Friday, January 07, 2011

Reimbursement optional

Prahlad Friedman is starting to do interviews about his signing on with UltimateBlecch. Here's the first one I've seen so far, from Bluff magazine:

I was struck by this statement: "I feel like they [UB] took care of me after the scandal. I feel like they didn’t have to pay people back and they did."

So Friedman's view is that if an online poker site is owned and operated by criminals who steal their customers'/players' money, it's optional that they pay it back. They don't have to. If they repay the people from whom they stole the money, it's because, y'know, they're so kind and good-natured.

No wonder UB wants him. He's the perfect spokesman. Their cover story is pre-set for the next time they steal a few million dollars: "We don't have to pay it back. Prahlad said so."

Do you want to play at a site that takes the official line that they can steal from you and not pay it back when they're caught? I don't think I do.


Glenn said...

To be fair I have heard different interviews with Prahlad over the years where he has expressed the same general sentiment, so at least it's not like he took their money and then decided that reimbursement was optional.

I was always surprised at how little the issue seemed to bother him in interviews especially when I think the conventional wisdom is that Prahlad's UB "downswing" what could have been a Dwan-like career. I've wondered if that isn't emblematic of significant Caveat Emptor thinking that seems common in poker. A lot of players seem to go with the idea that the first person responsible for protecting them is, in fact, them.

Steve said...

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Anonymous said...

I stopped paying attention to the news about this a while ago, but the last I had heard, UltimateBet had been sold from one company to another and it was employees of the previous ownership which actually committed the fraud. There were some questions about whether there was an actual change-of-ownership or whether it was just a sham transaction, but the "change-of-ownership" happened well before the cheating was caught, so at the very least the current owners can legitimately claim that they had nothing to do with it.

If their claim is true (which I'm neither claiming nor refuting), then I can accept an argument that claims reimbursement is optional - the owners can then legitimately point out that the players should sue the previous owners, not the current owners. In that case, should the current owners choose to front the reimbursement up front (to maintain good customer relations) and then turn around and sue the previous owners themselves, then I could give a little credit there.

Obviously, not as much credit as "don't let people cheat on your site in the first place." :)

(And to pre-empt the inevitable "lol you must be a UB employee" responses, no, I'm not, nor am I even a player there. I pulled my account from UB whenever the stories hit the news like everyone else did, and have no plans to ever go back for the same reasons nobody else has plans to go back.)

Grange95 said...

It's a weird comment to cap off a bizarre endorsement. But if Prahlad wants to endorse UB, I'm not sure that anything he says afterward really matters.

That being said, to the extent UB is located offshore with jurisdictional difficulties in getting them into court, maybe he's right.