Making good on SCOOP
PokerStars was yesterday hit by an outage. This technical issue problem, which has since been resolved, stopped all play across our sites for about two hours. While this wouldn't be good at any time it's particularly bad timing for it to take place during the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker, our biggest online series of the year.
I'll explain what going to happen but first I want to apologise to all of our players for any distress or inconvenience caused. We strive every day to provide you with the best and biggest poker experience online and we take great pride in that, so on the rare occasion when there is a problem we want to make good on it. This is what we're going to do: we'll offer compensation, re-run the events that have not taken place properly next Tuesday, refund our players and look into possible ways to improve our refund policy.
We understand that people expect the best from us and, to apologise in a more concrete way, we will be organizing a freeroll open to anyone playing a scheduled tournament as of 17:00 ET on May 15, 2017. This is one minute before the problem began. We're setting up a freeroll where 100 tickets will be given away for the $5 million guaranteed SCOOP-01-H tournament. We're currently planning to run it tomorrow (Thursday, May 18) at 14:00 ET, provided that we can put the full list of eligible players together by Wednesday. Whatever the exact timing, we will send an email to all eligible players with the details.
Rolling Forward (mostly)
We have previously explained how and when we roll tournaments forward or back, which you can read here. In short, most tournaments are rolled forward with prize pools being distributed among the remaining players according to stack size. Tournaments are rolled back if they are in their early stages, typically around 10% of tournaments are rolled back. While neither solution is perfect they are the fairest and most equitable way of dealing with the situation. We'll be doing the same with yesterday's tournaments, inclusive of SCOOP events.
The refund process will take a few days as we need to perform due diligence and ensure that everyone is getting paid the correct funds. Also, we know that some players flagged up concerns of late registration exploitation and refund calculations that are not optimal due to extenuating circumstances. We are aware of both circumstances, and consider them important issues that we will address. Changing policy from one day to another isn't possible as we detail our terms and conditions on our website, but I do want to ensure that our most important policies are as flexible as possible for those times that our players count on them.
SCOOP will be extended by one additional day to next Tuesday, so that the events that did not play out yesterday can be. Some of the events played yesterday are pretty unique: 4 max, Rush to the Bubble, Limit Hold'em... We know that these events are played by very dedicated players and we want to make sure that they have the opportunity to play their preferred event as part of the series. The guarantees will be at the original level that we offered these tournaments.
Thank you for your patience and understanding (and may your hands hold up and bluffs get through in the SCOOP freeroll).
Severin Rasset is Director of Poker Innovation and Operations for PokerStars.