Team UB, and How Poker Celebrity Affects Poker Affiliates

Like any other industry, Internet poker has its share of drama and gossip. And given poker’s growing celebrity “cool” factor, it probably has more drama than a lot of other industries.

One of the biggest of these poker celebrity stories has played out in the past few days, as finds its world-class, big-name online poker team, Team UB, in a state of transition.

Reports of Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth leaving have indicated that the split was amiable; Duke blogged that her departure was purely a business move, and Hellmuth called his decision a “difficult” one.

All the same, it’s the kind of news that gets people talking — especially on marketing channels like Twitter, where Duke first broke the news. And’s likely enjoying more traffic because of it.

And like any traffic surge, there’s always some leftover for ambitious poker affiliates able to integrate the news (or Tweets, or Facebook posts) into their marketing plan.

After all, together with Absolute Poker, ranks as the seventh most popular Internet poker room in the world, and the third most popular in the U.S., per

And it’s not necessarily bad news for UB. With these two sole remaining founding members gone, Team UB “appears to have become noticeably younger”, as puts it.

“Team UB will continue to be stacked with young, aggressive poker professionals who today’s passionate online poker players can really identify with,” states at its blog. “In fact, in early 2011, we’ll announce some big additions to Team UB. Stay tuned for more on that.”