PartyPoker tournament error creates $50k overlay

Jon Pill
Published by:
Posted on: August 4, 2020 8:16 pm EDT

Money for nothing

What’s the most expensive mistake you’ve ever made at your job? Because on Sunday evening, for want of clicking a checkbox, someone cost the US branch of PartyPoker (and its associated networks run by the Borgata and MGM casino brands) a whopping $47,396.

This for a misclick in a job that most likely pays barely more than minimum wage.

The evening of Sunday, August 2nd, players from New Jersey who had been competing all week in $35 buy-in pre-flights sat down to play the finale of the Phase Multi-Flight $75,000 GTD Main Event.

Those players who were unlucky in the pre-flights — or simply a little better-heeled than their competitors — could fork out $320 to buy in directly to the comp. But only if they were prompt enough.

They had to go about it sharpish, because some anonymous and accidental hero working hard behind the scenes at PartyPoker failed to check that late entry was activated. So the tournament started and registration closed immediately.

Just 79 entrants made the cut-off.

Kicks for free

The $27,604 that PartyPoker collected in buy-ins from the 79 entrants left an overlay of $47,396. That’s $599.95 per player, which is close to double the nominal buy-in.

Upon realizing the costly error they had made, PartyPoker acted with admirable fairness. They allowed the tournament to run as it stood. They even kept the previously agreed format in place.

The glitch led to the second oddity of the event. The original payout structure guaranteed a payday to everyone who made it to the Main Event from the pre-flights. As a result, the first player to hit the rails took with them $218.

Not a bad discount if they had paid full price. And a decent profit for a last-place finish if they’d only spent the thirty-five bucks for a pre-flight seat.

With the artificially-truncated field, play lasted less than seven hours. When the ones and zeroes had cleared, “pay4medsch00l” was the last avatar standing.

The lead players put in a remarkable final table performance, using their large stack to bully the smaller players ruthlessly. All in after all in left most of the players running scared.

Of the final table of six players “pay4medsch00l” put four out of their misery. Finally, they collected $13,597.50 for their toils, after calling down all three barrels of second-place finisher “Ozzie_Rocks111’s” reckless bluff.

The final table sextet were:

  1. “payformedch00l” – $13,597.50
  2. “Ozzy_Rocks111 – $10,125.00
  3. “IReadYrSoul” – $7,125.00
  4. “ELITEMALESSO” – $5,362.50
  5. Anthony “Flawlissbinkage” Maio – $4,125.oo
  6. “phillychzsteak1” – $3,112.50