Party and Borgata Cancel the Garden State Super Series V Main Event Due to Technical Issues
The Party/Borgata Garden State Super Series V (GSSS V) ended this weekend with a surprising cancellation. Borgata and Party canceled the final stages of the event due to geolocation issues.
With over $1.1 million in guaranteed prize pools and more than 75 online poker events, Borgata had touted the event as the largest online tournament in New Jersey poker history. Though the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP) hosted by PokerStars had a bigger prize pool, the GSSS V was a major happening in the New Jersey online poker world. Its cancellation was a disappointment to some and an outrage to others.
Sunday Night Geolocation Issues
The issues began around 8:00 pm Eastern Time, when most players in the event began to have geolocation issues. Geolocation is a technology which maintains a device’s position in the world, like a GPS device does. The technology is used to maintain the legality of New Jersey online gambling.
The technical problems forced many players to sit out of the tournament, because the technology registered them as out-of-state players. It is illegal for people out of New Jersey’s borders to gamble on the NJ online poker sites, so the technology would not allow card players who paid their entry fees to compete.
Cancellation of the Garden State Super Series V
At around 8:30, Party paused its tournaments in order to “isolate the issue”. Party’s tech support could not fix the issue, so the site’s tournaments were canceled around 10:00 pm that same night.
The GSSS V Main Event also was canceled. That is likely to be a huge disappointment for gamblers, because the Main Event began at 5:00 pm that evening. Thus, 3 and 1/2 hours in an major event, the contest was canceled.
Party’s Statement on GSSS V
At 4:00 PM on Monday, Borgata made a public statement on Twitter. The statement read, “We experienced a failure on our geolocation service which impacted all active players on our network, the failure resulted in the player locations not being verified.”
The tweet continued, “As a regulated provider in NJ, we had to adhere to the regulations and not permit wagering while a player’s location could not be verified. The technical support team worked tirelessly to identify the root cause. The issue was finally resolved late in the evening.”
Borgata’s Payouts for DSSS V Main Event
Borgata said it would reward the full prize money to players still in the tournament. Players still in the tournament were awarded the winnings the next person eliminated in the tournament would have had.
The remainder of the money was split 50/50 in two different ways. Half of the money was distributed equally among all players remaining in the action. The other half of the money was distributed to players on a percentage depending on their chip stack at the time of the cancellation.
Party and Borgata’s New Jersey Collaboration
For the first two years of New Jersey’s online gambling experiment, the Borgata/Party affiliation was a huge success. The two provided the number one online casinos and online poker room in the New Jersey gaming market.
The week that PokerStars/Resorts Casino launched their online poker room in New Jersey, the equation changed in the card playing niche in the New Jersey gaming market. PokerStars owns roughly 70% of the global online poker market, so it is a dominant factor anywhere it operates. That has been the case in New Jersey, despite Borgata’s two-year head-start.
The New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP) was a huge success for PokerStars/Resorts Casino. The event had big prizes, but also awarded entry into the PokerStars Festival New Jersey Main Event set for mid-November. When compared against the Borgata/Party tournament, the contrast is stark.
Having a tournament which doesn’t complete is no way to close the gap with the number one operator in the market. While it is nice that Party and Borgata are ambitious in trying to compete, an underdog only has a chance to compete in any competition when they execute their plan well.
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