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Old 03-22-2011, 07:15 PM   #1
JSebok
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My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

After a ton of deliberation and chatting with friends, one being Shane Schleger, and reading through some of the pages of this thread, I feel like itís time to clear the air on the Jon Aguiar incident as best I can, as well as address some UB-related comments. I have been told repeatedly that this is a complete mistake by most, but I am going to try and give 2+2 more credit than some others would, and depend on you all to give me a fair shake and interpret objectively...

AGUIAR
First of all, I take full responsibility that my initial DM was overly aggressive and out of line. For that I apologize.


When I signed on with UB almost two years ago, I saw it as an opportunity to help turn a company around. I've been called everything from naive to a douche for thinking I could help change the company and the perception there, but I still feel like I have done my best, and am still making positive steps with UB. I have put a ton of work into those efforts. And because I have, I take the continued knocks against UB personally. Sometimes I act or say things in reaction that I wish I could take back. And given the way Aguiar was bashing UB with the Prahlad/Ike incident, even though it had nothing to do with UB, I reacted quickly and made a bad decision. No escaping that.


Now, did I view that DM to Jon as private? Absolutely. Do I think taking a private message and asking for a public apology is strange? That's irrelevant. I shouldnít have sent it, plain and simple. Jon made his decisions after that, and over 700+ posts later, here we are.


All Iíll add to this is that in no way, shape, or form was that message an attempt to blackmail Jon or threaten him, and I don't believe he thought that legitimately for one second. I was not telling him I was literally going to expose skeletons in his closet, albeit my choice of words was obviously dreadful in that regard. I just wanted him to chill out on UB and realize that the company had nothing to do with the current disagreement between Prahlad/Ike. I just chose a bad way of expressing that. Given that I tweeted to ďbe a manĒ about it Iím sure didnít help things either. Iím pretty sure most people who know me know Iím not the street fighting type, and I wasnít asking Jon to come meet me there. I was understandably upset that he posted a private message in a public forum, and I wanted him to talk to me privately about it. I also feel that he has actively publicly misrepresented the situation when he knew better after that, but that's neither here nor there. My initial written post was a complete breakdown of all the ways that he had done so, but that just continues to fuel this fire and doesn't get us anywhere productive at all, so I scrapped it.

In summary, I made a mistake and I apologize for that mistake. If Jon feels that he owes anyone an apology, I'll leave that up to him to decide.


UB
With Travis Makar going on Donkdown (which, despite my personal feelings about them, I think they did a good job handling) and Haleyís most recent blog on Greg Pierson, thereís been a lot of new chatter on UB. Just wanted to state/reiterate a few things on 2+2:

1. Iíve never said that the current management group didnít make some dire mistakes in their handling of the cheating scandal in the early stages, before I came on board. They did, and they know it. I simply do not believe that they a) actively helped the individuals who cheated to do so or get away with it, b) have doctored hand histories themselves to cover things up, or c) have attempted to hide facts to pay less money out in refunds.


The company was tailspinning after the scandal, and weíve had to dig ourselves out of a huge hole. Mistakes were made early on. But weíve been doing our best to win back support of the 2+2Ďers and others who, rightfully, abandoned the company back in í07.


On that note, we have no doubt that there is way more information about the scandal thatís out there. And we want that information to come out. We want Haley to keep digging. We want Travis Makar to release everything he has. We will do nothing to stand in the way of this information from coming out. From my perspective, I donít think the company will ever be able to 100% totally move forward until it does. And I, as well as management, personally hope it does.


2. UB management has never attempted to control what I say or when I say it. In fact, just the opposite. Itís one of the things I respect most about them. They have allowed me to make my own decisions. Maybe itís not the best PR for them all the time, but I can make my own mistakes.


3. Regardless of your opinion of UB right now, please keep in mind that "making mistakes" (be it with the initial response to the scandal or even the ridiculous security lapse that happened last year) is far different then "helping cheaters cheat.Ē None of our pros were ever connected to the scandal. None of our management was part of the scandal. But we keep taking all the bullets, despite many people who were likely connected to either being a super-user, which is just disgusting and something that will forever be a black eye for us, or cover-up rarely get flamed to the level we do. It's your right to do it. I understand why you do it, but we're not the cheaters. We were not involved in the scandal in any way. Nor was our current management.


4. And yes, I believe that the current ownership is different from the former ownership. I have also heard constant claims that this is not so. Again, any proof of these claims would be great to see if it exists. I don't believe that it does. Of course, I am putting a great deal of faith in the current owners/management with making these claims, but that's what most of us do with our employers, and I am doing the same. Obviously if this were ever to be proven to be not true, I would feel duped.


