The Winning Poker Network (WPN) and its flagship site, ACR Poker, have spent the majority of the holiday weekend battling service slowdowns and repeated downtime from as yet-unexplained reasons. A busy slate of Christmas-themed events on Sunday’s Christmas Eve were among ACR’s online-poker tourneys that had to be cancelled.
Whether WPN’s platform was again targeted by malicious external actors who might have launched another distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack has not as yet been addressed by WPN or ACR. The platform has been a frequent target of such attacks over the years.
The holiday weekend had promised to be a very busy stretch for WPN. Besides a full holiday-weekend slate, the site’s sports-betting and online-casino services have also been interrupted.
Issues first arose on Saturday
The first problems affecting game play or wagering on WPN emerged during the afternoon hours, Americas time, on Saturday, December 23. WPN reported trouble with its sports-betting channel via social media, while numerous customers also reported difficulties with deposit/withdrawal transactions.
Full connectivity was seemingly restored in a few hours, but the following day, Christmas Eve Sunday, brought more of the same:
Late that night, WPN again appeared to have restored full connectivity:
However, the service restoration again turned out to be only temporary. On Christmas Day afternoon, stateside, the ACR Poker Twitter feed notified players that some issues had returned:
WPN sends email to customer base regarding issues
Also on Christmas Day, WPN’s customer support sent out an email about the extended downtime, but without identifying the root of the problems:
Hello (Player Name),
We hope this email finds you well.
Over the past day we’ve unfortunately faced some intermittent issues that have affected the following systems within our poker client:
- Player to Player Transfers
- Deposits and payout
- Cashier/balance displays
- Website functionality
Our techs are aware of the issues and are working towards reinstating full functionality as quickly as possible. Gameplay has now been restored and more fixes will be implemented shortly. Please follow us on any of our social media channels for regular updates.
A couple of online commenters noted that ACR had pushed out a recent client update to its users, a week or so earlier, and wondered if that could have contributed to or caused the issues. While a possibility, ACR has not pushed out any sort of emergency client update since the service slowdown began, though that doesn’t eliminate the possibility of a server-based software error being at the core of the problems.
Instead, given the framework through which ACR moves customers’ bankroll into specific channels – poker, sports, casino – for its customers’ real-time use, that’s the area where the network’s attention appears to be focused. Regarding the possibility of an external DDoS attack, the phrase “intermittent issues” has often been used as code for such attacks. ACR has sometimes, but not always, confirmed publicly when such attacks have occurred, akin to how other sites and platforms have addressed similar attacks in the past.