Major news hit the wires in the online poker world on Thursday, as the management of Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker announced the launch of CEREUS, a poker platform that will combine the users and features from both sites. The combined player base will make CEREUS the third largest poker network available to online poker players. A press release that will be distributed on Thursday notes that each site will retain its own “unique assets,” but new tournaments, features, and promotions will be an integral part, as it combines the customer base from each online poker room. The change is expected to take place during the first week of August.
Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet are owned by the same parent company. However, until today, both online poker rooms have not collaborated on promotions or tournaments. CEREUS marks an end to this division once and for all after over a year of development. AP and UB Chief Operations Officer Paul Leggett commented, “This is a huge landmark for our company and online poker. I’m confident that Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet customers will be thrilled by the new platform and we look forward to welcoming many new players from around the world.”
As it currently stands, Absolute Poker holds a $150K Guaranteed tournament every Saturday. Ultimate Bet hosts a $200K Guaranteed tournament every Sunday. Both tournaments have sported large overlays in recent months. What the tournament structure will be under CEREUS is to be determined. In fact, it is not yet known what changes will be noticeable from a consumer’s perspective. Leggert comments, “Our Company’s goal is to provide poker players with the ultimate online experience. The launch of CEREUS is a major step for us in achieving our goal and we look forward to making many more exciting announcements very soon.”
UB personality Annie Duke has recently completely revamped the tournament schedule and structure at Ultimate Bet, which has increased the popularity of the online poker site despite the recent cheating scandal involving its former owners. Ultimate Bet is gearing up for its annual Aruba Poker Classic in September and recently held a 50-Seat Main Event Guarantee for its marquee tournament. The Aruba Poker Classic was initially a stop on the World Poker Tour. New additions to the site in recent months include Sniper tournaments (which are essentially bounty tournaments with a twist) and the UB Army, which front man Phil Hellmuth promoted in style during the 2008 World Series of Poker.
Absolute Poker is in the midst of one of the most unique promotions ever held, giving away $5,000 diamonds to players who earn the most FAME points between now and the end of August. The first five players to reach 10,000 FAME points will each take home a $2,000 diamond. Moreover, diamond straight flushes are worth a $1,000 jewel. I can’t recall seeing another promotion quite like that one. Absolute Poker has also increased the number of satellites to its $150K Guarantee, the largest tournament it offers every week.
PokerNewsDaily.com will have full details on what you can expect with the implementation of CEREUS as we learn them.