Barely a month ago we announced as a resident pro, at which time the poker community voiced its doubts, wondering if it was whitewash for Ultimate Bet and a sell-out for Rizen. Now Rizen’s separation from Ultimate Bet raises a whole different set of questions.

Rizen posted a brief announcement on his blog stating simply that “After a lot of reflection and thought, I have decided to separate myself from the Ultimate Bet brand.” This sparked a wildfire of gossip and conjecture, which prompted a lengthier explanation from Lynch. Some of the points he makes to justify his separation from Ultimate Bet are:

  • He is not leaving because of any security issues. “I still believe UB is a safe place to play (…) I actually feel UB may be one of the safest sites right now because of the scrutiny that they are under.”
  • He will not play at the site any more, though, since he does not want to face questions at the tables now he is not endorsing it: “I'm withdrawing my money because I feel it would be extremely hypocritical of me to not endorse the site yet be willing to play on it.”
  • One of the reasons for his withdrawal is the publicity that has been give to his and JohnnyBax’s signing: “My main points of contention (and I outlined this very clearly for them) had to do with the way the signing of Bax and myself was handled as well as much of the handling in the press.”
  • When joining, Rizen felt sure that UB had left the past behind and was perfectly organized to turn a new page. However, a month into the deal he felt this was no longer the case: “Since my main thesis behind joining in the first place was that UB had all their ducks in a row and that (…) everything was handled smoothly and correctly, when doubts started to surface around that thesis I had to start to re-evaluate it.”
  • Finally, he hints at several shortcomings in the prize pools, and also that his suggestions to improve the site were not taken onboard as much as he would have liked. “I was also upset that the guarantees on the new tournament schedule are being lowered and that it was taking longer than I would have liked for some things I had been promised to be taken care of.

Although Rizen did his best to leave Ultimate Bet on friendly terms, and has in no way accused or pointed a finger at the site, this can definitely do no good to Ultimate Bet’s already bruised image.
There is no word on whether other Ultimate Bet pros will follow Rizen in this decision.

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