The most popular poker player in the Twitterverse, Joe Sebok, announced on Monday that he struck a sponsorship deal with online poker room Ultimate Bet. The deal entails more than the Pokerroad founder and owner wearing UB patches at live poker events though. He will also be taking on a position within the company, serving as their Media and Operations consultant.
Sebok revealed the news via Twitter and his blog on Monday evening, along with a lengthy explanation as to how he came to be involved with a company that has been frequently criticized for the way in which they handled the cheating scandal involving their site. He began his blog entry by criticizing the site for the way in which they handled the cheating from start to finish and assured his fan base that he thought long and hard before deciding to consider the sponsorship opportunity. In addition to several lengthy chats with fellow UB pro Annie Duke and Paul Leggett, the Chief Operating Officer of UB’s parent company Tokwiro Enterprises, Sebok also travelled to UB’s home base in Costa Rica to get a comprehensive understanding of how the company worked.
Sebok offered his thoughts on the trip in his blog: “I can say now that I honestly believe that nothing of that kind is going on at UB today. I have had many conversations with Paul, and talked through several of my concerns and we addressed them together. Now, does this mean that all is forgiven and UB is an angel organization now? The answer to that question is a resolute, ‘No’.”
The poker pro and entrepreneur is not going to drop the cheating scandal issue just yet either. Even though the Kahnawake Gaming Commission’s (KGC) recently issued report on the scandal brought a certain degree of closure to the whole endeavor, Sebok wrote that he is intent on UB releasing more names of individuals involved in the indiscretion. As of now, former World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event winner Russ Hamilton is the only individual involved explicitly named by UB or the KGC even though the KGC said their findings suggested 30 other people were connected to the cheating.
In his role as Media and Operations consultant, Sebok aims to take an active role in the company to ensure such cheating never happens again. “I would never be comfortable with UB’s history unless I could have a direct impact on making sure that it never happened again”, Sebok explained. “With that said, I will also still be running PokerRoad obviously, but will also be taking part in reviewing their processes and adding my opinions as a formal consultant with the team over there.”
Sebok’s new agreement with UB is supposedly going to have minimal impact on his popular poker lifestyle web site, Pokerroad. Sebok will continue to serve as host of the site’s flagship podcast, Pokerroad Radio, which will be travelling to the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) next week. After that, the Pokerroad gang will head to Aruba for the Ultimate Bet-sponsored Aruba Poker Classic, which runs from October 3rd-10th.

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