Bring Out Your Dead - Cereus Network on Death Watch
Off in the distance, you can hear it. A faint cry that is getting louder as time passes.
If you're playing on Cereus, it's getting louder by the day.
"Bring out your dead!"
Or maybe it should be bring out your virtual dead. Both reports and rumors seem to point to the collapse of UB and Absolute Poker, the two sites that make up the Cereus Network.
Since the Black Friday indictments hit on April 15th, Cereus has lost 76% of their cash-game traffic. Now it appears that Blanca Games cannot make its payments to its creditors.
Here is a letter dated April 30 from Madeira Fjord to their debt holders. Madeira Fjord is the company created to pay the creditors of Blanca Gaming:
Dear Madeira Fjord, AS Shareholder,
Since the last meeting of shareholders, there have been a number of developments that affect our Company.
Most importantly, Blanca Gaming has provided notice to our subsidiary Avoine that it is currently unable to make any payments toward its debt obligations. Additionally, Blanca has further advised that there will be no future payments.
Over the past 60 days, the Company has accumulated current debts in excess of $250,000 which are increasing at $100,000+ per month. These obligations are primarily legal and professional fees in Norway.
With no cash on hand and no prospects for any cash flow for the foreseeable future, the Board of Directors is required by Norwegian law to enter the bankruptcy process. The Oslo court will appoint a Receiver who will review the affairs of the Company including the assets, liabilities, and its recent transactions. After a full assessment, the Receiver will make a determination how to enforce any applicable rights, obligations, and obtain the maximum value for its assets in the best interest of the Company.
As the Receiver is a court appointed 3rd party, we can be assured that the Receiver will evaluate all relevant options including any applicable soliciting proposals from interested parties related to the assets of the Company. Funds accumulated through the Receiversâ efforts will be disbursed according to Norwegian law.
As of the date of the filing, the Board of Directors is relieved of duty, and all future matters are in the sole control of the Receiver.
Madeira Fjord, AS Board of Directors
It gets better folks ... or should I say worse.Â On the 2+2 forums yesterday, the following letter was posted regarding layoffs within Cereus.
Note that the following letter has not been verified as accurate, so take it as rumor for now.
To: All Staff
From: The Executive Management Team
Date: Monday, May 2, 2011
As all of you are aware, action was taken by the U.S. Department of Justice on April 15th and we have closed our US-facing operations. We now have to focus our resources on developing our non-US operations and software business. Unfortunately, this also means we must immediately restructure our organization and significantly downsize our operations.
It is a very sad day for all of us, as we have worked so hard to create a truly amazing company that is filled with extraordinary people. We have always been and remain fully committed to the employees and consultants of this business.
TBT employees will be paid full liquidations in accordance with Costa Rican labor laws. Consultants will be paid severance based on length of service. IDS liquidations have been previously funded in full to Olman Rimola.
Some of you will be approached by the business for a new role with a much smaller company that is focused on continuing our non-US operations and software businesses.
HR or direct managers will initiate individual meetings with everyone to provide full details, and we hope to get through all of these over the next few days.
Todayâs decision has not been made lightly, or in haste. It comes after considerable review from all angles of the impact Black Friday has had on the business as a whole. We are disappointed that events of the past two weeks have effectively forced us to take this action, with downsizing of the business now unavoidable.
We ask that all of you work from home tomorrow and you will be updated with new work arrangements soon.
It truly has been a pleasure working with all of you. We thank you for the significant time and dedication youâve all shared with us over the years and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
If this letter is indeed authentic, then it all but spells certain doom for UB and AP players with funds still on the site. In addition, there have been no statements from any of the UB sponsored pros during this period.
In a way, I feel the worst for the sponsored pros. If the ultimate outcome of this turns out as expected, all of their reputations will be permanently, and maybe even irreparably, damaged.
I wish there was a positive spin I could put on this folks, but it appears that the only spin you can put on this is to spin it down the drain.