confirms DDoS attacks, reschedules cancelled WCOOP mains for November

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: September 26, 2022 7:41 pm EDT

Hours after an extended downtime that forced the cancellation of its three World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) main events, has confirmed that the “technical issues” the site battled on Sunday and early Monday were indeed malicious DDoS attacks launched by outside actors against the site’s servers.

The three WCOOP mains, including the $10,300 NLHE High Roller World Championship, were among dozens of prominent tournaments that PokerStars was forced to cancel after the attack ground traffic on the site to a halt. The site resumed full operations during Monday daytime hours.

An announcement published on the PokerStars blog offered a brief overview of what unfolded on Sunday. “Over the past 24 hours, we have experienced technical issues caused by Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that have resulted in temporary site outages,” PokerStars offered. “We can confirm that all our customers’ accounts are safe and their personal information secure, with no signs of any cyber breach. Our teams are working to counter the issue and look after customers whose play may have been affected.” The full statement released by is available here.

As indicated by PokerStars, such DDoS attacks generally do not involve any hacking into or theft of users’ personal information but are instead an extortion-based ploy that disrupts commercial traffic for gain. Online-gambling sites of all flavors are among the most common targets of such external attacks, which are often timed to cause maximum disruption.

“We have a great track record of keeping our platform operational, however we know how frustrating it can be to experience this kind of disruption, especially during our WCOOP and Galactic series. We’d like to apologise to everyone affected and thank them for their patience,” added PokerStars.

WCOOP mains rescheduled to November 5

It remains important for PokerStars to have the 2022 WCOOP main events run successfully at some point, given the series’ long and important history within the annals of line poker. Rather than run the replacement WCOOP events at the earliest opportunity, however, PokerStars has chosen to push the rescheduled events back to Saturday, November 5, 2022.

One victim of Sunday’s DDoS attack won’t be rescheduled, however. PokerStars’ Southern Europe platform, serving players in France, Spain, and Portugal, was also disrupted by the attack, causing the cancellation of that platform’s Galactic Series Main Event. The Southern Europe players will receive an extra Sunday Million tourney, scheduled for November 6.

“We are not going to let these actions prevent us from crowning 2022 WCOOP Main Event Champions and are now planning to run the Main Events on the weekend of November 5. There WILL be champions in 2022!” wrote PokerStars.

Stars will also address issues caused by the extended downtime on what was to be one of the site’s busiest days of the year. Various monthly challenges and bonuses were impacted, and Stars plans to make adjustments to compensate players for any lost opportunities.

Featured image source: PokerStars