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In April 2013, Ultimate Pokerdealt the first hand of regulated online poker in the US to much fanfare. Only a year-and-a-half later, the Station Casinos-owned venture announced that it was closing up shop in Nevada and New Jersey, citing a difficult regulatory environment and disappointing revenues. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous welcome package including a 200% deposit bonus up to $2,000 and a superb VIP program. Visit William Hill today! --- Now, with the brand dissolved, online poker industry veteran and former head of Ultimate Poker customer service Terrence Chan (pictured) has posted a lengthy "postmortem" video on some of the issues that contributed to the site's ultimate demise. Watch it. Chan was tapped in the early days of online poker to create the support department for a growing PokerStars. The 33-year-old Canadian left the company in 2004 to pursue professional poker and has since dabbled in iGaming consulting and even mixed martial arts. With his background in online poker and MMA, Chan seemed to be the perfect fit for Ultimate Poker and agreed to take on the role of Director of Player Operations, working at the company for 16 months. In a video message recorded from Hong Kong, Chan spoke on some of the failings of the company, one of which included the software itself. "One of the things that upset me was [how management got] excited toward new and exciting features as opposed to holding onto the people we did have," he said. Instead, bug-riddled software updates were regularly released and nearly always required an emergency patch. Chan also took issue with the sheer number of people that the company chose to hire and the exorbitant salaries which they were paid. "I feel like we spent too much money… For a startup, I was probably paid too much and I was nowhere near the salaries of the people who were above me," he said. "I really feel that for startups, people with high executive positions should be paid by performance," he added. On the other hand, he said, people who added tremendous value to the company were not being compensated enough. Chan revealed that he was given little say in the salaries of his own underlings and was simply told by upper management what they would be making. The culture of Ultimate Poker's parent company, Station Casinos, also played a role in stifling progress at the startup. While the firm has been very successful capturing the local land-based gaming market in Nevada, the online poker industry was foreign to much of the top brass there. "There's a story about one of these executives sitting through a meeting where they unveiled to him the redesign of the casino website in New Jersey," he said. "At the end of [the lengthy technical presentation], he comments, 'I think the logo needs more purple.'" The office soon became a place where exchange of ideas among lower-level employees was discouraged. Ultimate Gaming staff would instead "choose their battles" due to fear of being reprimanded by superiors. "At the end, there was very little dissent," said Chan. "They didn't see it getting anywhere or they would get yelled at… People got yelled at a lot." With a rigid top-down structure in place, employees soon lost their motivation to continue to improve the product. "Probably for the last six to eight months, very little was done," he said. Yet even facing roadblocks from regulatory agencies and the problems with building a player base, Chan believes that Ultimate Poker could have become a great company. The main component lacking, though, was strong leadership. "When it comes down to it, that's probably the single greatest reason why Ultimate Gaming wasn't able to be successful," he said. "I think there were a lot of really talented, smart, and hard-working people in the company, but there was never really the leadership available to get everyone aligned to really knock this thing out. Whether that could've happened, we'll never know," he concluded. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
