'Black Friday' Fallout/My Final UB Statement
May 9, 2022

I apologize to those of you who have reached out to me recently regarding UB post Black Friday as I have been unable to comment on things.  Myriad legal reasons precluded me from doing so, as well as I really haven't had any answers for anyone, and I didn't want to contribute to the panic going through the community with my own speculation or possible misinformation.  I just thought that would be incredibly irresponsible.  Some within the playing community wanted promises and assurances and I wouldn't have been able to make or give them.  It wasn't a situation of running or hiding; I just simply couldn't contribute anything of any value and didn't want to add more noise.  Additionally, I didn't want to do anything whatsoever that could possibly endanger American players getting their money back, despite not knowing what those things might be.


I'm not sure where to start with all of this.  I am deeply sorry and heartbroken about player's situations on UB/AP where their money is currently frozen right now.  I understand how many of you depend on this money to live and have been put in dire straits by all of this.  If there was anything I could do to get your money to you, I would do it.  None of us could have foretold "Black Friday" and just how black it ended up being.

When I signed with UB, I really thought I could change the world.  I worked harder than any of you will ever know to try to do just that.  In the end though, it seems that I was more naïve than I thought I was.  I thought that I would be able to will change to happen, as I had always been able to in past positions, but I simply didn't have that power at UB.  I would make suggestions and hope that they were enacted, but that wasn't always the case, as at the end of the day I was a consultant for the company and not actually calling the shots.  I don't want to give the wrong impression here though.  There are some really great people at the company who work hard and try to do the right things, but there were just some obstacles I couldn't get past and realize now I probably never would.

I was never privy to the deep inner workings of the business.  How money was moved around, whether it was held in segregated accounts, etc, was nothing I ever worked on, and to be honest with you, ever thought about before April 15th.  I really put a lot of faith in the people I worked with, and the company itself.  I really believed that management thought the past was the past and that they wanted to have things be different in the present and the future.  I wanted to believe that with all of my heart, and in fact I completely staked my reputation on it.

I apologize to all of you for not being able to accomplish all that I wanted to.  I never had any mal-intent and I certainly never knew of anything that I would have considered to be morally questionable.  The involvement of Scott Tom, etc, if it was there, was certainly something that was always shielded from me, despite my constant questioning and bringing it up.  I had many very personal conversations where things were continually refuted and my fears were assuaged in very personal ways.  "Seebs, I wouldn't do that to you.  You've been here through so much of this shit and I would never put you in that situation.  No way.", were things that were told to me.  At some point you make a decision to trust people or you just don't.  I made a decision to trust.  I think when all the dust settles from the current situation, we will have a better idea of how naïve I really was.  I also traveled to Costa Rica several times to view operations, and never saw anything that seemed out of the ordinary whatsoever.  I inquired with staff along different levels and divisions continually to make sure stories were checking out and culture had changed for the better, and it always had. 

Regarding the current state of AP/UB, I haven't given up hope that all of you will get your money back.  I believe that UB is making many, many efforts to get you that money.  You may say, "Well, if there were lies before..." and that's totally fair, but their is absolutely a segment of that company trying to do the right thing.  I dearly hope that they are successful.   I have been told by upper management that ongoing discussions have been happening between the DOJ and UB with that being the focus.  There is a lot of misinformation being thrown around and it really saddens me that so many have fanned the flames of panic when, in truth, they simply do not know what is going to happen, just like me.  UB and their legal team is trying to work creatively to get that money back to players, I have been told.  I haven't been promised that that can happen, but I have been informed that is the goal.  This was never going to be a short process though, which leaves so much room for speculation.  I am trying to not engage in that, hope, and be patient.  It's not easy. 

I wish I had more information, as I know that's what all of you want, but I am sitting on the sidelines through all of this as well.  I have no say in how things are developing.  I believe there is a lot of information, as well as misinformation, coming out and I don't think any of us know what it all means quite yet.  I am holding out hope that just because UB may or may not be shutting down, they will still be able to take care of all the players.  I believe they want to.  I know that is the goal.

I hope we will all know how this is going to shake out within a week or two.  That's not a guarantee, as I don't have the ability to set a timetable, but from what I can piece together it seems like it may be a semi-reasonable one. 

