Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Collusion, Server Breakdown and Goals for May

Hello everyone!

April was a rather busy month for me, so I have not been blogging as much as I would have liked to. I went to Greece for about a week, and that changed my daily routine a lot. I tried to play the $7s while I was there cause I really needed the VPPs since I was going for GoldStar, and for the first couple of days I succeeded, but then catching up with friends filled up my schedule. I knew that upon my return to Portugal I would have to play poker like crazy to make it up for the vacation time, but fortunately PokerStars had special satellites running for the upcoming SCOOP events. There were hyper sats of $9.18 running all day long and since those were within my bankroll I played them for the rest of the month of April. I made it to Goldstar on time, and even though I had to do some planning to keep me on track I can't say it was too difficult. Here's April's graph:

I finished the month with a $221 profit, which is not bad, but there was definitely something wrong with my last 1000 games... That's a $500 downswing more or less... I don't know if it's because of bad luck or bad play... The truth is during the whole month I don't think I got a single hour of coaching from André. Sure there were the occasional tips here and there, but for the most I've been improvising and self-improving (or self-deteriorating, not sure! :P ). I'll start bugging him to give me some coaching during May, but since it's a SCOOP month, I don't know if I'll be having much luck with it. Anyway, I am now 8tabling, I made it to GoldStar and got some profit so I guess it is safe to say it was a good month overall.

While playing some bubbles, I noticed some weird plays from certain opponents. When I checked the countries, I noticed that both of my opponents were from the same country so for all I know, they could be best friends playing together. I showed the plays to André (we are talking about 2 different occasions) and both of the times he told me that I should report it. I sent a mail to Pokerstars support with the number of the tournament and waited for their reply. I was very positively surprised that they took my mail pretty seriously. I mean, the buy-in of the games I reported was $3.74 which is insignificant to the amount of money PokerStars deals with. Nor am I one of their best clients that they give extra attention to. But still, they investigated into the situation, running checks on the players involved and sending me detailed emails about the results of their investigation. Turns out, there was no collusion in either of the two cases but the point is PokerStars takes this matter very seriously. I guess they are doing their best to keep the play as clean as possible.

Another incident during the previous month was their server breakdown. One afternoon, as I was playing, all of the games froze. Like no hands being dealt, nothing. At first I thought I lost my internet connection but I soon discovered that it was not the case. People were still able to use the chat, and everyone was wondering what was going on. We got some messages like "We have server issues, we are trying to fix them and apologize for the inconvenience" in the chat box, but what was funny was that even though the games were frozen, the blinds kept going up. Now, in a hyper-turbo you can imagine that by the time they fixed the problem and the games resumed (which took around 45 minutes), all players were obligatorily all-in! 

I took a note of the number of all the tournaments I was playing and sent a mail to support to ask for a refund. In case some of the players did not think of doing that by themselves, PokerStars sent out a mail informing about the server problem and saying that anyone affected should send a mail and ask for their money back, which I think says a lot. The reply I got was kind of funny:

"We appreciate your patience whilst we dealt with your refund request.

You actually won a seat to SCOOP events from 5 out of the 6 tourneys you referenced, as such we don't feel you are due any further compensation for those events.

For tourney 550997265 you were massively affected by the blinds being huge due to our server issues. We feel this warrants a refund as your ability to play the game you signed up for was completely hindered. I have credited $9.18 to your account for this game.

Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you."
Lol! Without really noticing, I randomly won 5 out of 6 tournaments I was playing. They could have taken that money back and just refund me the buy-in of those, but the let me (and everyone else for that matter) keep the winnings. Now, for the 6th tournament where I lost, they could have told me to forget about it since I was obviously positively affected by the server issue (what are the chances of winning 5 out of 6 tournaments you're in?). Instead, they refunded me that 6th game. Seems like a win-win situation for us players, lose-lose situation for PokerStars. Overall, they must have lost tons of money during those 45 minutes, but they made sure that the players would not feel like they lost something. I suppose it is a company that truly cares about satisfying the clients. And that in the poker world, post-Black Friday, is very important. Good work PokerStars!

So... Plans for May... I've decided to go for Platinum! SCOOP months are the busiest of the year for online players, so I shouldn't have any problems with the traffic. The only "problem" is that the SCOOP ends on May 20th, which gives me less that a month to benefit from the $9.18s. I get 0.99 VPPs per game and Platinum is at 7K points, which practically means I'll have to play 7K games until May 20th... It's gonna be tough, but let's see...

Before I go, here are a couple of pics so that you get a taste of Greece...

Profiterol from Kosmikon. One of the best chocolate sweets in the world!

Typical greek meal: Souvlaki, french fries and tzatziki!

View of the Acropolis from a cafeteria at Thisio...

...cause that's how we drink our coffee in Athens!

See you at the tables!


  1. Hello Katerina !

    I read some stuff from Andre on his blog and by accident i have found a link to your blog. 1st i saw your written nick i realized i know this nick, because i put a note on him lately. Normally i dont do that unless i have more than 2000 hands on a villain, but somehow it was 1k at you and you deserved a colour, yes !(it was 2 weeks ago and we had not so many hand history between us, now it is over 8k...). So it was a big surprise for me, that you is you :-).

    It is a pleasure for me reading your blog, because you face the same problems like me or any other 6max sat. reg. Unfortunately almost all 6max sat. players dont have any blog (at least regulary updated), means we can't share our feelings/problems/experience from this really unique poker format, so i am really glad to see somebody's writing about those things.

    I hope i haven't done too many suckouts on you ! (so sad that not everyone realizes that responsible for them is not a player but PS random number generator)

    GL and see ya at the tables !

    1. Hi Roy4lpl4yor!

      It was a big surprise to me too that you, one of my most frequent opponents, found my blog! I'm glad you like it! I checked blog too, but it's hard to read through the translator... Ever thought about writing in English? That would be cool, I'd love to read it!

      As for the suckouts, you have done quite a few against me, but then again so have I against you... So let's call it even! :)

      Good luck to you too and thanx for stopping by! See you around!

  2. he-he-he It seems this blog will become the home of hyper-sat players xDDDD

    Roy owes me a lot of money XDD

    Congrats for april :) by the way, i couldnt beat you any blind war last month :(

    I have noticed some rare on the tables, but I havent been able to confirm collutions. I´ll try to review more carefully the sessions.


    1. Hi Rainmy!

      Thanx! I don't think you need to worry much about collusion... PokerStars has people doing exactly that. Just keep your eyes open for weird plays I guess...

      Good luck for May!


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