September is often a huge month for the online poker industry and this is largely due to the fact that it features a number of huge or high-profile online poker tournaments. Each of these tournaments not only features massive participation or attendance but also boast of the biggest guarantees. With over $150 million in guarantees being on offer, it is quite easy to see why these tournaments are as big of a deal as they are.
While some of the world’s top online poker sites have been leading the market with their lucrative and action-packed tournaments, things have not been going completely well for these poker rooms. To put this into perspective, PokerStars GGNetwork and PartyPoker, some of the biggest online poker operators on the planet, have been duking it out to bring the largest number of players to their tournaments. To achieve this, they have been aggressively competing at adding more and more money to their guarantees. While this seems to be working quite well in their favor, it has come at a cost.
Are The Guarantees Too High?
A number of notable issues have already come up with regards to the incredibly huge guarantees that each of the online poker operators has placed into their tournaments. For instance, during the very early stages of its popular KO Series, partypoker was unfortunately not able to meet some of the guarantees it had set.
The KO Series as attracted a lot more attention since then but it goes without saying that the first day was a huge let-down in as far as buy-ins were concerned. The online poker operator’s executives were obviously not very happy about the shortfall of $250,00 that was registered at the time.
Minor Glitches Pose Huge Threats
While partypoker was dealing with lacking buy-ins during the first day, PokerStars faced an unexpected glitch that almost sent its $75 million World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) into total disarray. Players raised complaints about being locked out. This was certainly a frustrating experience for the poker players especially considering the money that was at stake and the lack of communication from PokerStars did not make the situation any better.
The GGNetwork did not report any issues with strong numbers being posted by its tournament. In fact, despite the fact that some events were even canceled due to scheduling errors, players have already banked over $25 million in prize money at the mid-point of the event.
Tournaments are certainly a big part of the online poker industry and they are definitely bound to get bigger and bolder. That said, it might be the right for more controls to be put in place especially considering the rapid growth of legalized online poker in the US. With states like Pennsylvania preparing to launch their online poker industries it will be very interesting to see how things turn out going forward.