The 2017 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker was supposed to have wrapped up on Tuesday with the final table of the Main Event. A server issue mid-way through the first week forced PokerStars to reschedule a total of nine events for Wednesday. And while most of the poker world was still relishing in Charlie Carrel's Main Event win, Nick Abou Risk almost did something really special. Seven years Terrence Chan pulled off the impressive feat of winning two Spring Championship of Poker Limit Hold'em events, at different buy-in levels, on the same day. On Wednesday, Chan was an active participant in Risk's attempt at matching the feat. Risk made the final table of Event #33 High ($2,100 Six Max Limit Hold'em) and #33 Medium ($215 Six Max Limit Hold'em). He got heads-up in both events, beating Chan in the High version for a $69,160 score before fi shing second behind 'DAEXTASY' for$15,325.20. The Low version was won by 'rodksy_20' for $6,462.69. The #11-ranked player in the world, Andras 'probirs' Nemeth of Hungary, beat out 509 other players to win Event #34 High ($2,100 Four Max NLHE) for $170,835.23 after chopping with 'OLD TIME GIN' and 'Prot0'. 'Fresh_oO_D' beat former #1-ranked Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford to bank $67,044.32. and 'Saiiizka' topped Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom in the Low version for $67,044.32. SCOOP Event #33 (High): $2,100 Six Max Limit Hold’em Entries: 133 Prize Pool: $266,000 Nick ‘nabourisk’ Abou Risk - $69,160.00 Terrence ‘Unassigned’ Chan - $46,550.00 Naza114 - $34,580.00 Azram - $22,610.00 RuiNF - $17,290.00 B00mslang - $11,970.00 SCOOP Event #33 (Medium): $215 Six Max Limit Hold’em Entries: 396 Prize Pool: $79,200 BADEXTASY - $15,325.20 Nick ‘nabourisk’ Abou Risk - $11,365.20 MADEin - $8,514.00 Picasso25 - $5,860.80 Mordnilap – $4,197.60 Zzwwzzwwzz – $2,692.80 SCOOP Event #33 (Low): $27 Six Max Limit Hold’em Entries: 1,645 Prize Pool: $40,384.75 rodksy_20 - $6,462.69 felipect440 - $4,846.17 D4ns3n - $3,634.62 Steinisancho - $2,423.08 madi xx- $1,615.39 Gustavo5454 - $904.61 SCOOP Event #34 (High): $2,100 Four Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 510 Prize Pool: $1,020,000 Andras 'probirs' Nemeth - $170,835.23* OLD TIME GIN - $160,260.00* Prot0 - $139,247.17* RuiNF- $49,867.80 SCOOP Event #34 (Medium): $215 Four Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 2,170 Prize Pool: $434,000 Fresh_oO_D - $67,044.32 Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford - $40,852.42 Aftret - $23,683.38 Naza114 - $14,404.46 SCOOP Event #34 (Low): $27 Four Max No Limit Hold'em Entries: 7,697 Prize Pool: $188,961.35 Saiiizka - $19,997.18 Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom - $12,102.97 KillerNorbit - $7,014.24 Kellow - $4,330.99 SCOOP Event #35 (High): $530 No Limit Hold'em (Bubble Rush) Entries: 811 Prize Pool: $405,500 Gkap13 - $73,395.50 UMSK1PTAR – $52,715.00 Ivan ‘Negriin’ Luca - $39,536.25 Adam ‘Adamyid’ Owen - $29,601.50 Strboxer - $20,883.25 Patrick ‘pads1161’ Leonard - $16,828.25 $uperday – $12,773.25 Chamanara - $8,961.55 Charlie580 - $5,190.40 SCOOP Event #35 (Medium): $55 No Limit Hold'em (Bubble Rush) Entries: 3,661 Prize Pool: $183,050 DIFINI - $26,470.41* NohayMiedo* - $23,687.18* kaiNIkaiOXI - $15,101.62 natfalber11 – $10,525.37 kollennik - $7,779.62 Diego ‘Die Ventura’ Ventura - $5,949.12 Doug*Dutra - $4,118.62 caramelo123 – 42,288.12 gambl3r0 - $1,464.40 SCOOP Event #35 (Low): $5.50 No Limit Hold'em (Bubble Rush) Entries: 11,500 Prize Pool: $57,500 annouac - $7,709.68 trabzon1989 – $5,411.90 Fangan123 - $4,025.00 PjHolLy - $2,875.00 Marioo1985 - $2,300.00 Dfadarwin - $1,725.00 Devinr12 - $1,150.00 Balomiker – $575.00 Royalmaf67 – $345.00
