The last year has been a forgettable one for Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. Both sites have been involved in a series of scandals involving Superusers and, as a result, have seen their fair share of negative publicity.
Today these rooms have officially announced that they will be joining their forces together to form the new “Cereus Poker Network.” This announcement has generated both curiosity and skepticism by those in the know in the Poker World. This new network is expected to open its doors tomorrow, Nov. 26th.
Most details of this new network have been closely guarded secrets. What is not helping its cause is the foul aftertaste left by its creators AP and UB, which have been involved in the Superuser cheating scandals and have robbed millions of dollars from poker players over the past several years. The critical reception of this new network has been mixed, and most blogs and online fora are of the opinion that this is just an attempt to clean up the bad image of these sites.
What is known at the moment is that the common platform Cereus was built from the ground up to provide players at the two sites in question more features and goodies, such as frequent enormous Bad Beat Jackpots, more players in tournaments, more impressive guarantees, better promotions and also enhanced securtity.
As a result of the merger of the AP and the UB playerbase, Cereus has instantly become one of the top 3 largest poker communities, eyeing the number 2 spot currently held by Full Tilt Poker.
The Cereus Poker Network was first announced in July 2008, but legal battles between Excapsa, the former owners of Ultimate Bet, and Tokwiro, its present owner, have delayed its launch. A November 5 statement issued by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission announced that Tokwiro was to be paid $15 million by Excapsa to “refund players who were affected by the cheating scandal that Tokwiro inherited when it purchased the business from Excapsa.”
Let us all hope that Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet have both learned of their past mistakes and will not repeat them again. The people have revolted once already, and will keep their guards up in respect to this new network. The new network is expected to be under intense scrutiny by the online poker world, and arguably, deservedly so.