Thanks for taking the time to read through this. 2+2 was instrumental in bringing the AP and UB super-user scandals to light and have helped continue to bring up new information over the past few years, and we are all indebted because of that. I do believe that UB should have a presence on this forum. On that note, I will try to answer questions or concerns that continue to pop up on UB when I am alerted to them. I can't promise I will become an active member of this community, but when issues arise that are reasonable, I will try and answer them.

Cheers,
J
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #2
fortinbras88
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

First?

Honestly, you probably went into this UB situation drawing dead. The poker community has a lot of resentment (understandably so) towards UB, and I'm sure you have done what you can to "turn the company around."

But, it doesn't really matter. Any good you bring to the company will never be enough, and any slight errors you make will be jumped on immediately by 2p2. Tough luck man, but definitely takes some balls to put yourself in the line of fire by signing with UB.

Props for making an effort, apologizing, and being a man. Respect.

Last edited by fortinbras88; 03-22-2011 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:18 PM   #3
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Barry wrote this IMO.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:19 PM   #4
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

In on first page. **** yeah!

But in all seriousness, i haven't read the thread yet...but i HOPE we, as a community, can be at least a little mature and not blindly flame with a mob mentality. Let's actually try to be progressive and not childish as hell. We can get a lot of the answers we're seeking from Joe if we carry ourselves like an intellectual group and not like irrational tards. Just my initial thoughts.

Also, Joe, regardless of what the feedback is, I appreciate you coming on here and giving us an opportunity to express what we think directly to you. It's respectable any time someone tackles something head-on, especially inside of the warzone that NVG typically becomes in these situations.

Now, I'll read the post...

Can a mod somehow verify that this is actually Joe Sebok and not an NVGtard just trolling the forum? I know it seems very likely it's him, but it'd suck for all of us to waste our time in a thread that is guaranteed to explode. In addition, it'd suck if Joe's actual viewpoints were misrepresented in a false-account fashion.

Last edited by HocusPokus; 03-22-2011 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:20 PM   #5
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Def a good start
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:20 PM   #6
billstraightener
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

just post the ****** hand histories already

We have gained nothing from this post, except the usual politician style speech apologising with no real substance
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:21 PM   #7
iseedeadmoney
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Paging SrslySirius
Episode 3 - Take One
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:24 PM   #8
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Do you not think your association with UB is harmful to you, your career and your reputation? I think it's very difficult for the poker world (especially 2+2) to look upon anyone associated with UB in any good light now since the scandal and their cover-up. Look at Prahlad and yourself, the poker worlds perception of you has definitely been affected by your association with UB. Why not cut all ties and rebuild your reputation? What is in it for you being sponsored with UB? Surely the money is worth less than your reputation?
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:27 PM   #9
justonemoretime
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

I hope that he is sincere about what he wrote. If so, good start.

p.s.-- Current UB management should really be pushing and assistng authorities to prosecute the cheaters. If they were not involved, self interest would seem to demand that they be more aggressive (in a sense, the cheaters not only stole money from clients they stole an asset from UB -- its business credibility).
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:27 PM   #10
MattGreenNL
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

A lot of you 2+2 guys just bandwagon on the Sebok hate when he doesnt really deserve it for the most part.

Not sure why he felt like he needed to try and justify himself but hopefully this will help his image, hes not a bad guy.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:27 PM   #11
fortinbras88
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

I think dogishead is leveling all of us again, the quality of writing is clearly beyond Sebok.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

I just want to say thanks to Joe for doing this.

He had plenty of natural reluctance to come on this forum, but I implored him to do it on the basis that I believe this is a respectful and productive online community.

I think his being willing to come on here and talk to us is a major first step in repairing relations between Joe, UB and the poker community, and as I've said I think everyone benefits from that.

Please don't prove me wrong, NVG.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:29 PM   #13
JSebok
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

no question that working with UB has harmed my personal rep, brand, etc. the bottom line is that i don't believe most of what is currently said about them and no one has ever been able to show me anything that proves it.

i came on board to try and help the company and rehabilitate it back to health. if i leave now it would just be because i was run off without any proof. you could fault my decision for getting involved initially, but i think leaving now just because of of the heat i deal with would be far worse.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:29 PM   #14
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Any update on your quest for the missing handhistories?
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:30 PM   #15
mikey09990
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSebok View Post
no question that working with UB has harmed my personal rep, brand, etc. the bottom line is that i don't believe most of what is currently said about them and no one has ever been able to show me anything that proves it.

i came on board to try and help the company and rehabilitate it back to health. if i leave now it would just be because i was run off without any proof. you could fault my decision for getting involved initially, but i think leaving now just because of of the heat i deal with would be far worse.
so do you regret getting involved initially? Nothing has improved with the poker world's view on UB, so it doesn't seem to have gone through any type of rehabilitation
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:30 PM   #16
fortinbras88
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSebok View Post
i came on board to try and help the company and rehabilitate it back to health. if i leave now it would just be because i was run off without any proof. you could fault my decision for getting involved initially, but i think leaving now just because of of the heat i deal with would be far worse.
Why did you get involved initially?

