One of the biggest concerns when it comes to the legalization of online poker is security. Gambling establishments invest heavily to ensure that their software is highly efficient and their networks are well protected from all cyber threats. However, there is always room for these online poker websites to be manipulated by sophisticated hackers and malware.
The Winning Poker Network (WPN) put together what was supposed to be one of the biggest poker events that would hosted on a website that would allow U.S players to participate.
WPN put together a massive promotion campaign for a $1 million poker tournament which was successful in boosting registration numbers. However, the tournament had to be cancelled as the WPN reported a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that compromised its servers.
The DDoS attack slowed down the poker website and disrupted connectivity to the website, frustrating many players. The WPN decided to cancel the tournament and refund the registration fee to all players. There have been occasions when some poker tournaments were suddenly cancelled because the tournament organizers did not want to go through with the guaranteed prize money. However, the attack on the WPN network was genuine and the tournament organizers expressed their disappointing in being unable to go through with the tournament.
The tournament had close to 2000 registrations where the buy-in was fixed at $500. This was apart from the $40 entry fee that players had to pay. This meant that the WPN had covered its million dollar guarantee and had nothing to lose by cancelling the tournament. Players on the WPN network received a message on their screens informing them that the tournament had to be cancelled. The message read
Due to circumstances out of our control, we have been unable to provide a stable fair gaming experience. Many players timed out, while other remained connected. As per our terms and conditions, the tournament will be cancelled and buy-ins and fees refunded to all participants.
The suddenly cancellation left many players completely frustrated with the decision and a number of them took to the Two Plus Two forum to express their disappointment. Phil Payton, the CEO of the WPN went on Twitch.tv to apologize and explain the reason why he had to cancel the tournament. Payton stated that as much as he wanted the tournament to go on, he said the decision had to be made in the best interest of the players.