UBT Barona tournaments cancelled ! ??

Discussion in 'Ultimate Blackjack Tour' started by Redhook, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Barney Stone

    Barney Stone New Member

    Mace, Im expecting quite a few of us to be at Viejas. It is a popular Ca. tourney. Right now in Ca Pechanga and Viejas are running games about every quarter with strong attendance. fyi.
  2. RKuczek

    RKuczek Member


    would be glad to see you at viejas bjmace -

    figure about 300 players - first round two advance, second round single advance - all other rounds two or three advance - each table with 6 players - a rebuy puts you directly into the second round - not a replay of the first round - if you make the third round - you get $300 - fourth round - $400 - and if make semi-finals, $500 - if you don't advance from the second round - Sunday morning they do a drawing - probably for 30 wild cards - to the third round - figure only about 100 people will bother to show for the drawing - so a 1 in 3 chance - roughly - to wildcard into money -

    figure the final table to chop - roughly $5,000 each - maybe a little less

    don't know if I will make it to Viejas - but may manage to get there
  3. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Reply to fgk42 and LeftNut Posts...


    Thank you both for your comments regarding the current situation relating to UBT. As you both know, I love you guys and have the utmost of respect for the way that you maintain the courage of your convictions, and for the fact that you are not afraid to voice your valid concerns on a regular basis when you feel the need to be vocal. This being said, I have to address a few of your comments that you posted in response to what I previously posted earlier today.

    My apologies for not responding earlier, but I was at the Tropicana all day offering my support to Rick Jensen as a participant in his tournament as I did yesterday. Kudos to Rick for running another fantastic tournament in spite of the fact that the numbers were not what any of us expected. In all fairness to Rick, much of the blame for low turnout in both events has to be pinned on the Management of the Tropicana for not actively promoting the events to their customer base, but that's another subject for another Thread at a later time.

    My comments made on my previous post earlier today regarding UBT came from ME personally, and were made without anyone else requesting that I do so. Ken did ask that I comment regarding "refunds" and I was happy to do just that, but please understand that I was going to post my thoughts even before I talked with Ken. In addition, while I feel the need to respond to ALL of your comments Fred, I'm only going to address a select few.

    First off, I don't profess to be a "Spokesperson for UBT", although I would welcome the challenge to become their "point of contact" for all matters relating to "Pulic Relations" both internal and external to UBT, if the opportunity presented itself and Russ and the additional powers to be were to decide they could afford me! (LOL) For much of my professional career, I found myself in the "Hot Seat" so to speak, as a Public Affairs Officer for the Marine Corps, and sole Spokesperson for the Marine Corps in mainland Japan for an extended period of time. Actually, I have thrived in the past in an environment where both "Preventive and Remedial" Public Realtions have existed. In my humble opinion, I would become a valued asset to the UBT Management Team in very short order, but this is not the place to lobby for that position. I hope to meet with Russ Hamilton in the very near future to discuss the possibilities.

    I must tell you that in no way do I feel that I'm being set up as a "Fall Guy" or a "Target" by anyone...

    Comments made by me earlier today, were made solely for the purpose of encouraging everyone to take a deep breath and "think before speaking". No one sent me to "do their housekeeping" nor do I claim to be an official housekeeper of any sort. I have no financial investment in UBT, nor have I ever, other then the tournament fees I have paid to enter various UBT Events.

    By the way Fred, you were unfair in your comments about my being "thankful" to Russ regarding all that UBT has provided. Quite contrary to what you stated, I have paid my way into ALL UBT Events other then the inaugural event at lake Las Vegas. You should already know that I "paid" my way into the $2,700 Event at the Palms earlier this year, where I qualified for the Finals on TV, which they taped already. In addition, I "paid" $1,500 for the Event at the Venetian, the same as you. In addition, I "paid" for various other Events out of my own pocket and was never offered a "FREE RIDE" as you have suspected. And YES I am also very "thankful" to Kevin and the crew from WSOB for the opportunity to play on TV.

    My "Final Thoughts":

    Let's ALL turn down the NOISE a notch and wait for additional information from the UBT Office, and in the interim be thankful for the various tournament opportunities we've had through the UBT...

    Time for bed, and I can assure you that UBT is not lying next to me in the same bed, at least not yet. You'll be the first to ever know, if my bed partners change. LOL

    Make it a "Great Weekend"!

  4. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    Thanks for a well thought out post, Skipper. For what it's worth, IMHO you'd make an excellent PR person for UBT. Heaven knows they desperately need someone in that position right now.

    I seriously doubt that anyone could sucker you into being a fall-guy patsy, but in your first long post on the subject you did leave yourself dangling in front of a target as such. In the absence of anything official from the UBT front office, folks are going to grasp at any straws they can find.

