UB.com has announced their plans to cancel the 2010 Aruba Poker Classic. Instead the site will expand its presence at existing major tournament stops and create a new tournament series to compliment the UBOC online series.
Paul Leggett, Chief Operating Officer of Tokwiro and owner/operator of UB.com, says, “It is with great regret that we are announcing that the Aruba event will not run this year, but 2010 is going to be an exciting year for UB and its players. Over the last year, we’ve been redefining the UB brand in every way. We love the Aruba Poker Classic event but we think we can do a lot more for our players by investing in new events and rewards.”
Team UB Pro Adam “Roothlus” Levy spoke to BLUFF about the move. “A lot of disappointment. It is the best stop anywhere to go. It’s way better than the Bahamas. People are kind of in the same area and you just have a lot of fun with everyone,” Levy said. “But from a business standpoint, [UB.com] spent a lot of money in it every year and attendance was declining, so they wanted to focus on other things. It is not a bad decision not to pour all that money into one tournament and maybe spread it around a little instead.”
UB.com is planning to develop a $500k monthly guaranteed tournament with hopes of turning it into a million-dollar event, expanding their UBOC series to twice year – perhaps to mirror PokerStars’ SCOOP and Full Tilt’s FTOPS and creating more pro-related competitions. No dates are specified as to when the second UBOC series will run, but it will most likely fall between the WCOOP and one of the later FTOPS series.
“I’m excited about the second UBOC, I think we’re gonna see larger guarentees,” said Levy. “The first UBOC was a great success with over 600 players in the $2,100 event.”
UB.com still plans to send qualifiers to other major live events like the WSOP and WPT through major incentives and increased loyalty benefits. UB pro Joe Sebok says, “I, for one, am excited about what this shift in focus means for UB and what this will add to the experience for our players.”
The Aruba Poker Classic was a UB sponsored World Poker Tour event that first started in 2002. It remained a popular Caribbean WPT stop until 2006 when UB.com continued to sponsor and host the event. Past champions include Freddy Deeb, Erick Lindgren and Matt Brady. UB officials have not stated whether or not the Aruba Poker Classic will return in 2011.
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