Frigid, heartless winter ambushed the Midwest last week and drove the kind folks of the Northern Plains indoors, looking for action to while away the hours. So they did what came naturally: they tried to cuddle up with the Madison Kid, and player numbers surged on UltimateBet.


And the icy temperatures that drove people indoors apparently also drove them straight into the arms of Phil Hellmuth and his home poker site, UltimateBet, with a noticeable upswing in player action from the area being reported.


They called it a “Midwestern surge,” but whatever the moniker, UltimateBet was certainly happy about it.


“Since winter has finally arrived,” spokesperson George MacLean said in a release, “our site has seen a massive increase in online activity.


“As soon as temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, our player numbers rise as thoughts turn to Texas Hold’em.”


Accounts usually dormant on weekdays were fired up and weekend numbers soared as well, they reported.


The reason, they say: Winter poker tournaments and the promise of exercising one’s mind from the warmth of the living room or home office sounded appealing, as hopes for outdoor recreation were dashed with record low temperatures.