I agree with what you said about leaving, you've invested a lot of yourself into UB, and for the better or the worse, you have to keep moving forward.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:31 PM   #17
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by billstraightener View Post
just post the ****** hand histories already

We have gained nothing from this post, except the usual politician style speech apologising with no real substance
^^this
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:31 PM   #18
curlyface
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

The fact of the matter is, the people who currently work for UB, as well as most likely yourself, have ALL the facts and should have released them years ago but are waiting to see what others uncover so you can gather the facts they do have, release an official apology, and bury the rest. The only flaw in this plan is the collective of these forums is far too intelligent to allow this to happen and thus, UB and anyone who represents them, is contributing to this and allowing it to continue.

Your only hope for UB gaining any sort of respect out of this forum is to actually rather than selectively come clean. The 2p2 hivemind loves to hate UB and anyone who chooses to represent them (read: sell out) but obviously this is not without reason. It seems UB digs itself deeper and deeper everytime something new comes out but never actually defends or releases anything itself, these forums have to do all the legwork.

Look at pokerstars, they have reps who comment in threads with complaints and allegations regarding their network. When something happens, they release it and explain themselves rather then a member of this community stumbling on it months later. THAT is how you run an open and trusted network.

Also, and maybe I'm naive, but I don't think you have much of a choice of representing another site. You've dug a deeper hole then you think in the minds of the online community. Don't get me wrong, maybe the money was worth your reputation, credibility, and status in the online community but please don't make it seem like you're some sort of saint reviving a company that has nothing to hide and nowhere to go but up. The money you see is the same money that was taken from the pockets of some of the most respected members on these boards. I don't think you can defend yourself with statements like "well I wasn't there when the cheating happened and I joined this company to turn it all around". The likely scenerio is that this company offered you more money then any other company, which came from the pockets of those you're trying to convince of their and your good nature.

Last edited by curlyface; 03-22-2011 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:31 PM   #19
esox lucius
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

What I don't get is why UB did not shut down, and restart a new company with a different brand name? UB name is tarnished beyond belief but owners still cling to it?
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:33 PM   #20
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by esox lucius View Post
What I don't get is why UB did not shut down, and restart a new company with a different brand name? UB name is tarnished beyond belief but owners still cling to it?
Agreed. New company name should be UC.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:33 PM   #21
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Good Luck Joe... You are going to have a really hard time convincing 2+2 that UB is a site that they can feel safe to play poker on. I for one thing like UB and have gave them a second chance.... I know that I will get flamed for this but I like UB and the pro's that you have on staff. I hope UB can turn it around! btw,UB customer service is the best in online poker (the live chat with customer service is truly bad ass!)
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:33 PM   #22
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Good response. It would have been better to do this a few days ago and defuse the whole situation before it really got rolling, but whatever. However, I'm still never going to deposit on UB.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:34 PM   #23
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

once u joined ub, ur rep was done.
u will never be able to change this.

but....

Props for making an effort, apologizing, and being a man. Respect.

i also really enjoyed the fact u posted this....

4. And yes, I believe that the current ownership is different from the former ownership. I have also heard constant claims that this is not so. Again, any proof of these claims would be great to see if it exists. I don't believe that it does. Of course, I am putting a great deal of faith in the current owners/management with making these claims, but that's what most of us do with our employers, and I am doing the same. Obviously if this were ever to be proven to be not true, I would feel duped.



nice way to set up your eventual departure from ub, cuz u know that it's gonna end badly.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:34 PM   #24
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSebok View Post
...If Jon feels that he owes anyone an apology, I'll leave that up to him to decide...
Why can't anyone at UB take 100% responsibility for their action(s) and leave it at that?

In EVERY discussion, there has to be a shot taken at someone else.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:34 PM   #25
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Re: My Response to Blackmail Allegations + Assorted UB Comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by iseedeadmoney View Post
Paging SrslySirius
Episode 3 - Take One
Please chime in Sirius!
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