Sebok Takes to Twoplustwo to Defend Himself

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Or on popular internet poker forum, twoplustwo.com, a thread that was started at 7:25PM ET has epically exploded like no other thread before it. At the time this article was written, the thread is up to 30 pages already and is showing no signs of slowing down.

The post was started by Pokerroad.com founder and UB.com sponsored pro Joe Sebok and is titled “My Response to Blackmail Allegation + Assorted UB Comments”. About 10 days ago, a bit of a Twitter war exploded as a result of a Direct Message sent by Sebok to Jon Aguiar who had been quite vocal in recent criticisms of Sebok and the site he represents. Aguiar then went ahead and started his own twoplustwo.com thread in which he made the tweet public and demanded a public apology by Sebok for threatening and attempting to “blackmail” him.  The posted tweet in question goes as follows “Might wanna chill on the ub hate a little, man. You + your gf may have a skeleton or two that you wouldn’t want public, no? Chill out.”

After he posted the incident on the forum, virtually anyone with an opinion on the matter chimed in and raged against everyone involved – Sebok for making the threat, Aguiar for making a personal matter public, and UB.com because, well, they’re UB.The thread grew and grew and it was becoming glaringly obvious that whatever goodwill the media savvy Sebok had built in the past has completely evaporated among the audible voices on the forums. About two years ago, UB.com pulled off a major coup in the Sebok signing as the affable and well-liked poker pro was the first high profile signing since the cheating scandal that rocked the industry went down. When hired, Sebok vowed to come back to the community with more answers regarding who the main perpetrators were. While he was impressive in his findings initially, his momentum had slowed dramatically as of late and both he and the recently signed pro, Prahlad Friedman have been skewered in recent months, with many of the angry posters accusing them of “selling out”.

Sebok touched on a variety of topics in his posting. Here are some of the more notable excerpts:

On why he decided to post:

“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 it’s 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…”

On the DM to Aguiar:

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

On allegations that he threatened Aguiar:

“All I’ll 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.”

On UB and his ongoing search for answers:

“I’ve never said that the current management group didn’t 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.”

“On that note, we have no doubt that there is way more information about the scandal that’s 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.”

Since making the initial post, Sebok has responded to various questions that have been presented in the thread.  Of course, he has had to sift through many angry posts, most of which are aimed at the company itself. Not even 24 hours have passed but replying to these questions is already becoming a full time job. Regardless of what one’s opinion on Sebok is these days, at least he is making himself available to the public.

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