The Explanation Behind the Glitches on Sunday, April 26th
By Bob Garcia
For those of you playing on Sunday, April 26th, you may have been witness to something never-before seen at an Americas Cardroom table before. Well, in all honestly, you probably have never seen it at any online poker table before.
Specifically, we encountered a series of unlikely events that led to a total of 10 different players in 4 different tournaments sitting at a table but not being dealt in nor paying blinds.
While this may sound disastrous, 3 out of the 4 tournaments were able to continue, and all players within these tournaments received their proper payout and prize distribution. The 9 players who were directly affected have also received full refunds.
Our CEO Phil Nagy gave an in-depth explanation on news website Poker.org on what caused the glitches and how our staff dealt with the situation as it arose. You can see that article, here.
Here is a brief summary of the events:
The situation began to develop 9 days before the glitches in question surfaced. On Friday, April 17th the site went down because of high player traffic. Usually when this happens, we cancel and refund all events that are in either ‘late registration’ or ‘running’ status.
Unfortunately, in the amidst of a high-pressure situation, one of our staff inadvertently cancelled all events in ‘registering’ status as well. Every event in the lobby was essentially wiped out, including events that were still over a week away (such as the High Five Main Event).
Our tournament staff went to work by re-registering players who had already qualified back into these events. Human error became a factor again as players were reregistered based on their username, instead of their nickname. This led to two abandoned accounts accidentally being registered to the High Five Main Event, instead of the two active players who were supposed to play.
Now moving on to Sunday, April 26th. This turned out to be one of the busiest days in our history with an almost record-breaking amount of connections to the site. At around 7pm ET, one of our servers became overloaded.
The system automatically moves players from one server to the next, but unfortunately 10 players were not moved. Because of this error, these 10 players (who were seated at 4 different tournaments), were sat at tables but did not receive cards, nor posts blinds.
Because these players couldn’t post blinds or lose chips, they could not be eliminated from the tournament and ended up finishing in the money.
Our tournament team did an analysis of each tournament and how many players would be affected. It was determined that 3 out of 4 tournaments could continue to run. Once the system stopped dealing cards (i.e. they were heads-up with the winner), these events were cancelled and all players would be laddered up the appropriate pay jump.
This is eventually what ended up happening, and these payment adjustments were made to all players within an hour of the completion of each event.
We apologize for these errors occurring and understand the negative experience that results from them.
We are working hard on refining our processes and checks & balances to ensure we deliver the smoothest gameplay experience on the internet.