It’s hard to believe that the World Series of Poker Main Event is already upon us. With the expansive coverage of the event on ESPN and PokerGo, the hopes and dreams of thousands of poker players rise and fall with every hand that is dealt. But that's not the only place we’ve seen some compelling content as photos of starting stacks and tales of the worst bad beat stories ever told have continually spilled onto #pokertwitter and the social media feeds of poker fans around the world. So, while it’s impossible to catch it all, here are a few of some of our favorite social moments from the past week that at the WSOP. GIANT Lines Before the start of the Main Event, players were looking to take their last shot in the $365 GIANT. As poker players are wont to do, many waited until the last minute to purchase their seat, thus making the lines to register for the event befitting of the name. Selfie Stack Spend enough time in Las Vegas and you’ll quickly find out that much of what you see is a mirage. The World Series of Poker is no exception where what you see is not always what you get. (Investors beware!) Hey Ladies! One of the few snafus by WSOP organizers this year occurred at the start of the final table for the Ladies Event. Rather than being the featured table on PokerGo or Twitch, the event was regulated to the back of the room while Razz…yes Razz…got the initial spotlight. Credit to those in charge, the situation was quickly rectified and Jessica Dawley’s victory was broadcast and seen by thousands. Main Event Mascot Joe Camel’s roommate, Chippy, is the new mascot for the World Series of Poker. Not saying Chippy’s not adorable but perhaps he's promoting everything that the WSOP actually doesn’t want at the table: headphones, sunglasses and a bottom row of teeth so yellow it’s clear he’s taken one too many smoke breaks in the 100 degree heat. Look close: Kevmath is about to knock Chippy out of the tournament. Main Event Mania The excitement of playing the Main Event is simply too much for some. They get there, pay their $10K and simply can’t wait to get it in… Max pain for Max Steinberg. The Bank Of Timex is back in action. Hellmuth gunna Hellmuth. Ausmus showed THEM! Bay to the Bay Area for Blumenfield. Former PocketFives #1-ranked player Jordan Young keeps building... Stacks on stacks. Class Act The defending WSOP Main Event Champion, upon being eliminated from the event on Day 1 while on a feature table, responds to an online critic with the same class and thoughtful voice that he used throughout his year as the reigning champion. Finally, Ferguson Faces The Truth Hellmuth may be the hero we get, Uncle Ron is the hero we deserve.
Nominations for the second annual Global Poker Awards were announced on Friday with popular poker personality Joey Ingram leading the way with four nominations. The Global Poker Awards, slated to take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on March 6, celebrates the poker industry by recognizing the game of poker's top talent both on the felt and behind the scenes. This year, awards will be handed out in 19 different categories including two that are voted on by the fans. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="BetMGM NJ"] Multiple Nods Sixteen former award winners are back in contention this year with a number of them recognized in multiple categories. Poker personality and podcast/video producer Joey Ingram picked up nominations in the People’s Choice for Poker Personality of the Year, Podcast of the Year (Poker Life Podcast), Journalist of the Year and Media Content of the Year for his extensive work investigating the Mike Postle cheating allegation story. PocketFives’ own three-time GPI award winner Lance Bradley earned another three nominations for Journalist of the Year, Media Content of the Year, and Podcast of the Year for The FIVES Poker Podcast, alongside PocketFives own Managing Editor Donnie Peters. Daniel Negreanu, Jamie Kerstetter, Lex Veldhuis, Hayley Hochstätter and tournament director Matt Savage each earned two nominations. Alex Foxen, Andrew Neeme, Barny Boatman, Brad Owen, Bryn Kenney, Cary Katz, Joe Giron, Joe Stapleton, Kevin Mathers, Nick Schulman, and Paul Campbell join Bradley, Ingram, Negreanu, Savage, and Veldhuis as previous award winners who find themselves back in the running for even more hardware at the upcoming ceremonies. In addition to the 18 awards that will be voted on and the Global Poker Index Player of the Year awards, the PocketFives Legacy Award will once again be handed out to a PocketFives player who has shown success in both the online and live poker arenas. Previous award winners include Ari Engel, Cliff Josephy and Chris Moorman. 