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Have you ever wondered who exactly is responsible for the rash of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks being aimed at online poker sites?

Such attacks have hit a number of poker rooms in recent months, including the big boys such as PokerStars and Partypoker. Even the regulated poker sites in New Jersey faced a DDoS incident over the summer, with the attackers demanding a ransom be paid in Bitcoin.

Of course, the ransom was not paid, and likely never will be whenever computer miscreants attempt such schemes now or in the future. The DDoS attackers must know that taking poker sites hostage won’t result in a big payday via extortion. But could their motive be the possibility of a large payday in some other fashion?

WPN a Frequent Victim

Take, for instance, the case of the Winning Poker Network. WPN’s Million Dollar Sunday tournaments that guarantee a $1 million prize pool and $200,000 to the winner have repeatedly fallen victim to DDoS attacks. As I understand it, last Sunday’s event was hit once again, although WPN was apparently able to mitigate the damage and keep the tournament rolling.

That was not the case last year, when WPN had to cancel such an event after several hours of play, much to the chagrin of players who were stoked and ready to take a shot at that huge prize money. It seems that someone out there has a real vendetta against WPN, targeting those $1 million guaranteed tourneys in particular.

Sheldon Adelson Cleared

Who could hate online poker so much to want to snuff out the only million-dollar guaranteed tournaments available to U.S. players? Ah, Sheldon Adelson certainly comes to mind. He of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling who has vowed to spend whatever it takes to do so.

But we can likely rule out the billionaire octogenarian. His knowledge of computers and how they work is obviously lacking. Anyone who believes that youngsters can lose their parents’ house with the click of a mouse certainly wouldn’t understand the finer points of a DDoS attack and how it might be carried out.

Poker Players to Blame? 

Which leads us to what might be the real motive behind the DDoS attacks at WPN. Many believe that the culprits are computer hackers bent on creating havoc and destruction. But could it be that poker players hoping to scare other players away from the Million Dollar Sundays are taking aim at the network?

After all, the last two events featured overlays of over $200,000. Those are nice-sized overlays, which may be the result of players avoiding Million Dollar Sundays due to the cancellation of a $1 million guaranteed event last year and the repeated DDoS attacks that WPN has been subjected to on Sundays this year.

Would poker players do such a thing? Nah, they are all upstanding citizens who don’t need to resort to such tactics for monetary gain …….

Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.