Where in the world is Joe Sebok?
Since Black Friday a number of the biggest names of in poker have gone completely off the grid –for a variety of different reasons—and in this column I’ll try to figure out where one of these players, Joe Sebok, has gone and what he has been up to since Black Friday.
In between Super-User perpetrator Russ Hamilton and Full Tilt Poker’s Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson, the poker world had settled on Joe Sebok to be their whipping boy over his high-profile association with Ultimate Bet Poker (a role he later shared with Prahlad Friedman who also joined Team UB). While Sebok was acting as the spokesman during the company’s rehabilitation efforts the poker world crucified the once popular player/personality, and many cheered after he was tossed aside by the site after Black Friday.
Since then Sebok has been MIA in the poker world although he is not completely off the grid so to speak. Despite growing a Grizzly Adams-esque beard Sebok still maintains his social media presence on both Twitter and Facebook, and seems to be back with his old girlfriend, poker presenter Amanda Leatherman. Leatherman is another poker personality who seems to have taken an extended leave from the poker world. The two seem to be spending most of their time simply living life judging by their Facebook posts and pictures.
More recently Sebok once again become a lightning rod on the poker forums when his name was briefly mentioned by Jeanine Deeb as potentially joining the World Poker Tour in an unnamed role. However, it seems that Sebok’s year-long absence from the poker scene wasn’t enough for the poker community who grabbed their torches and pitchforks and campaigned against Sebok joining the WPT –whether the rumors were true or not, the WPT decided they needed to quell the uprising and released a statement saying that Sebok has not been hired by the company. Whether they were kicking around the idea or not is still unclear.
Sebok has never been considered a top-notch poker player, so his absence isn’t all that surprising, but he has been a major presence in the poker world since the “Boom” days, getting a quick leg-up on other young pros since Barry Greenstein happens to be his stepfather, and thanks to his charisma and outgoing personality. Later Sebok started the successful Poker Road site and is partly responsible for the current poker podcast industry. Prior to taking a job with the much-maligned UB Poker, Sebok was considered one of the most marketable players in the game, but after the recent WPT uprising it looks like his reputation may be irreparably damaged.