2019 Global Poker Award Nominees GPI BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR Robert Campbell (AUS) Ramon Colillas (ESP) Ben Farrell (UK) George Wolff (USA) FINAL TABLE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Hossein Ensan (GER), WSOP Main Event William Alex Foxen (USA), WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Phillip Hui (USA), WSOP Poker Players Championship Bryn Kenney (USA), Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro TWITTER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Barny Boatman (UK) Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Kitty Kuo (TAI) Kevin Mathers (USA) PLAYERS CHOICE FOR TOUGHEST OPPONENT Michael Addamo (AUS) Kahle Burns (AUS) Stephen Chidwick (UK) Ali Imsirovic (BIH) STREAMER OF THE YEAR Hristivoje Pavlovic (AUS) Benjamin Spragg (UK) Matthew Staples (CAN) Lex Veldhuis (NED) VLOGGER OF THE YEAR Jaman Burton (USA) Andrew Neeme (USA) Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Brad Owen (USA) PODCAST OF THE YEAR DAT Poker Podcast: Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz, Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Poker Life Podcast: Joey Ingram (USA) The Fives, a PocketFives Podcast: Lance Bradley (CAN), Donnie Peters (USA) The Grid: Jennifer Shahade (USA) INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR Phil Galfond (USA), Run it Once Poker Cary Katz (USA), Poker Central/PokerGO Paul Phua (MAS), Triton Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Tony Burns (USA), Seminole Hard Rock Paul Campbell (USA), Aria Jack Effel (USA), World Series of Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA EVENT OF THE YEAR PokerStars Players Championship Bahamas Triton London Million for Charity World Series of Poker Main Event World Series of Poker BIG 50 MID-MAJOR TOUR/CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR Road to PSPC RUNGOOD Poker Series WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR Lance Bradley (CAN) Haley Hintze (USA) Joey Ingram (USA) Nick Jones (UK) BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Jeff Platt (USA) Nick Schulman (USA) Joseph Stapleton (USA) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: WRITTEN A Fight for Fatherhood: The Biggest Win of Jason Young’s Life, Lance Bradley (CAN) for PoketFives Kevin Roster Spread Sarcoma Awareness at WSOP, Wants to End Life on His Terms, Aleeyah Jadavji (CAN), Hayley Hochstetler (USA) for PokerNews Poker and Pop Culture, Martin Harris (USA) for D+B Publishing The Unabridged Story of The Hendon Mob, Paul Seaton (UK) for PokerNews MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: PHOTO Antonio Abrego (USA): Ryan Laplante in deep thought at the WSOP (PokerNews) Drew Amato (USA): Dario Sammartino folds at the WSOP (Poker Central) Joe Giron (USA): WPT Champion Frank Stepuchin is lifted in victory (WPT) Hayley Hochstetler (USA): Doyle Brunson and Jack Binion at WSOP celebration (WSOP) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: VIDEO Investigating Mike Postle Hand Histories from Stones Live, Joey Ingram (USA) Legends of the Game – Stu Ungar (PokerGO) The Big Blind w/Jeff Platt featuring Mike Matusow, Normand Chad, Sarah Herring (PokerGO) Who Makes Money from Professional Poker, Sam Rega (USA) for CNBC PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR POKER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Joey Ingram (USA) Jonathan Little (USA) Ryan DePaulo (USA) Lex Veldhuis (NED) PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR HAND OF THE YEAR Bryce Yockey takes a historic hit against Josh Arieh in the WSOP Poker Players Championship Ryan Riess makes 10-high all-in call at EPT Monte Carlo final table Sam Trickett makes Stephen Chidwick fold best hand at Triton London 1M event Thi Xoa Nguyen folds full house to Athanasios Polychronopoulos at PSPC