PokerStars Plans Two-Day WCOOP Sequel After DDoS Attacks Lead to Tournament Cancelations

The World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is getting a bit of a sequel this fall at PokerStars. After having to cancel tournaments over the weekend, the site is planning to re-run the WCOOP Main Events and other tournaments as part of a special Championship Weekend Nov. 5-6.

The series also plans to boost guarantees for several events as well. The move comes after Stars saw numerous hacking attempts over the weekend. The two-day mini WCOOP offers a chance for players to get back in on any missed events.

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WCOOP briefly resuming in November at PokerStars

The two-day return of WCOOP is a bit of an unusual situation for online poker. The Stars festival will start on Saturday, Nov. 5. The series will include reruns of all canceled events from Sept. 25 and players can look for the return of:

“To ensure a great WCOOP experience, all the NLHE Main Events will offer players boosted guarantees,” the company noted in a news release.

PokerStars will also run freerolls and added value satellites in the coming weeks. As part of the action, Stars is even adding more to the schedule. Players can expect additional events “to ensure players have plenty of options to choose from.”

PokerStars plans to release more details on the two-day WCOOP in the coming weeks.

Major Sunday events shut down

Beginning on Sunday, Stars players saw major delays in tournaments. The events couldn’t have come at a worse time with the massive series underway.

The WCOOP is one of the biggest events in online poker and some of the site’s major championship events were affected.

“We have paused all tournaments on the .com client whilst we deal with some technical issues,” the company Tweeted initially. “We will update here as soon as we can, sorry for any inconvenience.”

The technical issues continued and the site later announced that all tournaments would be canceled. Players involved in any action that was stopped would receive payouts or refunds based on the Stars cancellation policy.

PokerSats support announced on Monday that DDoS attacks caused the issues. The Stars team hoped to assure users that any personal data on the site was safe.

“We can confirm that all our customers’ accounts are safe and their personal information secure, with no signs of any cyber breach,” the company noted on the PokerStars blog. “Our teams are working to counter the issue and look after customers whose play may have been affected.”

What’s a DDoS attack?

PokerStars certainly isn’t the only company to become the victim of these types of hacking attempts. DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service and involves criminals looking to gain access to other computer networks.

“A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack occurs when multiple machines are operating together to attack one target,” the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency notes. “DDoS attackers often leverage the use of a botnet – a group of hijacked Internet-connected devices to carry out large-scale attacks.

“Attackers take advantage of security vulnerabilities or device weaknesses to control numerous devices using command and control software. Once in control, an attacker can command their botnet to conduct DDoS on a target. In this case, the infected devices are also victims of the attack.”

PokerStars support officials believe the issue is now resolved and behind them. The new mini WCOOP offers a chance to at least complete the series and play out the canceled events.

“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,” the company noted. “We’d like to apologize to everyone affected and thank them for their patience.”

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