America's Card Room Gives Their Response Following Tournament Catastrophy4 years ago
Earlier this month, the poker community was hit by more controversy over at America's Card Room during the latest run out of their $35,000PLO Sunday Special tournament.
Almost three hours into the tournament, a software glitch left players who had been eliminated unable to re-enter in what was supposed to be a re-entry format. Spokesman Michael Harris made it clear to all that ACR was at fault, and made a gracious apology for allowing the tournament to continue for as long as it did.
Almost immediately following the cancellation, the 'tin foil hat crew' were spouting their usual conspiracy chat on various internet poker forums. For a while there wasn't much acceptance regarding the reasons why matters weren't brought to a head much sooner, but people now seem to have been placated following the response that ACR gave the previous week.
Rather than waiting so long to cancel the tournament,, (it went on for hours while we did everything possible to fix it), we should have cancelled it right away. We apologize for the decision and for the time spent by all who played it. The bottom line is that we weren’t delivering the tournament we had promised and thus made the decision to cancel.“
What seemed to be getting emotions hot was that there had been $10,750 worth of overlay, and there were more than a few accusations of foul play floating about, insisting that the whole matter was concocted to avoid a loss of revenue. While I'm not surprised one bit to hear this tone coming from a section of the poker community, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I read through ACR's response about what they intended to do to rectify the situation.
Putting Matters Right
As you might expect, the first order of business was to give a blanket refund to the entire field whether or not they had been eliminated by the stage of cancellation. According to the company's terms and conditions, they are under no obligation to refund any tournament cancelled whilst still in a late registration stage. They clearly felt the circumstances were such that only full compensation would be a fair outcome.
Secondly, on the scheduled run out for the next PLO Special on 24th April, America's Card Room have promised to double the guarantee up to $70,000. While we might foresee this gesture bringing in more punters than the time before, surely the overlay will be even larger than the $10,750 already lost. Time will tell, but it's great to see such generosity.
Lastly, the $10,750 overlay equates to exactly 50 seats valued at $215. This amount will be distributed in a freeroll tournament for all 121 affected players from the cancellation. So not only will 50 players have received compensation to the value of their entry fee, they will now be playing in a larger prize pool tournament absolutely free of charge.
For anybody capable of rational debate, we can now agree this puts the whole incident to bed. There can be no more accusations of foul play. This is more than enough to show the community that this is a company prepared to make amends to its customers when it has failed in its duty of care.
America's Card Room – What Else Do We Know?
Over the last year or two there hasn't been a whole lot of good news about how the poker environment has reshaped into something unrecognizable from even three to four years past. Alongside the incredibly tough games we see on all platforms, changes to loyalty schemes and rake hikes have hit online poker players in a negative way.
This new culture from the platform owners of 'take take take' has led to the vast majority of regular players becoming somewhat cynical about where we are all heading. Most changes over the previous year have arrived with the justification that it's all to protect the recreational player.
Whether you believe this or not, there is a strong arguement that the strategy ACR is taking is one that is more directed at fairness. Their loyalty scheme remains one of the more lucrative available, a totally different tack than a lot of the other main players in the business.
ACR proudly declares that while they have offered $1 million guaranteed tournaments all last year, they never actually covered the guarantee in ANY of them, accumulating to a total loss of almost $1.2 million. They tell us that they committed to bringing back the chance to play big prize pool tournaments for US based players, and fully intend to make good on that promise. The next one being scheduled to coincide with the $70,000 PLO Sunday Special.
With regulation starting to take place in the USA finally, five years after 'Black Friday', America's Card Room sounds like it could be building into the place to be. Almost a real 'USA and the rest of the world' platform.
Described recently as very “classy” for how they have dealt with their customers, they clearly hope to show us that off shore online poker platforms can indeed be trusted, and that their pledge
Commitment to fair play and creating a safe and secure online poker environment remains our No. 1 priority.”
is an honest one.
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