PokerStars U.S. states suffer unscheduled downtime

Haley Hintze
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Posted on August 7, 2021 1:27 am EDT

Unexpected technical difficulties on PokerStars’ U.S.-facing platform this week caused downtime for Stars players. The outage affected players in the states where the site’s offerings are currently available. Customers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan — the three U.S. states where PokerStars is licensed to operate — began reporting difficulties Wednesday morning. Those issues lasted well into Thursday before full operations were restored.

After several hours of players experiencing failed logins, frozen tables, and other maladies, PokerStars took down the three single-state sites. An online banner message communicated the move to those players still able to connect. “We are experiencing technical difficulties and have halted play starting from Wednesday, August 4th at 4:45 ET, with games unavailable. Some scheduled tournaments have been removed to accommodate the downtime; Sit N Go and Spin N Go tournaments will also not be available. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Outage confirmed, issue specifics withheld

Numerous players responded to the unexpected downtime and received boilerplate responses. A Michigan player posting as “Tuma” on the 2+2 poker forums was among those receiving an acknowledgment of the sitewide issues, but little other information.

“We’re currently undergoing unscheduled maintenance on our site,” a response from PokerStars support offered. “Functions such as logins, casino or poker play, in-play betting, and betting history will be affected/restricted as a result. Unfortunately, at this time we do not have an exact timeframe as to when the maintenance will be completed. “

The response continued, “Rest assured that our Programming Team is already aware of this issue and we’re currently working on a fix.” The response also included a generic apology but no mention of any make-good PokerStars might consider providing to the impacted players.

Parallel operations added to downtime

PokerStars operates in the three states on parallel software platforms. Each state’s players, however, remain firewalled from each other. The current framework will allow for a rapid pooling of players when these and other states enter into liquidity-sharing deals. However, the different platforms also slow down repair times during an outage.

Though PokerStars has not offered details, the issues in all three states had to be resolved individually, beginning with New Jersey. The issues affected poker, other casino offerings, and even deposit-and-withdrawal options. By Thursday afternoon, most of the issues had apparently been resolved. One Michigan-based player, posting on a popular forum on Thursday afternoon, reported that poker had been restored, but other casino games were still down.

Featured image source: PokerStars