    The vast majority of the forum chatter regarding the TOC cancellation (postponement?) would have been avoided if UBT had stepped up and addressed the situation head on. It's been 4 days now, more or less, and everyone is still operating with second- and third-hand information, some of it conflicting. Kudos (again) to Ken E. for being a man about it early on with his LVA post although it's not quite the same as an official announcement. UBT simply has to tackle this situation with some kind of communication or the blood will continue to flow. :(
  5. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member

    What’s wrong with you people?

    You BELIEVE this?

    First we hear UBT pulled out – from Barona

    Then we read from Kenny E – that UBT makes decisions that are in the best interest of their investors and to players like me, “blackjack tournament player's you need to relax and stop being selfish”

    Then we read from AC – The BJ community didn’t support UBT and ” If it goes away, I guess it's a case of natural selection at work.

    Then Joe says that the TOC isn’t cancelled – just postponed (exactly 2 weeks before the event) ” The tournament is POSTPONED not cancelled.

    So what is it?

    While I don’t have access to any “insider” information, based upon what I’ve read left follow the bread crumbs shall we?

    1. UBT is NOT singularly owned – there are investors (i.e., Kenny E for one among others).

    2. UBT has been sideswiped by UIGEA – thereby hurting their affiliation with online providers such as Bet21.com and UB.com – hence the dropped sponsorship after St Kitts

    3. Club UBT is an affiliate business of UBT and most likely the investors of UBT and Club UBT are one in the same (can’t be sure but it makes sense)

    4. Less than favorable ratings of UBT Season 2 likely resulted in less than anticipated sign up at Club UBT which has been running in the red since the launch.

    5. Pre-registration of Barona TOC was extremely below projections to justify the 1,000,000 first place

    6. UBT Season 2 is over, No additional revenue sources for UBT – except for Club UBT which is growing – so to award 1,000,000 from the investors at UBT would severely cripple the company and likely cause bankruptcy – therefore cancellation of TOC (excuse me POSTPONMENT) until a positive cash flow can be established.

    Now by saying that the TOC was POSTPONED Club UBT gets off the hook with regard to paying the online internet winner the grand prize: 1,000,000. After all that’s what the winner of the final table received right? Didn’t we read how the internet winner, who beat out thousands of other players, would have the advantage at the final table?

    Oh that’s right it was going to be a chop wasn’t it? Ok, Club UBT can award the internet winner $142,857 for their seat right? I mean that’s what it was valued at right Mace? But wait we really ARE going to have a 1,000,000 tourney in the future so Club UBT has the right to switch tourney so they’ll just hold that entry for you ok?

    Since UBT is having cash flow problems just release a press announcement: Due to unforeseen factors (UIGEA) and lower than anticipated membership UBT finds that we need to reduce our activities at this time. Effective (XXXX) the TOC will be postponed until late 2008. We sincerely apologize for any trouble this may have caused any of our valued customers. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

    What’s my beef you may ask? Simple. It bugs the crap out of me when companies over promise and under deliver. The 1,000,000 tourney was ill thought out. First they would need 100 players willing to shell out 10,000 each. After seeing that only 40 players would pay 2,500 at the Palms did they REALLY? Think they would get the 100 players? If the UBT thought they would as I can say is – just say NO (google Nancy Reagan for the meaning)

    The UBT had a winning formula with the Venetian Tour Stop – 1,500 buy-in, prior day super satellite, double elimination. It was the only event that was self-paying.

    UBT – you bit off more than you could chew.

    Your vision was bigger than reality.

    You don’t learn from your mistakes.

    You treat some of your best customers with contempt.

    You have spokespeople who insult other potential customers.

    You make promises that you can’t keep.

    When something happens you need to be pro-active instead of re-active.

    You bury your corporate head in the sand and hope that any controversy just “goes away”

    But most importantly

    You never admit making any mistakes and ask for understanding.

    You don’t communicate with the very players who are the core of what you are trying to do.

    Burn me once – shame of you
    Burn me twice – shame on me.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  6. TedinNaples

    TedinNaples New Member


    Fred, that was one heck of a post! Logic, reason, passion, organized & well thought out! You said all the things I've been thinking and asking myself -- and more!!!
  7. leilahay

    leilahay Member



    That was a great post and addressed what all of us really are feeling. Only wish that someone official from UBT would respond.
    One other point however--if the TOC was just postponed, why is the "last chance" tourney invite only for Barona high rollers, if, as some have said, it was Barona that pulled out?
    I am, of course, one of the many disgruntled customers, left holding a paid for trip to southern california. Since most of us cannot travel to every tournament we might like, to make the choice and spend the $$, only to be shut out, leaves a very bad feeling towards the perpetrators. Answers would be nice. Without answers, it will be a very cold day before I can support anything that they do.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  8. marichal

    marichal Member

    fgk, again, one great post!!!!

    since nothing has been stated by an "offical" ubt spokesperson. I GUESS IT IS OKAY TO DRINK THE KOOL-AID. (if you can not figure this out ubt, do a little history reading, instead of basking in your past glory).
  9. Barney Stone

    Barney Stone New Member

    UBT needs a PR person we all know that. I think Skip Samad is a good prospect. He is intelligent, well spoken and even tempered. He loves the game. His resume shows he is capable. UBT needs to hire someone like Skip Samad very soon, IMHO.
  10. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    Freakin' awesome post, Fred.

