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Online poker betrayal - Justin Boron

I threw down the plastic for an Apple iBook recently. Admittedly, I was desperate to join the Revolution. I don't have any good reasons like graphic designers and photographers have for choosing the more "user-friendly system." I was just motivated by the pathetic urge to be fashionable and was eager to ride the powerful wave of change coming out of the Jobs clan.

Well, the crest of that wave broke for me this week when I found out that my online gambling institution and Bill Gates were in cahoots to steer this swelling Apple craze into the doldrums.

Ultimate Bet Poker (UB) is "where virtually everyone plays poker," they claim on their Web site. I guess "virtually" means everyone except those who use Apples.

As I attempted to download, the UB software, I was stunned to find out their program is not compatible with the iBook.

The alternative provided by the people at Ultimate Bet is a cruel slap in the face. In order to continue playing there on my new computer, I've got to buy a $250 conversion program from guess who, Bill Gates and his insidious crowd at Microsoft.

UB conveniently has a link to a Microsoft Web Site where I can buy the software. I've never been so humiliated in life. I had been loyal to UB, championing their poker institution as the cream of the online gambling crop.

This was an icy betrayal indeed, on par with the likes of the Boston and Nomar Garciaparra debacle. The bad part is I became so loyal that taking my money elsewhere would result in a worse defeat.

Having to sign up with some second-rate online gambling company is like moving from the sheik Bellagio sports book to the cut-rate Frontier, where they post their lines on a dry-erase board.

Moving from crystal glasses brimful of Makers Mark whiskey, to plastic cups of cola with a few drops of whatever they have behind the bar, is a difficult disparity to embrace.

Not to mention, when you're sitting in plush leather chairs you tend to have more confidence in the casino's ability to pay, than if you're trying to recline on some folding chair dragged out of the hotel conference room.

But that's what I'm up against right now. Do I leave the streamlined interface of Ultimate Bet for the caricature of poker playing at places like Party Poker, or do I bite my tongue and turn the other cheek?

Neither, I'm going to try a different route. I've got an excellent group of computer geeks working 24 hours a day to find me pirated software.

With a little luck, I might just take down Gates and his army of miscreants trying corner Apple out of the online gambling market.

Justin Boron is the government and politics reporter for the News-Daily. He can be reached at .