Jason Somerville leaving Ultimate Poker

by Jeremy Olson on September 27, 2014

What a bad year to be a sponsored poker pro! Just yesterday we discussed how Joe Cada and PokerStars parted ways. Now there’s word that Jason Somerville may be leaving Ultimate Poker within the next week.

This news comes as somewhat of a shock because Somerville just started doing the second season of his “RunItUp” webseries for Ultimate Poker. The series was supposed to be exclusive to UP’s YouTube channel, however, Somerville has re-uploaded it to his channel. And this provides one big sign that their business relationship is over.

It’s interesting timing, given that Ultimate Gaming, which owns UP, recently pulled out of New Jersey. UP claims that they were stiffed out of $1.5 million by the Trump Taj Mahal upon their exit from New Jersey. The likely scenario is that they don’t have a lot of money on hand to keep paying sponsored players like Somerville.

However, it should be mentioned that some players are still left on Team U, such as Antonio Esfandiari, Danielle Andersen and Dan O’Brien. But how long will these three remain with the company if UP continues to struggle?

Just the other day, William Reynolds pointed out some of the struggles of UP, even accusing them of buying YouTube views. Reynolds eventually deleted his critical tweets, but the fact remains that he was right about some of what’s held UP back in the beginning.

As Reynolds tweeted, their software client has lagged behind much of the international online poker community. And they made bad press last year after working with Greg Pierson, a former owner of Ultimate Bet who tried to cover up a hole-card scam at the site. It also doesn’t help matters that the Nevada and New Jersey online poker markets have vastly under-performed when pitted against projections.