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The Christmas guarantee that wasn't

Discussion in 'Casinomeister's Poker Room' started by jetset, Jan 3, 2007.

    Jan 3, 2007
  1. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    Poker Room.com remains silent in the face of mounting criticism over a tournament that went wrong

    For the past two weeks online poker message boards like Winneronline, 2 + 2 and Poker Room's own message board facility have been clouded by growing condemnation of an online poker tournament that appears to have gone horribly wrong.

    The issue centres on a $20 + 2 buy-in Christmas tournament that took place on December 16 and promised a guaranteed prize pool of $19 000. An Australian player using the handle Mvzander subsequently won the tournament and was paid out $3 829.06 and a HD television worth $2 000.

    Things seemed to go downhill from there, as Mvzander's wide postings on major fora indicate:

    "[The morning of Dec. 18] I received an email from Pokerroom informing me that they had overpaid me for the tournament and were taking $3 400 out of my account," the player said.

    "I logged in to find out that, while I slept, a major online poker site had indeed simply swiped several thousand dollars from my account."

    "There is no way that the winner of a 265 player, $20+2 tournament receives only $400," the angry player argued.

    Unfortunately, Poker Room.com, which is owned by the Ongame Network, a subsidiary of Austrian public company Bwin, has remained apparently indifferent to the mounting volume of condemnation. The company has remained silent, exacerbating an already difficult situation on the fora and angering players who perceive the issue as wrongdoing or inefficiency on the part of the poker room.

    The authoritative poker portal PokerSource.com commented this week:

    "Some people may argue that PokerRoom.com made an honest mistake and should not have to pay for it. In fact, a company representative initially tried to compare the situation to one where a bank accidentally double deposited into a customers account. Of course, the bank would have the right to take back money that did not rightfully belong to the customer.

    "Unfortunately, this is not an accurate analogy.

    "In the bank example, a customer would not reasonably expect to be able to keep the duplicate deposit. The customer knows it is not his. Same applies if a store has a typo in an advertisement. Say, this same $2 000 television was advertised by a local store for $20 because two zeroes were accidentally omitted from the price. No reasonable person would think that the store was actually offering the item for $20 and would not be entitled to purchase the television for such an insanely low price.

    "In the PokerRoom.com case, while a $19 000 guaranteed prize pool is rather high for a $20 buy-in, it is not by any means unbelievable, especially for a special Christmas promotion.

    "The prize information was displayed for days leading up to the tournament, during the tournament, and is even still displayed on PokerRoom.coms website to this day."
  2. Jan 3, 2007
  3. pokeraddict

    pokeraddict Webmaster

    Pro Poker Player
    Las Vegas
    Yes this has been a disgusting development. PokerRoom is rogue and deserves to be blacklisted on every portal if they don't fix this. They simply stole the money from the players and they do not deny it. You can't have a guarantee and then change your mind when there is too much of an overlay. Their reputation that was middle of the road or so has been destroyed by this.
  4. Jan 3, 2007
  5. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
    Any word from ecogra?
  6. Jan 4, 2007
  7. pokeraddict

    pokeraddict Webmaster

    Pro Poker Player
    Las Vegas
    PR has fixed their error here. I love how they seem to blame players for assuming a tournament listed as a $19,000 guarantee and paid as one was misunderstood because it was not advertised. This was their statement posted in another forum.

    2 people like this.
  8. Jan 4, 2007
  9. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    eCOGRA spoke with Ongame about this, we were informed on checking with them earlier this week.

    Shortly thereafter Poker Room published the following, so draw your own conclusions at:

    You must register/login in order to see the link.

    About the PokerRoom X-mas tourneyJan 3, 2007. Post 1

    Ladies and gentlemen, please put down your pitchforks and torches for a moment and hear me out.

    [editorial comment: Not exactly a smart approach by this senior and apparently arrogant executive, but read on.....]

    Looking back at the response we have had since running the Christmas Tournament, we felt it was necessary to provide our players with a resolution and an explanation to the situation we have encountered.

    On December 16th, PokerRoom.com held a tournament advertising a flat screen HDTV valued at $2,000 and other prizes including PokerRoom.com merchandise. All promotional information given out to players stated the above information; players were able to view this in the promo section, through e-mails, and on the registration page.

    Surely we would have mentioned it in our marketing if we had planned for the tourney to have a $19,000 added cash bonus? If we deliberately wanted to "lure" people in with that cash, as some posters have suggested, shouldn't we at least have mentioned that sum in our ads?

    The fact is that on the day of the tournament, a software glitch caused the information in our game client to change to read that this tournament was a $19,000 guaranteed tournament, though all other promotional and tournament info pages still stated that the tournaments first prize was a flat screen HDTV valued at $2,000.

    After the tournament, our staff discovered the error and attempted to correct it by removing the sum that wasnt supposed to be there. At the time it must have seemed like the natural thing to do, just like they would have added the same sum if it instead had been missing from the prize pool.

    We do realize that there are downsides to this solution, and have since reconsidered. We have paid these players in full as of today January 3 and have taken the necessary steps to prevent a situation like this from happening in the future. We would like to sincerely apologize to our affected players for the inconvenience this has caused them.

    Personally speaking, however, I must say that I'm a little disappointed to see so many being eager to jump on the bandwagon of hate, without first investigating the facts or background of the situation. It seems that some people just want to read the things that support their already formed picture of "the big, bad corporation ripping off the little guy". But things aren't always that black and white in reality.

    Over the almost 8 years that we have run PokerRoom.com we have made mistakes, a lot of mistakes even. But I can honestly say that we have never deliberately ripped off any of our customers.

    Oskar Hornell
    Founder of PokerRoom.com

    Bottom line for me is that this management has been sadly lacking in professional expertise and integrity in allowing this issue to drag on unanswered for two weeks or more, and in not accepting responsibility for their poker room's error in the first place and meeting their obligations to deliver what was promised.

    Hopefully they have learned something from this, but their reputation has some serious dents in it as a consequence of this ineptitude.
  10. Jan 4, 2007
  11. tennis_balls

    tennis_balls Dormant account

    fish n chips promoter
    Albuquerque, NM
    did brutaldeluxe enter this tourney?
    1 person likes this.
  12. Jan 8, 2007
  13. prizewagon

    prizewagon Dormant account

    Web Monkey
    Holy Crap.

    *Uses best Ricky Ricardo voice*
    Poker Room...you got some 'splaining to do

    At prizewagon.com our last Tournament of Champions had a 10k prizepool and the 1st place winner took 5k.

    And that was w/o any buy in so the Poker.com screw up is way off base. I have seen glitches as well though and trust me, they can bring out the ire of the player base.

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