Online Poker

Prahlad Friedman Fires back…Not Really

by Omar

For all of those who had been following Prahlad’s Friedman’s signing with UB.com and PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu bashing him for it, waiting for an angry response will…surely be disappointed. Following a blizzard of commentary chastising Friedman’s surprising move to sign on with the online site that housed the most notorious online cheating scandal that impacted him directly, the normally outspoken Friedman seemed to take all of the comments in stride with the grace and class of a true pro.

Over the past 10 days, Negreanu had used choice words such as “shocking”, “stupid” and “selling out” to describe Friedman’s joining the UB ranks on the heels of the defections of longtime faces of the company Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth. Those are strong statements regardless of the context for anyone to make about someone else, much less in a very public setting with the eyes of the poker world watching. Most people would be sensitive enough to want to fire back, or at the very least become defensive. Friedman was none of those things. For someone who to many is known as the person who accused Jeff Lisandro of failing to pony up an ante in a televised WSOP event on ESPN, this may come as a surprise.

Perhaps it’s the sign of maturity, or perhaps someone who truly grasps the opportunity to represent his new employer in the best possible manner. Asked point blank what caused his seeming overnight switch from vowing to never sign with an online poker site to 6 weeks later joining with UB, Friedman calmly states,

“I had a change of heart. It was all because of friends and family. They all convinced me that I could do greater good by signing and having more exposure and influence. We live in a society where the people who are the most well known have the greatest influence. I felt this could get me out there a little more. There’s also a charity component to my deal.”

Apparently, UB.com sweetened the pot for Friedman by giving him some creative liberties within the site and appealing to his giving site, a noble stance for a company who has been maligned so greatly in the past. In fact, one could argue that the Friedman signing is the ultimate coup for the site. After all, Friedman was cheated by factions of the company, and he knows it, and he says he was reimbursed. His signing now would seem to be the ultimate move in making others feel the site could be safe for them to. Negreanu feels differently obviously, as do many other people. But if its good enough for Friedman, who are we to judge…

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