While the state of Nevada has legalized online poker, there are a number of regulations that govern the operations of online poker and player authentication in Nevada. One such regulation is that it is mandatory for individuals to be physically present within the state of Nevada before they are authorized to play online poker.
Online Poker companies like Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com rely on geolocation services to determine the physical location of its players before approving their credentials. Hence, there was a serious issue for both companies when gelocation services took a hit on the 21st and 23rd October when AT&T performed a reported “network infrastructure maintenance”.
The downtime disrupted Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com from carrying out their usual mobile phone location tracking verification and hence players were unable to login and play online poker. When they tried to gain access, they got a pop-up messaging informing them that they could not gain access, as their location could not be authenticated. Since there was no prior intimation sent out to players, a number of players felt frustrated and took to social media to voice their opinion.
One of these players posted a message on the 2+2 forum stating
I got kicked off during an all in hand, after the flop and just as the turn was dealt, which I must have won since I’m still in the tournament. It moved me very near the top but since I haven’t played I’m now about 25th. I know WSOP doesn’t want this to happen but it is frustrating for me as player. I don’t know any fair way to compensate me, I could have busted out by now and maybe not playing was a gift but I also could be in first place.
Both WSOP.com and Ultimate Poker confirmed that they had no prior intimation of the downtime and were also taken by surprise. Representations from WSOP said
Believe me, we’re just as frustrated. We immediately posted to 2p2, and also Twitter, Facebook, and Google +, in an effort to reach as many players as possible. Unfortunately, we could not send an email in time.
After apologizing to players, WSOP.com have confirmed that they will look at their procedure and technology to ensure that problems like these do not occur again. Representatives from Ultimate Poker have said that they will address these issues and hope to resolve them in a short period of time.