Technical Issues Cancel PokerStars Tournament

By Ben Hamill - July 22 2021
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Technical Issues Cancel PokerStars Tournament

PokerStars’ weekly Sunday Storm tournament has seen its 10th-anniversary event cancelled due to a glitch in the software. The error occurred after 64 617 entrants had bought in and saw the clock running, blinds raising, but players not getting their cards. Rumours were rife that the online casino cancelled the event because of the disparity between the guaranteed prize pool and the one generated by entrants, but the operator paid out. Players holding large stacks, however, failed to be recompensed properly. The winner received $208.92 instead of the $100 000 they were expecting.

And this isn’t the first problem PokerStars’ famed tournament has had in 2021. In April, Patrick Leonard, a high-stakes professional player, picked up on an error on the Player of the Series Leaderboard for PokerStars’ SCOOP. Someone had received an additional 30 points by accident.

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Sunny Skies Instead of a Sunday Storm

The Sunday Storm tournament was scheduled to unfold at 22:00 British Summer Time and cost players $11 to buy-in. Re-entries of as many as six times were also allowed. By the time the cancellation occurred, buy-ins totalled just $710 787, far short of the $1m mark.

The gameplay froze roughly three-quarters of an hour in and PokerStars took to Twitter at 22:45 BST to announce the cancellation.

PokerStars Kept Its Word

There were many claiming that PokerStars’ abandonment of the event had been a way for them to avoid the overlay they were facing. The firm did pay out the full $1m to the entrants, however, setting players’ concerns to rights. This was accomplished using the business’ Roll Forward policy, which naturally did not suit everyone.

Each of the 16 667 places received $19.26 and the remaining players divided 50% of the remaining pool between them. The rest of the entrants received cashback corresponding to their chip count when the software gave in.

This plan is outlined in the tournament rules for the site, so there’s not much that could be done about it. Unfortunately, it saw people with big stacks getting back a tiny portion of what they would have banked if they’d finished in that position when Sunday Storm ended. If the event had continued, the player to reach first place would have received $100 000, second place would’ve been awarded $70 000, and third $50 000.

At this Sunday Storm tournament, 42 026 were first entries and there were 22 591 re-entries.

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