After 19 World Series of Poker Online events exclusively at WSOP.com, GGPoker was added to the mix on Sunday. The site’s first efforts at bracelet hunting turned into a rough beginning that saw two events rescheduled.
With three events set for Sunday, GGPoker wasn’t prepared for an unexpected high number of players. That led to server issues which affected gameplay and brought numerous complaints from players.
The issues created a firestorm on social media. The controversy comes at a time when online poker has experienced a mini-boom in recent months.
Players met with server lag, bugs, and more
The WSOP.com half of the series began July 1 and has played out mostly issue free. The GGPoker side kicked off on Sunday with these three scheduled events (listed officially as Events 32-34, extending the WSOP.com half of the series):
- #32 – $100 Opener
- #33 – $1,111 Every 1 for COVID Relief
- #34 – $525 Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold’em 6-Handed
Players in the first two events, however, experienced numerous issues throughout the first two tournaments. That included disconnections, lag time, site crashes, and more.
Others noted that they lost a large percentage of their stack after being disconnected. When they tried to log back in, there was a significant delay before being able to get back in the software client.
Events 32 and 33 have now been moved to Sunday, July 26. Players will resume with the stack they had when the tournaments were frozen.
That’s another bone of contention for many players who lost considerable chips while disconnected.
“The two tourneys I entered had constant interruption and I lost a third of my equity in one and the other postponed until next weekend,” one player noted on Twitter. “Good grief. Anyways great news on the numbers. Too bad they weren’t ready for the traffic. Thumbs down.”
GGPoker salvages one WSOP event
Hailed for excellent software, GGPoker has been one of the fastest-growing online poker sites in the world. The company and the WSOP teamed up for the Online Circuit Super Series in March.
That series smashed the $102 million guaranteed, paying out $134 million. Many players were left wondering on Sunday how the site wasn’t prepared for an influx of players looking to win WSOP bracelets.
The site’s official Twitter handle blamed a bug that left the system struggling.
“The bug was caused by an overwhelming number of players joining The Opener and other side events,” GG noted on Twitter. “The tournament servers were unable to resume due to high loads. We will increase more capacity (we just doubled it) to make sure future events run smoothly.”
The site apparently found some solutions to the problems later in the day on Sunday.
The $525 Super Turbo Bounty ran as scheduled with Japanese player Shoma Ishikawa taking home $117,650. Ishikawa became the first player to win an online bracelet outside the US.
Player compensation for issues draws criticism
Despite completing one event, the postponement of two events and software issues was the bigger story. Not everyone was happy about the two events being moved to next Sunday.
Many noted that they had planned for the event and wouldn’t be available a week later.
Don't think this is a fair solution, I have prior commitments next Sunday, need an option to get $ back
— Max Silver (@max_silver) July 19, 2020
Other players weren’t pleased with GG’s attempt to compensate players for the issues. Those involved in Event 32 received $100 in tournament dollars.
Event 33 was a charity event, so GG doubled the amount given for the charitable effort. Some saw that as still unhelpful as their spot in the tournament was compromised by the server issues.
UPDATE on compensation-
Event #32- for the 3684 remaining players, we will be rewarding each player with the buy-in T$100
Event #33- since this was for Charity, GGPoker will be doubling the current $177,378 collected for charity.
— GGPoker – HOME OF WSOP 2020 ONLINE BRACELET SERIES (@GGPokerOfficial) July 19, 2020
Other GG solutions didn’t please some players in the tournaments. Many argued that restarting Day 2 with current chips stacks isn’t fair. Some players noted that they lost a considerable amount of chips during disconnection.
A small number of players not disconnected were able to pick up blinds from their table for at least 30 minutes. Others believed they had gone out in the money during the snafu, later finding out they weren’t.
Some players asked GG for another solution. They wanted the tournaments restarted at the time and with same chips stacks when the issues began.
GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu took to Twitter to offer an apology on behalf of the company.
Apologize for the issues today on @GGPokerOfficial I totally feel your pain. Nothing more aggravating than software issues!
Be sure to follow @GGPokerOfficial for the compensation plan for those of you who were affected.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) July 19, 2020
Looking ahead at WSOP Online at GGPoker
While it was an ugly beginning to the GGPoker side of the WSOP, events resumed on Monday. That included $400 Colossus starting flights and a $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship set for Tuesday.
How will the rest of the series go after the server issues? Many players will certainly be watching and hoping for better.
At the moment, there is no lack of online poker for international players. There are other events currently underway at competing sites, including the PokerStars Stadium Series and partypoker WPT World Online Championships.
The WSOP.com bracelet action also continues in the US on Monday, with a $400 No Limit Hold’em event. That series is available to players in Nevada and New Jersey.
For a complete guide to the WSOP.com and GGPoker WSOP Online, including schedules and Twitch streams, click here.
Here’s a look at the complete GGPoker schedule.
GGPoker WSOP Online 2020
Date Event Number Tournament Buy-in Prize Guarantee Notes
Wednesday, September 02, 2020 48 People's Choice Event [Pros Vote] TBA TBA TBA by Vote
Thursday, September 03, 2020 49 People's Choice Event [Spin the Wheel] TBA TBA TBA by Vote
Saturday, September 05, 2020 50 People's Choice Event [Most Popular] TBA TBA Asia Time Zone, TBA by Vote
Saturday, September 05, 2020 51 $1,050 Beat the Pros [Bounty] $1,050 Sunday, September 06, 2020 52 $10K WSOP Super MILLION$, $5M GTD $10,000 $5,000,000 2-Day Event
Sunday, September 06, 2020 53 $100 WSOP MILLION$ [Final Day], $2M GTD $100 $2,000,000 2-Day Event, 1-RE Flights
Sunday, September 06, 2020 54 $500 The Closer [LAST CHANCE] $500