In closing, I want to apologize to the poker community for where I may have failed you all.  I worked hard to try and accomplish a bunch of goals, more than perhaps I ever had any chance of doing.  Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew, and I may have done exactly that in this situation.  I'm not sorry for trying though.  I honestly don't regret it.  I just regret not being able to do more.


PS- This statement was written without regard to today's UB-sponsored pro player layoffs.  I have been communicating with upper management at UB regarding the current issues.  The pro's monies are still tied up on the site as well, so on that level we are all in the same situation as the general poker public.

tonight seems like a really good time to crack a corona and stick in "point break" -best idea i was given today/tonight

3 months ago
rrumseysorry to see this seebs-4
Stephen VaughanLife moves on Joe. Don't beat yourself up too much.-6
StapesJoe Sebok is a good person, and a good friend. I stand by him, and am of the belief that he always had the best of intentions. He is a good man.-1
Tad Moselehakuna matata brother-4
TheFoolNumerous people in the poker community were telling you throughout that UB was crooked and were lying. When they put out the absurd and obviously false story that a RAID server failure had caused the mysterious unrecoverable disappearance of 10% of the hand histories it was obvious they were lying. And yet instead of questioning it you're still propagating the company line. You're still in denial if you really think UB/AP is going to return players money - they simply don't have it. 5
The 6th WilburyFor what it's worth, I never doubted your intentions, nor do I believe you have "failed" the poker community. Perhaps you took on an insurmountable task, but I don't hold that against you the way others might. I hope this chapter has not done irreparable on the reputation of Joe Sebok, the man, or on PokerRoad, the business and community. The best of luck to you.-1
GabersonI have nothing but respect for you Joe Seebok. You HAVE accomplished a tremendous amount in a relatively short amount of time. You have entertained hundreds of thousands of poker fans through this site and through the numerous radio shows you helped produce through out the years. I can't tell you how many times you, Gavin, Ali, Joey Stapes and the rest of the bunch had me smiling and laughing out loud in my office. Thanks so much Joe. I know whatever endeavor you peruse next will be as much of a success. All the best. Gaberson-4
Journeyman_1Keep on keepin on bro!-4
PaddyAceGreed got the better of lots of ppl associated with UB/AP..... and... not just people but companies (affiliates) as well........ If this scandal were to hit a major poker site today, the whole poker world would avoid it and bring it down...... back then it was a different environment and security wasnt as scrutinised, there was almost a TRUST without question athmosphere throughout the poker world..... Years later, after all the lies, cover ups, deceit, destroying of hand histories and overall general dishonesty from these people at UB they still take , take and take the money of the players, While i believe that you are a good person Joe and Ive been a big fan of all your endeavours up to joining UB,....and i know you would never partake or cover up knowingly any wrong doing.....im afraid through your negligence, misjudgement, bad decisions and lots more that you have disgraced the Pokerworld as well as yourself and had a hand in destroying peoples lives through defending, supporting and sending people to this site. You are guilty as charged and i think the honorable action to take would be to resign from the poker world.... 2
StaggerLeeYou do not mention much of the fat paycheck you received every month. You traded your word and reputation for a chunk of money. Your job was to get customers back after the scandal. We can only speculate as to how much $$ was transferred to UB by people believing the bulls*** you were preaching. You should have listened to your father. This apology is too little, too late. 5
jackhighJoe, you said you would resign if you didn't meet your goals or were lied to. On countless of occasions it was illustrated to you that UB was lying as well as covering up the scandal - yet you just made more excuses and spewed the company line. I'm sure you were responsible for hundreds if not thousands of new UB players who will lose all their money. You may NOT claim innocence on this matter. The irony is of course it looks like they are going to screw you too.7
jaysullI've written so much, and deleted it again.... It's kind of hard to believe that you are that naive. I used to be a fanboy , but can't be anymore.4
afrokenn12I used to be a big fan seebs, but you've left me really disappointed with most of your actions in the last year. Honestly I don't know what you stand for anymore...3
