During the first few days after the shock of the allegations levied in indictments against the 'Big Three' - PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker - players were trying to regroup and searched frantically for any information available on what was going to happen to their online poker accounts and what the next step was going to be with the online poker sites, would online poker be available from those sites again in the United States. Both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker issued statements regarding the allegations and their primary concern was returning players' money that was held in their poker accounts - they also closed all access to US players to cash games on their sites. During this time, Absolute Poker remained silent, although they allowed US players to access their site and play poker, they could not cash-out or deposit.
On Thursday, the 21st of April, 2011, Absolute Poker, including the UB (formerly Ultimate Bet) brand, hereafter “Absolute Poker,” issued the following statement:
“Absolute Poker has retained Blank Rome LLP as United States counsel to provide legal advice in relation to civil and criminal matters filed in federal court in Manhattan and made public on April 15, 2011. Absolute Poker is aware that on April 19, 2011, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York entered into separate agreements with FullTilt Poker and PokerStars. These agreements concern the use of the respective www.fulltiltpoker.com and www.pokerstars.com domain names. The US Attorney, in a press release dated April 20, 2011, stated that the government is willing to enter the same agreement with Absolute Poker and UB.
“At this time, Absolute Poker’s top priority is, and must be, the refund of balances to its and UB’s US players. However, given the far-reaching consequences of the US Attorney’s actions for Absolute Poker and for the entire poker community, Absolute Poker believes that the responsible course of action is to review with its attorneys the relevant court filings before taking any action.
“Absolute Poker believes that the US Attorney shares the view that refunds to US players are an immediate and pressing concern, and Absolute Poker wishes to make clear that it wants to work cooperatively with the US Attorney to safely and efficiently return its players’ funds. To that end, Absolute Poker’s counsel has initiated communications with the US Attorney’s office and plans to continue proactively advancing those discussions.
“Further information and timely updates will be provided to Absolute Poker/UB’s players as we move forward.”
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