Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.More articles by Aaron Todd
Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker are changing their marketing plans, and as a result, several well-known poker pros, including Michael Mizrachi, Mark Seif and Antonio Esfandiari, will no longer be used to promote the sites.
UB and AP are both owned by Absolute Entertainment following a merger in November 2006. Both sites, which run on different networks, have continued to allow real-money play by U.S. customers in the months following the UIGEA.
"There has been a decision to reevaluate which poker professionals we work with on each brand in the future," said a company official who asked not to be identified. "But that decision was made purely on the basis of trying to protect our ability to continue to be able to offer U.S. customers the very best in online poker."
The source said that both sites were concerned that as official spokespeople for the sites, professional poker players could become targets for the Department of Justice and their business relationships with the sites could be viewed as "aiding and abetting" Internet gambling.
Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke, who have been part of UB since the site opened, will remain with UB to promote the brand internationally. The site will also focus on promoting the Aruba Poker Classic in the U.S. AP will focus on promoting Canadian model Serinda Swan and Internet players through its Absolute Dream package.
"The business has gone through a number of changes as a consequence of current legislation," said the AP/UB official. "It's a marketing decision so that we're free to market what we want where we want without putting a degree of risk to our business."