jjbuddHow dare you. "So on that level we are all in the same situation as the general poker public." ARE YOU KIDDING?? You really are smoking something...... You can afford to lose money, the general poker public mostly cannot.... You accepted money from UB in order to draw the general poker public into their scam, and now they suffer in part because of YOU.... and now you say you're in the same situation?? SHAME ON YOU.... How about making it right? How about doing good for all those suffering by taking their pain and suffering and doing right by THEM?? .... Only if you give up all your savings to make it right with them, and then grind it out at $1/$2 to build your stack back up, would you deserve to have your apology accepted..... But until then, how dare you put yourself at the same league as the public.... MAKE IT RIGHT, JOE SEBOK. SHOW SOME CHARACTER. DWAN GUARANTEED FULL TILT WOULD PAY ITS USERS BACK OR HE WOULD DIG INTO HIS OWN POCKETS... DO YOU EVEN HAVE AN OUNCE OF THE CLASS OF TOM DWAN? DO YOU HAVE THE SAME CONFIDENCE IN UB?.... IF NOT, THEN SHAME ON YOU FOR EVER PUTTING YOUR NAME ON IT IF YOU CAN'T, OR WON'T, STAND BEHIND IT.... BE A MAN!!2
poeticacesI wonder when Fulltilt and Pokerstars will start getting rid of the non-productive Pros to trim the fat. I do believe Duke and Hellmuth were tipped off and left the site dodging a big bullet. Poker Pros will now think carefully about accepting an online sponsor in the future1
Agent ]-[arbingerFirst off thanks for addressing the mess when you could. I wish you courage and strength in the days to come as those who were impacted by AP/UB vent on all those associated with the company. As this chapter of your life comes to close, look back, reflect and take away the good and learn from the bad. ]-[-3
FDRNEWDEALMr. Sebok Several years ago, I reached out to you in an effort to gain information about a project I was working on. This was during a very trying period of time for me. You responded and over the course of three or four months, we exchanged emails. The projected was ultimately a failure, but working on it allowed me to get through what was essentially the worst 6 month stretch of my life. I hope you're well, I've observed your career since our communication and have always felt as if you've gotten a raw deal from many of the fans. The favor you did for me will always be appreciated, not many people offer a hand to those they have nothing to gain from. The fact that you were willing to tells a lot about your character. Good luck to you,and again, thank you. Michael Diaz-4
faybioUnfortunately, Joe, you became a part of the "problem" after signing w/UB. Rather than question Mr. Leggett, you bought into and passed along his spin and lies to your fans/followers/community, and guided many poker players towards the sinking ship known as Cereus. For these efforts on UB's behalf, you were paid very well, I'm sure. But at what cost? 4
HosoI assume if you were at all confident of players getting their money back you would have taken Haxten up on his offer of .20 cents on the dollar for 300k. You haven't, still just smoke and mirrors. Hope they paid well. By the way, how much money do you have stuck on UB?2
Jay DavisHe can't even admit the truth on the way out. Does anyone here believe that Joe Sebok was completely ignorant for the past TWO YEARS regarding UB's lies, coverups, and the fact that they were owned by Scott Tom and the other AP cheaters? OF COURSE NOT! He just forced himself to believe whatever Paul Leggett told him, so he could accept the $30k/month paycheck and not vomit every time he saw himself in the mirror at night. Who thinks that this statement was written "without regard to the sponsored pro layoffs" at UB? JOE CAN'T EVEN TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THE REASON FOR THE BLOG! He kept whisper quiet about Black Friday and UB/AP having the inability to pay everyone UNTIL HE WAS FIRED, and then all ofa sudden he's so sorry and realizes he was naive. STOP LYING JOE, people are a lot smarter than you think. Good luck facing everyone you helped ruin at the World Series this year.2
FDRNEWDEALIt's doubtful that many of the posters here being so critical don't work for companies that have lied to the American people. After college, I briefly worked at a bank that frequently boasted of it's lending standards and their reluctance to engage in trading exotic financial instruments. They lied... should everyone who worked at that bank be held accountable? -4
GabersonWhat a bunch of pussy whiners... STFU. Why is this all Joe's fault? YOU decided to play on UB's busted ass site. YOU deposited YOUR money to play online poker. Quit acting like a bunch teenage girls and man the F up. oh waaaaa waaaaa Joe, you said you would change UB... waaaa waaaaa. Bunch of jealous posers... Don't judge him, like you wouldn't take the payday? No wonder this country is going to shit, listing to all this complaining and finger pointing... who is Joe? The second coming? He did what he could. -3