    They had a PR firm earlier this year, but they parted ways for unknown reasons. Between that decision, and some past animosity between Skipper and Pane & Stann, I'd think there was the proverbial Snowball's Chance in Hell of his becoming UBT's PR rep.

    Too bad, he'd be really good at it, and they need it badly.
  11. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member

    Barney what planet are you living on? :confused:

    I don't doubt your explanation about Skip - but look at the past history:

    1. Joep was lied to about the deposit bonuses
    2. HD was lied to about the deposit bonuses
    3. Joep was kept in the dark about the latest UBT changes

    I mean a spokesperson only tells the public, you and I, what information they are given.

    Remember the phrase GIGO? (if not it's a computer term - Google it (PS DISCLAIMER: I OWN GOOGLE STOCK :cool: ))

    I've said my last about this issue because until something OFFICIAL is released everything we write is just guesswork and conjecture and unfortunately for UBT I've got a GREAT imagination.

    In fact I think I'll drive over the the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa and speak to Seminole tribe chairman Mitchell Cypress about hosting a inaugural BJ tournament there:

    Lets see what should I do? Maybe I can contact UBT for advice - NOT!
  12. Barney Stone

    Barney Stone New Member

    FGK, so I guess your remedy is to keeping the UBT business status quo? UBT needs to become transparent. The way to do this isnt off the handle little talking heads like Joe and David. UBT needs a real person to keep it straight.

    BTW your little list, if you believe they were "lied to" or "in the dark" I have some river front property in Henderson Nv. for you!
  13. bjmace

    bjmace Member

    Fred you are right The last Venetian event in July we were at was a winning formula with the fact that many players were on Ricks cruise at the same time as well as at the Bellagio and WSOP was on the attendance was A1 which would have meant that a similar event at Barona with 10x the prize money and none of the above going on to lower figures should have been the biggest event in BJT history,

    I know for a fact many aspects of that winning formula were suggested to Barona to increase the sign ups for the TOC ages ago , The phrase "banging you head against a brick wall' sums up how Barona listened to UBT over these suggestions!

    Since day dot UBT have been trying to get Barona to do Sit N Go's during the evenings of events, Seemed ridiculous to have 24 UBT BJ tables sitting empty every night and Barona's argument was they wanted players to play cash tables at night, This is all well and good but when i was at the last tournament the only BJ table's with spare seats were at CSM dealt tables, Are any of us going to play on these no.

    When i did get on a BJ table did Barona make money from me no, Truth there were lots of people who were in tournaments who for various reasons would/could not play on cash tables, Although as far as i know none of the Pro's there were 86'd some had spread limits imposed on them and other said they would not play out of respect for management at Barona. Of course if Barona were running Sats/ Sit n Go's they are onto a money maker as win/lose they win.

    Now the kind of formula which I am sure you agree would have worked that was being spun was $2.5k- $5k buy in with rebuys, Entry sats/sit n go’s Night Beforeand during last chance evenings so using same system at Venetian IE 2 tables of 6 goes to one table of 6 and top 2 get TOC So something like a $500 buy in would have been needed, I am sure that if this kind of sat was available in the evenings during the circuit event entry to the TOC would have been mammoth, These suggestions it was felt could make a $1.25m Guarantee as most people's concern was that the final table was a winner takes all scenario, Again Barona would not change or listen.

    As you know CBS or UBT can not stop a casino event, Barona pays for the right to have Tour Stops and Circuit events, There are different fees levels payable to UBT dependent on if they have circuit, Tour stop or just use the format for regular weekly events, This is what the TOC was based on with an understanding that Barona would guarantee part of the prize money against them putting in x amount of there high rollers.

    I am also sure that if UBT had advanced warning they would have made a statement or done something, They did not, I know that when i spoke to Joe earlier this week he had no idea what Barona was Upto as he even gave me details of who to speak to at Barona for a room and knew i was booking my flight.

