Imagine the excitement of wading through 2,896 players to make it to the final table of the Big $2.20 on PokerStars. Then imagine the disappointment as the screen freezes when you are 5/7 and you have no idea why?
That’s exactly what happened to PokerStars player Dylan Herbert this morning.
“5/7 2896 in the big $2.20 on stars. We haven’t played a hand for 35 minutes and have no clue when we will again. We have played for 9hrs not good.” Tweeted Herbert.
The ‘PokerStars is Completely Frozen Right Now Across All Tables’ thread was set up on 2+2. People started to panic.
Had terrorists taken over PokerStars?
Had Christian Lusardi injected $800,000 of virtual chips across the sites?
Had Sheldon Adelson pulled the plug?
Within two minutes of the initial post, PokerStars Baard, wrote:
Unfortunately, we are experiencing some site issues at the moment. We are working at getting them resolved as quickly as possible, and will get back to you when we have more information.
Action across all sites froze at 4.40am (ET) and the PokerStars technical team were immediately on the case. It took two hours, and an unscheduled server restart to get things back to normal.
We reached out to PokerStars and this is what they had to say.
“Earlier today, PokerStars experienced some technical problems. Our staff worked as quickly as possible to minimize the impact on players and restore our normal services.”
So what happens to the likes of Dylan Herbert, and the thousands of other players who would have been in various stages of tournaments and cash games prior to the crash?
Once again we turned to PokerStars for official word on the matter:
“As part of our efforts to restore normal services, we performed an unscheduled server restart, and then decided to roll forward all affected tournaments (including Sit & Go and Spin & Go tournaments).
For tournaments which were not yet in the money, we refunded each remaining player his tournament rake (and knockout bounty if appropriate), and then divided up the prize pool based on the following formula:
- 50% of the award pool was distributed evenly among all remaining players
- 50% of the award pool was distributed proportionally according to the chip count
For tournaments where players had already reached the money, we refunded each remaining player his tournament rake (and knockout bounty if appropriate), and then divided up the prize pool based on the following formula:
- Each player receives the minimum prize not yet awarded at the time of cancellation
- The remainder of the award pool distributed is distributed proportionally according to the chip count
We apologies to players for this inconvenience.”
Reading through the social media dialogue, and the 2+2 thread, there seems to be some accusations that PokerStars didn’t satisfy customer feedback during the downtime. But PokerStars Bard did his best to update the 2+2 thread, and Lee Jones, Head of Poker Communications, PokerStars, was also very active on Twitter to keep everyone abreast of the situation.
I personally think they handled it as well as they good have done. Perhaps, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to create a PokerStars Emergency Twitter account for future incidents.
Action resumed at around 6.40am (ET).