Glitch in the Matrix

One of the wonderful aspects of online poker is that when it comes to running the games, there is no human error. The chips are counted correctly, nobody can play out of turn, and there are no misdeals. But…every so often computers are going to computer and something goes terribly wrong. Such was the case Monday on GGPoker when a pot was shipped to the wrong player.

It happened in one of GGPoker’s biggest events, the $10,300 Super High Roller in the GGPoker Super MILLION$, a tournament with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool.

Benjamin “bencb789” Rolle posted the visual hand history on Twitter so the poker community could see what happened:

With blinds at 3,000/6,000 and a big blind ante of 5,250 chips, action folded to “Tom_Poker_NL,” who raised to 12,600 from the cutoff. The button folded and then Simon Mattsson three-bet from the small blind to 37,800. The big blind folded, bringing the decision back to Tom, who re-raised all-in for 205,760. Mattsson made the call, putting himself all-in.

The hands: T-T for Tom and Q-Q for Mattsson (suits end up being irrelevant).

The board was dealt K-6-K-7-5, giving both players two pair, but Mattsson, with the Queens, naturally had the best hand.

But to everyone’s shock, the GGPoker software pushed the pot to Tom and his inferior two pair, not only increasing his stack, but eliminating Mattsson from the tournament.

Naturally, people at the table and those who saw the hand history on Twitter were confused and concerned. There weren’t a lot of comments on online poker being rigged like there might have been 15 years ago, but people were certainly frustrated that such a basic mistake could happen and some were worried about the trustworthiness of the online poker rooms.

There was probably some panicking in the GGPoker offices

To GGPoker’s credit, once the powers-that-be found out about what happened, they got on top of it. They soon figured out what went wrong and commented briefly on Reddit (and linked the post on Twitter), explaining, “There was a conditional bug that made the system recognize the game as Flip&Go, and discard one card. We have fixed this bug, and refunded all such cases.”

In a Flip & Go, everybody is dealt three hole cards and discards one of them. They are all then automatically put all-in. The person who wins the hand advances to the next stage of the tournament, which plays like a normal tourney.

It appears from the hand history that the GGPoker software thought Mattsson had discarded one of his Queens. Thus, he only ended up with the pair of Kings on the board, which was worse than Tom’s two pair.

GGPoker cancelled all tournaments while it fixed the problem and distributed the appropriate refunds.

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