Online Poker

Negreanu Blasts Friedman’s Joining “Dark Side”

by Omar

What is ordinarily a slow time of year for poker news is all of a sudden buzzing, and the site of the buzz is and its ongoing shake-up of its pro roster. Just prior to the new year, it was announced that the longtime faces of UB, Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth would no longer represent the site. The announcements, as expected have sent shockwaves throughout the online poker world as everyone with a working Twitter account seemingly has an opinion of the news.

Hellmuth had personally fueled the speculation for several weeks as he had been spotted on the live tournament curcuit without his trademark UB apparel. Then on December 30th, he confirmed the rumors with a simple tweet. Hellmuth and Duke rode out the firestorm that followed when the well-documented cheating superuser scandal broke several years ago. One of the more high profile victims of the cheating was poker pro Prahlad Friedman who has famously said on several occasions that he would never sign on with an online poker site. These facts make it more than a bit surprising that Friedman is rumored to be on the verge of signing with in what would be a public relations coup for the embattled site.

Friedman would be joining a group of pros which includes Joe Sebok, Maria Ho, and Tiffany Michelle and would be continuing an obvious youth movement. Though nothing has been announced or is official, Friedman’s presence on Annie Duke’s vacated page has caused many to speak out on the events. One of the most vocal thus far is PokerStars poster boy, Daniel Negreanu who has come down hard on Friedman for joining the “dark side.” In a series of tweets over the weekend, Negreanu voiced his distaste for the move, saying…

“So disappointed in @prahladfriedman signing with the devil who stole millions from him. He was so ‘anti-sellout’ and then he did the unthinkable… They must have paid him a lot to join the dark side and endorse the exact same people who ruined him. So sad and so mind-boggling… The current owners of AP/UB are spending Prahlad’s money. They must be mocking him at this point. Cheat the dude and watch him endorse us!”

No reply from Friedman as of today, but we get the sense that this story is only beginning.

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