PokerStars has made minor changes to the Zoom Challenge payouts, as a result of which seven more players will be given bonus payouts.
Lee Jones, official spokesman for PokerStars, made a post in a major online poker forum:
Sometimes in the preparation for a promotion you don’t think of all the angles and we didn’t think of all of them this time. We’re sorry.
Jones also announced that four more players will be pulled up to the eighth position on the leader board and given the minimum cash prize of $2,360 each while three players who have already won cash prizes will be given extra bonuses of $2,360 each. PokerStars will, therefore, be giving away a total of $16,520 as extra payouts.
The promotion, which was launched to promote PokerStars Zoom Poker tables , has proved to be a minor embarrassment to the largest online poker room in the world. Reportedly, PokerStars did not permit players to play in groups during the earlier days of the tournament. They had to either play individually or in groups.
According to Jones, this restriction was not planned by the online poker room and was not mentioned in the terms and conditions of the promotion. Later in the tournament, 10 players were permitted to play in two groups of five each, allegedly giving them an unfair advantage over the other players.
Acknowledging that the tournament did indeed have flaws, Jones wrote,
First, we didn’t plan the promotion as thoroughly as we should have.
Four of the players who finished in the cash were those who played in the above-mentioned groups. A number of irate players demanded partial or complete refund of their buy-in amounts. However, PokerStars has refused to compensate them on grounds that they are well down in the leader board and would never have finished in the money even if the groups were not allowed to play.
Although PokerStars attempts to give away bonus prizes and its apology has been appreciated, several players have noticed that four of the seven players who will receive the extra bonus prizes are those who occupied the top four positions in the earlier days of the promotion and were knocked off by the group players. PokerStars has not pulled up earlier players into the slots now occupied by the group players. If it had done so, it would have to spend another $11,210 in addition to the $16,520 it has decided to pay.