Renewed interest in Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 20, 2012 Posted in Poker Gossip, Poker Industry News | No Comments »

There is quite a bit of news on the Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet Poker front, and I’m not even referring to the liquidation of the sites in order to repay their players a small percentage of what they are owed by the sites after Black Friday. No, the real news (since the inability of UB and Absolute Poker hasn’t really taken anyone by surprise) is that there are currently three projects in the works dealing with the tumultuous history of the failed online poker rooms.

For close to a year we have known that Haley Hintze will be writing a book on the Super-User scandals that plagued the two sites (focusing mainly on Ultimate Bet from what I have seen); Scott Bell, AKA ElevenGrover, has recently announced plans for a full-length feature documentary on the Ultimate Beat super-user scandal; and most recently the best-selling author of Bringing Down the House and The Accidental Billionaires, Ben Mezrich. These two books became the movies 21 and The Social Network respectively, and now Mezrich has announced is working on a book on the founding of Absolute Poker.

For those of us in the poker world who feel these sites have never adequately paid for their crimes these projects are all offering different end results, especially the Mezrich book which seems to be focusing on the founding of the site by a group of college kids who he later calls “persecuted” by the US government. So what am expecting from each project? Here is a look at my overall expectations:

Haley Hintze Book

My #1 hope is that Haley provides a ton of new information in her upcoming book, especially the information she has claimed to bed withholding while she corroborates it. I’m also expecting a well-written and well-researched offering from Haley.

Unfortunately I have a feeling the book will be on the dry side, and only appeal to poker die-hards who have followed the scandal from the beginning.

Scott Bell Documentary

If you might think that Bell’s documentary will just be a cliff’s version of Haley’s book you are dead wrong. The two have vastly different opinions on what took place during the super-user scandals; disoutes that have crescendoed on multiple occasions at online poker forums.

My expectation based on the trailer is more of a shock and awe campaign from the movie (think Michael Moore style) as opposed to the methodical, detail-intensive, book that I’m expecting Haley to write. Bell’s documentary has the opportunity to get the specifics regarding the super-user scandals out to a larger audience than a book.

Ben Mezrich Book

This is perhaps the most frustrating poker project in recent memory, and based on my first impressions of what Mezrich is proposing, this book could very well paint the Absolute Poker co-founders as heroes instead of pariahs.

Unfortunately, this will also be the most mainstream of the three projects, given Mezrich’s track-record with best-selling books, and could sway the court of public opinion on Absolute Poker and by extension Ultimate Bet.


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