a10fouruGood try with UB/AP Seebs. Too big of a hill to surmount. To all you whiny bitches who are sooo disappointed in Seebs and it's soul crushing..yada yada...get a life. Stop whining. You knew what was up with the site when you had money on there...stop the surprise at it coming down to this. Stop blaming Seebs. As I said on the forum, don't be surprised that coffee is hot from McDonald's or that New Orleans floods if a hurricane hits....-4
Jay DavisI didn't have money on UB. I knew enough about the situation not to. However, many other people didn't have hours to invest every day into researching the matter, so they trusted someone they knew and respected (Joe) to tell them the truth about the situation. Instead, he told lies that he had to know were BS, and he stayed ignorant on purpose so he could continue collecting $30,000/month. Pokerroad members trusted Joe's word, and he betrayed them all. Shame on anyone making excuses for him at this point.3
Jay DavisI didn't have money on UB. I knew enough about the situation not to. However, many other people didn't have hours to invest every day into researching the matter, so they trusted someone they knew and respected (Joe) to tell them the truth about the situation. Instead, he told lies that he had to know were BS, and he stayed ignorant on purpose so he could continue collecting $30,000/month. Pokerroad members trusted Joe's word, and he betrayed them all. Shame on anyone making excuses for him at this point.3
room1408Well said Sebok. Thanks to you and all of PRR for the hours, days, weeks and months worth of quality content. As a fan, I can only hope that I will be able to continue to follow all of the amazing people that you and PRR introduced me to.-1
2geezyI won a step 10. Biggest score of my recreational life, but Joe it's not your fault. Like the last guy said, "don't beat yourself up over this". If I play the Main Event I will be tickled. If I don't I don't. I've got a 2 year old that likes to be tickled even more. That's life. Poker shouldn't define anybody. Yes, it's fun but don't let it interfere with the more important things in life. Tickle-Tickle. Tickle-Tickle.-2
shronkmomJoe - I've made mistakes in my life, some of them real whoppers. I feel like people who go through life without making mistakes miss out on life because they never take a chance. Heck I'm sure everyone who has posted here has at some time or other trusted someone they shouldn't have, took a job they later regretted, or any number of other mistakes and errors in judgement or just plain stupid decisions that are part of life. Lucky for me that my mistakes weren't in the public domain so the only criticism I had to listen to was from close friends or family. The only thing you can do is learn what you can from this experience and then MOVE ON to your next adventure in life.-3
jjbuddNo one is saying it is "all" Sebok's fault. A drug user is at fault for being a drug user. But it doesn't meant he drug pusher is a good guy either. And Sebok's wimpy apology, saying he's in the same situation as the poker public, says a lot about his character. Dwan backed up Full Tilt with his own money; if Sebok felt he couldn't do it, he should never have traded his reputation for money. He did... fine... but his reputation then must be in the gutter as consequence. And it is. Further, it's not like he's just some pro who let them use his name... he was out pushing UB and selling it and defending it and taking contrarians to task for it... a dope dealer fully out there spreading the message as loudly as possible. If he wants to rescue his reputation, he's got to do something drastic and of inconvenience to himself to make up for it. This wimpy apology ain't it.1
PottripperFirst time user (pun intended) long time fan. Don't carry the weight of the (online poker) world on your shoulders. We are all adults here(?)that make our own choices. Anyone that tries to make you feel guilty about influencing the poker public about playing there is level 1 in all aspects of their life. Any deeper thought put into this comes to realize this. The money you made from your sponsorship deal I would image it's a small % of your gross earnings so money would not be the motive. It's exposing the truth (as has been stated from day one). The time you put in to trying to do so is honorable. Same with statement above. Life has funny ways to show a person how lessons are learned. Surprise, you're human. I hope you still fight the good fight and maybe see to it for fund raising or other resources needed to coordinate efforts in bringing the truth out and charges laid (I believe this could happen). -2
bifWhat a coincidence. Joe discovered that he "simply didn't have that power" on the day they pulled the plug. I wonder why he didn't see that earlier. Perhaps the monthly pay-check?2
jakeulstonIf Joe were a woman, I'd have shivers. He ain't. But a mighty fine speciman of a man. If only he didn't con people into supporting UB. 0
GabersonHaters are going to hate.0
GabersonHaters are going to hate.-1