The little tournament that could

At 2pm on Wednesday 16th November, PokerStars ran a small all-in shootout tournament for 2,302 players. It didn't have a buy-in or a ticket to enter, very few players observed it, and there was no fanfare or announcement. It was run specifically for those players and those alone.

This was the type of tournament that we (thankfully) don't often run; a tournament to compensate players for a bad experience.

Two days previous, the extremely popular Spin & Go 2X promotion ran into a small issue and had to be reset in the middle of the day. Consequently several players who had opted-in (and made progress with the challenge by winning some 2X Spin & Go tournaments) saw their progress disappear.

This is not a good situation, as it is by no means an easy challenge; getting 100 points requires a combination of luck and skill, especially where a 3rd place finish costs you 5 points. Having watched tens of thousands of players over the previous week work hard to achieve it each day - including player "A$Yamaguti" who streamed his epic performance on YouTube - we decided that something had to be done. These players had to have their winning moment.

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So about 24 hours after the problem, we emailed all 2,302 players to apologise, and to tell them to tune in at 2pm UK time on Wednesday 16th November to watch their fate unfold as we carved up a special prize of $20,000 between them.

We are always looking for ways to show we care about this game we all love so much, and our players who appreciate the experiences we offer. I like to think that some of the players watched, and appreciated it.


David Lyons, Head of Poker Promotions, has worked for the company for over eight years, and has been a poker player and enthusiast for over two decades.


David Lyons
@PokerStars in PokerStars news