Americas Cardroom was bashed this week by multiple poker players over Twitter because of glitches the U.S. facing cardroom experienced last Sunday, April 26th.
We wanted to get the full story, so we asked WPN CEO Phil Nagy to tell us what happened in his own words.
This is what he had to say:
So, here are the facts of what happened, why it happened, and how we decided to handle it.
Friday, April 17th
- Our servers got overloaded due to an influx of player traffic which forced us to cancel the tournaments that were running or in late registration.
- In the heat of the moment of the site crash, one of my tournament staff made a mistake. Instead of canceling just those events, they also canceled every event that was in ‘registering’ status (this includes all events that were days, weeks, or months away, like the High Five Main Event, and even the Venom in July).
- Lots of these events had players already registered, who had either won a satellite or registered early.
- Our tournament staff started reregistering these players into the events that were canceled, but instead of registering them by their player nickname, they registered them by username. This was also a mistake.
Before I continue, I want to clarify that at this point, we have made two mistakes. I want to highlight this so everyone who makes a living on YouTube or Twitter bashing other people’s mistakes can find them easier.
- Of the 62 players that were preregistered in the High Five Main Event, 2 nicknames of active accounts that were supposed to play, were identical to 2 abandoned accounts from our old software platform (when we used usernames) that we migrated over.
- These old, abandoned accounts had no screen names as they had never played a hand before. These usernames (separate from screen names) of these accounts are: ‘Sharewifey’ and ‘Riverking7777’.
Fast forward to the day the glitches happened:
Sunday, April 26th
- One of our busiest days ever.
- At peak time, one of our game servers became overloaded and all but 10 players from 733 tables were successfully moved to another server without disruption of gameplay.
- 10 players were not moved successfully. We are still investigating why these 10 players were not moved and will release our findings as soon as we have them.
- Here are the screen names of these 10 players: sickwithit9, LordAzriel5, Manrifle, sickeveryday, 8wally6, OMG_BANSKY, Ivanes230798, Mike1979, DenikS, Riverking7777.
- None of the players stuck on the unreachable server were able to be dealt in or post blinds at the tournaments they were in previous to the crash, though they were sitting at the table.
- ‘Riverking7777’ who was in the High Five Main Event, is included among those stuck on the unreachable server. Because this was an inactive username who had never created a nickname, the template remained blank as he sat at the table
- The aforementioned ‘Sharewifey’ had been blinded out of the High Five Main Event. ‘Riverking7777’ had remained in as he had won some hands by players folding to him in the big blind.
When we realized that these players were sitting at tables and not actually playing, we immediately contacted our development team.
This was the crux of the conversation:
“They won’t get dealt cards? No”
“They won’t post blinds? No”
“They will ladder up? Yes”
“They will get paid? Yes.”
At this point, we had to decide what to do on a case-by-case basis per tourney, based on what was best for all players in the events and the overall impact on them.
Tournaments and decision:
1. The Beast $100k GTD: This tournament faced the biggest problem. Of the 10 players that were stuck on the impacted server, 6 of them were registered in this tournament and at the same table.
Decision: cancel event and refund
2. The $8k GTD Daily: Two stuck players remained in this tournament at separate tables. They were Ivanes230787 and Mike1979.
Decision: Let it finish. Once down to 3 players (winner and 2 stuck players, stop event and ladder everyone up 2 spots.
3. The $50k GTD: One stuck player was in this event, DenikS.
Decision: Let it finish. Once down to 2 players (winner and 1 stuck), stop the event and ladder everyone up 1 spot.
4. The $840k High Five Main Event #98: The last stuck player was ‘Riverking7777’, who showed as a blank name. (reason previously explained)
Decision: Let it run. Once down to 2 players (winner and 1 stuck), stop the event and ladder everyone up 1 spot.
- The 9 out of 10 players who were sat at the tables that could not play because of the server issue received full refunds. (The 10th was the inactive account)
- For the 3 out of 4 events that we let run, everyone was laddered up accordingly immediately after the event finished, and no one lost money due to the players who were stuck on the unreachable server.
- Everyone in the 4th event that was canceled was fully refunded their buy-in.
I would like to apologize to the 9 players that were directly affected.
Throughout this past week, we have seen countless videos, conspiracy theories, and hit pieces come in from all over the internet. I’ve given you the facts to clear up the clickbait nonsense that is simply #badforpoker.
We will continue to provide verifiable data on situations like this when they arise. Our policy is to be open with these situations and make whole the impacted players as quickly as possible.
We understand the impact of these technical issues and hate it as much as our players do. Our new software is one year old, and operating at traffic we’ve never seen before. We’re working very quickly to solve these issues related to increased traffic. It is a process.
While not perfect, we were encouraged with the progress of having these events continue, finish, and award players life-changing winnings. On our old platform, all the events would have been canceled, and players would not have been able to finish the millions of dollars in tournament winnings that day.
We’re looking forward to continued growth. Poker is only good when it’s big. Our goal is to give players the biggest guarantees on the best software and be #goodforpoker.
We are on that path.
Phil Nagy/WPN CEO