Server Faults Causes Uproar as Partypoker and Americas Cardroom Cancel MTTs

February 10th, 2020 | by Jason Reynolds

Partypoker and Americas Cardroom have apologized to players after server issues resulted in the cancellation of multiple MTTs.

Server crash

Server issues have forced Partypoker and Americas Cardroom to cancel a selection of Sunday MTTs. (Image: Citrix)

News of the disruptions first appeared on Twitter. Following complaints from players about game lobbies freezing, Partypoker’s social media team made an announcement Feb. 9.

After an initial decision to delay various events, executives eventually cancelled the day’s remaining games. Apologies were made, both by Partypoker’s Tom Waters and Rob Yong. However, the cancellation led to backlash from certain players.

Partypoker Loses Another Million Early

Although ending any tournament early is a problem, the Feb. 9 issues were made worse because of the Partypoker Million. A relatively new addition to the operator’s weekly schedule, the Sunday major is Partypoker’s attempt to steal another march on its main rival, PokerStars.

But, despite 16 starting flights going off without a hitch during the week, Day 2 of the Partypoker Millions was cut short for a second time. As per the operator’s terms and conditions, all remaining players were refunded their buy-in, fees and a split of the prizepool.

Although refunds have been issues, there’s been a mixed response from the community. Some have taken the server outages as a necessary evil of playing online. However, a number of players have criticized the time it’s taken Partypoker’s customer services to respond to their queries.

Americas Cardroom has received a similar level of vitriol from some players. With its servers also showing signs of instability on Feb. 9, a full restart was ordered. All scheduled MTTs and those in progress were subsequently canceled in the early hours of Feb. 10.

Like Partypoker, Americas Cardroom reimbursed players in accordance with its cancellation policy. But, as it was with Partypoker, those affected were more concerned about future server issues.

It’s not clear why the servers ran into difficulties over the weekend. In the past, cyberattacks have caused similar levels of disruption. This time, however, there haven’t been any reports of sinister activity.

Reliability Matters in Online Poker

Regardless of the cause, reliability remains a key component of online poker in 2020. With Partypoker looking to continue its recent rise in popularity, cancelling major MTTs will only leave a sour taste.

For Americas Cardroom, reliability issues could have a bigger impact. Despite not holding a gaming license in states offering online poker, it continues to offer services to US players.

The site operates on the basis that UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) only outlawed the processing of payments to gaming sites. By offering alternative payment methods such as Bitcoin, CEO Phil Nagy believes his site isn’t breaking any US laws.

Given that some would argue this makes its legal status unclear, continued server issues may not bode well for Americas Cardroom in the long run.


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