    Although i agree UBT needs to make a statement on exactly what has happened, Just imagine everything they all of a sudden having to do because of what has happened, To get some idea i know Joe has had several hundred pm's and emails so now imagine what Bonnie and Russ have to deal with, Cancelled production crews, Staff, Printing, the list goes on and on, The postponement bit i understand, they have obviously had a tremendous blow up with Barona with what has happened and I don't expect the newly dated TOC or any other UBT event will be held there, But other UBT partners both Old and new are no doubt being looked at for the rescheduled event. With the input that everyone has provided lets hope that the formula for this event will make it the success that we all hoped for.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  14. Barney Stone

    Barney Stone New Member

    Mace you really think Barona is fully to blame here? That Barona sprung this on UBT only a few day ago? I doubt it, strongly. This deterioration has been in process for a long time IMO with the cancelation of last qualifier and the lowering of the qualifier pay out to 50K. Looks to me the qualifier and TOC have been rotting for a long time. Maybe Max Rubin lost his mojo at Barona. Who knows. But this event has been in a downward spiral for months. JMO.
  15. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member

    Yeah watch whom you choose as a spokesperson - look what happened to the last two (2) who stuck their necks out :joker:

    Gotta keep a sense of humor folks!

    Attached Files:

  16. toonces

    toonces Member

    Hey, Mace. Thanks for chiming in. I completely believe you that Barona has been unhelpful and unresponsive in offering Sit-n'-goes and satellites and such to help guarantee the prize pool. But the rest of it I'm not so sure of.

    No, CBS cannot cancel a casino event. But they can decide to no longer air the UBT. According to these ratings reports, The UBT has averaged a 0.5 rating (0.2 in men age 18-49) over the series. That's over a 50% drop in the ratings from last season. Based on the timing of the cancellation, it seems likely that CBS cancelled the UBT and that had an effect on the future viability of the ToC.

    As for UBT, they can choose to pull all financial support for the Barona event. They have a lot of expenses in staff, production costs for the televised finale (which if CBS did cancel the show, would likely not air), as well as whatever share of the $1,000,000 guarantee the UBT is responsible for. If that were to happen, Barona would likely still want to offer a tournament to appease its regulars who were invited to participate, but it would not be a UBT tournament. That sounds like exactly what happened. In addition, Ken Eininger already posted that the UBT had to make a decision that was in the best interest of the investors to preserve capital to invest in ClubUBT. Given all of this, it would seem that the most likely scenario is one in which the UBT actually did back out.

    I dunno. What could UBT do when everything was tentative? It is reasonable to believe that Joe was in the dark when this was all going on, especially since he wasn't on the forums butil 2 days after it broke. However, LeftNet had already heard rumors that the ToC final would not be taped, which turned out to be accurate. It floors me that they didn't make any statement whatsoever once the decision was made, but this isn't the first time that changes were made to UBT events without an announcement.

    I'm not happy with Barona either, but at least they seem to be scrambling and meeting to change plans. I just don't see how UBT plans to continue the live tour or how hard it will get for future casinos to work with them if it was in fact UBT's decision to back out. I really believe Ken's word that the UBT will likely be trimmed down to an internet-only product for the near future.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  17. bjmace

    bjmace Member

    Scott the actual rumour that was kicking about was that it was not being filmed for CBS! Although it was being filmed.
    In fact that is not a rumour but old news, Not sure you were with us at venetian when it was said that season 3 contract had gone to different channels (can't remember which) So the whole CBS part to this is a red Herring!
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  18. toonces

    toonces Member

    No, I wasn't there to hear about any plans for Season 3. But I still think that without a new ToC, they are going to have a hard time putting together a Season 3. And without a Season 3, could they still do a ToC?

    BTW, I just spoke to people at Barona. They are still having a tournament on W-Th for $50,000 and are still having a $1,000,000 tournament over the weekend (both of which will be invitation-only with no entry fees). I imagine that they have got to be expecting to lose a lot of money on this, which is why I really doubt that it was Barona that backed out.
  19. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member


    When all the forum whoop-de-do was going on about the shows which weren't included on the Season 2 schedule, I don't remember seeing a thing about 2 different channels/networks being involved in Season 3. Somebody clarify?

    Also, it's been mentioned a couple of times that a Season 3 wouldn't work on TV without a TOC. Why not?
  20. Orca

    Orca New Member

    "The Road to Barona" (TM)


    The lawyers probably will eventually sort out everyone's contractual obligations and damages. Without the chance for Barona to be featured on CBS, they likely pulled the licensing fee that would have been paid to spend on their own players instead, thus the "invitational-only" tournaments.

    However, it was Barona that advertised the "Road to Barona"(TM) "Guaranteed $1M Grand Prize" and "chance to get in on the fun, and be on TV!" TOC where "Players may not be a Barona Valley Ranch employee."

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