Hackers Force WPN To Abandon Its $1m Tourney With 1,937 Players RegisteredDecember 16, 2014 12:03 pm
On Sunday night, the Winning Poker Network (WPN) was on the brink of staging the USA’s biggest online poker tournament since the exit of PokerStars, but the event soon came crashing down after a DDOS attack forced the site to abandon its $1 Million Guaranteed tournament, and return the money to its 1,937 registered players.
Even more players are likely to have entered the event, as there was still 45 minutes of late registration remaining, but with ongoing disruptions to WPN servers and continuous disconnection problems, the event had to be cancelled more than four hours into the action. As an on screen-message informed the players at the time:
“Due to circumstances out of our control, we have failed to provide a stable, fair gaming experience. Many players timed out, while others remained connected. As per our terms and conditions, the tournament has been canceled and buy-in fees have been refunded to all participants.”
The Winning Poker Network is the fourth biggest internet poker room serving the USA’s unregulated poker market, and following the DDOS attack, WPN CEO Phil Payton addressed the bizarre incident on twitchtv, explaining that in order to filter out the bad traffic to the site, you sometimes accidentally filter out some good traffic leading to a range of disconnection problems.
Phil Payton also speculated as to the motivation of hackers who caused the attack, stating: “Call it conspiracy, call it whatever you want but a lot of online poker sites have had connectivity issues.. Whoever was causing the disconnections was waiting for the Million because whenever it started, it started.”
The latest incident has led many to speculate that the recent spate of disruptions could be part of a coordinated attack on unregulated, offshore operators. Nevertheless, last September one of New Jersey’s regulated sites, Party/Borgata, also experienced similar problems and had to subsequently cancel the main event of its ambitious tournament series.