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Absolute Poker and UB.com deny bankruptcy rumors

5 May 2011

Blanca Games, the parent company of online poker rooms Absolute Poker and UB.com, has denied recent claims that it will file for bankruptcy.

The rumor began when a poker website, Hold'emPokerChat, posted a letter that Blanca Games sent to a debt holder, Madiera Fjord, saying it was terminating its debt payments as they were unable to meet financial obligations due to the indictment of the company's owners and the seizure of funds by the U.S. Department of Justice.

"As a result, Madeira Fjord apparently filed a notice of bankruptcy in Norway," a Blanca Games press release reads. "This notice has no negative impact upon Blanca, the operating company, or its brands."

Blanca Games also announced that the company's "workforce has been liquidated," though the company plans to rehire 20 percent of the staff in "key positions."

Meanwhile, players around the world have been reporting problems trying to cash out their balances. In recent days, some players outside the U.S. have reported some success, and Blanca Games' press release today indicates that they are increasing the withdrawal limits to $1,000 for Visa withdrawals and $500 for all other methods.

While Americans can no longer conduct financial transactions on the sites, Blanca Games has not halted real-money play by Americans on the site, and is still generating rake from U.S. players who have decided to keep playing while they wait to see if they will ever be able to cash out their account balances.

"The company's legal counsel is in continuing discussions this week with the U.S. Attorney's office to formalize an agreement that would facilitate the return of funds to U.S. players," the company's press release reads.

PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, whose owners were also named in the indictment, have already come to agreements with the U.S. Attorney's office, and in return, have gained control of their domains once again. UB.com and Absolute Poker, however, have not regained their domains since an agreement has not been reached.

It is worth noting, however, that the software available for download at UB.net and AbsolutePoker.net (the sites shown on patches worn by sponsored players that had been advertised in the U.S. because they only offer play money games) gives players access to real-money games. It is unclear if the dot-net sites offered real-money play software prior to April 15.

Traffic at the CEREUS Network has plummeted since the indictments. The network consistently ranked in the top-10 on PokerScout.com's rankings, and boasted a 24-hour peak of 3,153 players on April 15. As of Thursday, the network ranks 27th and the 24-hour player peak was 728 players, a drop of nearly 77 percent.
Absolute Poker and UB.com deny bankruptcy rumors is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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Best of Aaron Todd
Aaron Todd

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.

Aaron Todd

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.