transactions being processed per day has increased. The company is working to “return non-U.S. withdrawals to normal service levels as quickly as possible.”

Also, according to the release, “the company’s legal counsel is in continuing discussions this week with the U.S. Attorney’s office to formalize an agreement that would facilitate the return of funds to U.S. Players.”

Full Tilt's Announcement

Although both PokerStars and Full Tilt have reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice to take back their .com domains and to proceed with the cash withdrawals to their US players, at the moment the sites are in different stages of that being done. Stars have already started to grant their users with refunds whereas Full Tilt is only preparing to do so. In order to clear things out a Full Tilt representative started interacting with the poker players in the world's biggest poker forum – TwoPlusTwo.

Yesterday he made the following announcement: “We are continuing to work on facilitating the withdrawal of US Player funds. It remains our top priority, and we do apologize for the delay.” He then continued explaining what steps Full Tilt Poker is going to take starting next week:
  • All T$ will be converted to real money on a 1:1 basis.
  • All Tournament Tickets will be converted to real money on a 1:1 basis.
  • All Ring Game Tickets will be converted to real money based on the current value of the ticket. This includes any tickets that have expired since April 15, even if they no longer show in your ticket balance.
  • All pending Take 2 payments will be paid out. If you qualified for 3 to 6 days, you will get $5, if you qualified for 7 or more days, you will get $25.
  • All pending rakeback/Cash Back payments will be completed.

Bodog Resigns Evelyn Ng, Inks Tatjana Pasalic

Fortunately, it's not all Black under the online poker sun. The formerly US-friendly poker site Bodog Poker, although not (yet!) under the investigation by the US department of justice, has seized to accept American players. However, the site's officials decided to draw some attention to their side by showing off their existing and new team members.

First they announced the resigning of their beautiful team poker pro member Evelyn Ng. She first joined the team in 2006 and has now agreed to extend her contract and continue to promote the site in live events as well as play online poker on Bodog. “I am thrilled to announce that I’ve renewed my sponsorship agreement with Bodog!” Evelyn tweeted in her official Twitter page while reporting her performance at the EPT San Remo.

Another good news is that team Bodog has a new member, the sexy poker hostess, blogger and TV presenter, Tatjana Pasalic. One of the hottest poker girls in the business has agreed to a one year deal with Bodog and will from now on wear the site's gear in live events as well as host Bodog's tournaments. Signing one of the most popular European poker girls is also a clear message of Bodog switching their focus from the US to the international and more precisely, European market.

“Bodog’s brand is the one that fits me best… from the photo-shoot onwards everybody at Bodog has had a wicked sense of fun which is what I am about too so the synergy is obvious. They’ve all shown me great support already so it’s now just up to me to take down the World Series!” Said Tatjana after joining Bodog team.

Tatjana Pasalic

And that's about it this week. Keep checking with us all through the week for more poker news and, of course, the best online poker promotions.

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