PokerStars’ event-stacked Sunday lineup failed spectacularly after severe technical issues led to the cancellation of all main events during the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). The unexpected crash also affected already running tournaments, although players will receive compensations according to PokerStars’ policies. Despite the company’s best efforts, many people expressed their frustrations on social media, with some individuals even threatening to close their accounts.
The Problems Occurred at the Worst Possible Time
The PokerStars team announced the cancellations of all ongoing tournaments after previously pausing them to deal with technical issues. These included client crashes and players unable to log in.
We are extremely sorry, but we have had to cancel all tournaments currently running, with prizes awarded in accordance with our tournament cancellation policy.
PokerStars official Twitter account
The cancellation affected hundreds of players, including high-profile names like recent WCOOP winner Stefan Huber. Such a serious problem during an event that was supposed to be one of the year’s highlights is bound to have a negative impact. PokerStars has not yet announced what caused the unexpected downtime, with speculations ranging from server issues to a targeted attack.
Tournament Participants Will Receive Compensation
Players already participating in the affected tournaments are eligible for compensation according to PokerStars’s pre-determined rules in case of such events. As of the writing of this article, the official PokerStars website, including the page containing this information, is unavailable, but an archived version of the content reveals that participants will be reimbursed via three methods.
Players who only signed up for but did not participate in a canceled tournament are eligible for a rollback and will get back their entry fees in the same format they bought in.
If the tournament has already started, but the players are not yet in the money, all active participants will share 50% of the reward pool. The remaining half will be divided according to the chip count.
In cases when players had already won money when the tournament got canceled, each player is guaranteed to receive the minimum remaining prize pool. Any remaining funds will get redistributed according to the chip count.
Players have already expressed concern regarding cases not described in the official terms, like any ongoing games in the PokerStars casino, which also crashed around the same time. The company replied that the technical team was working on resolving the issues and asked clients to be patient.
Hundreds of Angry Players Flocked to Twitter
The cancellation of such a highly-anticipated series of events naturally left a bitter taste among the PokerStars community, and affected players swarmed the operator’s official Twitter account. Despite PokerStars promising a quick resolution to the incident and a possible new event after the situation settles down, many users felt cheated.
A significant number of commenters expressed their intentions to migrate to a competing service. More yet crowded the platform regarding the refunds and shared their negative experiences with the platform. The situation is quickly threatening to become a PR disaster for PokerStars, and the company is currently in damage-control mode. The operator will have to work hard to earn player trust back, and with competition on the rise, things could start going downhill for the poker giant.