PlayNow Poker runs a quarterly $100,000 guaranteed tournament with a $530 buy-in, the most recent of which was scheduled to start today at 3 p.m. PST. 15 minutes after the start time, no cards had been dealt yet, and a window finally popped up explaining that the tournament had to be cancelled due to technical problems.
With over 160 players registered for the event, the guarantee had not yet been met. 200 players were necessary to reach the $100K prize pool without an overlay. But with late registration set to run an additional two hours, it was unlikely that PlayNow would be forced to top up the prize pool to make the guarantee.
The immediate assumption among players expressing their disappointment and anger on Twitter was that PlayNow had cancelled the tournament due to the unmet guarantee.
We quickly got in contact with Jennie Mundy, ePoker Manager at PlayNow in BC, and she explained that they were notified by GTECH, the company who provides the software and operational foundation for PlayNow Poker, who said that the tournament failed to start and had to be cancelled. This was due to technical issues and they are "looking into the matter urgently."
Mundy said that this was absolutely not because of the amount of players registered. She explained that the tournament would have still ran with just 20 players. She also revealed that PlayNow was expecting to pay a $25,000 overlay according to the their player estimates, which the 160 players had already surpassed. This was due to a technical problem on the part of GTECH.
Mundy explained that all buy-ins were in the process of being reimbursed, and there will definitely be a replacement $100,000 guaranteed tournament and some sort of extra value or bonus added to make up for the inconvenience. More details about the specifics will be released soon.
PlayNow Poker is a government-sanctioned and regulated poker site that provides online poker for players in BC, Manitoba, and Quebec (EspaceJeux in Quebec) through the Canadian Poker Network.
Update: 21 March 2014
PlayNow Poker issued an email yesterday to the players who were affected by the cancelled $100K guaranteed tournament. It promises a rescheduled $100K to be announced soon as well as some sort of added value for the players to compensate for the inconvenience.
The email reads in whole:
Hey guys - thank you for your continued patience while we investigate the technical glitch surrounding Sunday's $100,000 Guaranteed Tournament. We've uncovered the root cause, and expect the issue to be resolved by mid next week. At that time, we will reschedule the $100,000 Guaranteed Tournament and communicate the new date, time & offer!
Again, thanks for your patience. More soon ...
Update: 4 April 2014
The $100K is back on the schedule. The $530 tournament is set for April 13th and should run without a problem. GTECH has reportedly figured out the cause of the earlier disruption and has resolved the issue.
As added value for the 167 players affected by the cancelled tournament, PlayNow will be giving a $150 rebate to each player if they participate in the new tournament. All other players who were not involved in the original event will also receive a $50 rebate for participating in the rescheduled $100K. These rebates will be paid within 24 hours once the tournament starts.
This is great value for those players who originally put out $530 for the tournament. They can now participate in the same event and battle for the same $100K prize pool for just $380 effectively!