Players on WSOP.com received the usual email on Monday, in which the promotions for the month ahead are announced by the company. Prominent among the offerings was a November 2 “scramble” awarding 25 seats to the WSOP Main Event.
It therefore came as a surprise to interested players when, a mere 24 hours later, WSOP.com abruptly canceled the event via Twitter:
“We’ve adjusted our Main Event Seat Satellite Schedule – There will be no 25 Seat Scramble tonight and we’ve add [sic] 5 Main Event Seat Satellites that GTD 5 seats each.”
Player reaction was swift and predictably scathing, with most suggesting WSOP.com was “adjusting” its schedule in order to avoid a significant overlay. Twitter user “degen871” noted that the event was being advertised prominently in the hallways of the Rio:
“Several of these signs up in the hallways of the Rio at the wsop. Claiming it’s one of your signature events and now you cancel?? Your site is such a joke and I will be withdrawing my entire balance from it today.”
Canceling a high-profile tournament a couple of hours before the scheduled start is a drastic measure, particularly when the apparent reason is side-stepping an overlay. This is ironic given that the company managed to create a 38k overlay in a recent tournament by omitting the standard late registration period.
At least one player did not have their plans spoiled by the last-minute cancelation, apparently because of geolocation issues:
“It’s impossible to log into your site and nobody responds to support anyway.”
Players familiar with the Nevada server told Poker.org that the geolocation issues had improved significantly since the site’s launch in 2013, but that customer service continued to be “laughably bad.”
In an unrelated story from the New Jersey side of the operation, Ronnie Bardah also had some stiff words for the company:
“Opened up a NJ @WSOPcom account 3-4 years ago, remembered I had some money on there, stopped at Lombada room to see about it, they tell me ya we see the money but you were inactive for two years and now the money belongs to us. Is this real fkn life?”
WSOP.com is unique in its position as the online wing of the biggest annual poker series. It naturally includes a customer base from outside the regulated states of operation, many of whom only access the site during the Las Vegas WSOP. Particularly in the context of the COVID pandemic, WSOP.com claiming player funds from dormant accounts is further tarnishing a struggling brand.
In a recent exclusive interview with Poker.org, PokerStars co-founder Isai Scheinberg had this to say about the relationship between an online poker site and its customers:
“I was a recreational poker player since my days in university, and it led to my view that players of all abilities should be equally respected. Poker players are the company customers – and customers should always come first.”
Based on the numerous Twitter comments by players using WSOP.com, the company is doing a poor job of putting the customer first.
Featured image source: Twitter