In the latest Black Friday related news, Blanca Games Inc., operator of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet laid off 11 of its American poker pro’s as part of what they are calling a strategic restructuring of the company as they try to avoid a much rumoured bankruptcy.
Blanca Games said in a press release, “This was a difficult task for Blanca’s management, and we are very disappointed that we have been compelled to sever ties with our sponsored pros. Over the years, the Company has been successful in gathering a group of young, extraordinarily talented and brand-appropriate poker professionals who have proudly sported its logos. We are truly saddened that circumstances have dictated this course of action, and we regret that we are no longer in a position to partner with our sponsored pros, or to provide them with a source of income for playing the game that they love.”
The poker pro’s that have been laid off were: Eric “Basebaldy” Baldwin, Brandon Cantu, Maria Ho, Trishelle Cannatella, Prahlad Friedman, Adam “Roothlus” Levy, “Hollywood” Dave Stann, Bryan Devonshire and Tiffany Michelle.
Also hitting the poker unemployment line are Scott Ian of the Anthrax fame and former Ultimate Bet Pro Joe Sebok. Sebok who has cashed 16 times at the WSOP since 2005 told the AP, “It was obvious that, regardless of what direction things went, that sponsored players in the USA were going to be unnecessary, or certainly far less necessary,” Sebok continues, “It was pretty obvious, at least in my mind, that we would be let go.”
Perhaps the money saved by dropping US pro’s can go to returning the money of their US customers who still haven’t received a dime from the company.