Thursday, July 26, 2007

BBT Freeroll Suspended!!

Ahh yes. The wonders of technology.

I would love to tell you guys what went wrong with full tilt last night. For those of you who don't know, shortly before 11pm ET on Wednesday, full tilt experienced what they first reported in system broadcast messages as "traffic problems", although the traffic Wednesday night as reported in the full tilt lobby was not actually significantly different from other nights on the site. Well, over the next hour we got probably ten different system messages, each popping up in its own window, advising us that the servers were experiencing technical difficulties and would not be back for at least 5 minutes or so. Finally after about 40 minutes, we get a window message that tournaments will resume in three minutes. Then in two minutes. Then in one minute. Then nothing. And nothing. And some more nothing.

It was maybe 20 minutes later, with no activity and no updates at all, that full tilt finally threw in the towel, announcing systemwide that they would be voiding all tournaments per their tournament cancellation policy. Buddydank Radio was a great source of mass information as well as kickass music -- ironically Buddy had just cranked up my a propos request of "We're Not Gonna Take It" when the final shutdown message popped up on all of our screens. Many of the players had already been frozen out of their full tilt accounts for most of the past hour, but that message was the official end. The BBT Freeroll had been voided out.

Now, more than one blogger commented to me in the girly chat or text messages while all this was going on as well as after the official voiding about how sad it was that the BBT Freeroll is cancelled. And I know from my own previous experiences with full tilt's server crashing at inopportune times for me (and btw it sucks for Mike Maloney who was top-20 a few hours in to the 24k at the time of the blowup) that full tilt's official tournament cancellation policy -- which I would link you to right here if my dorkwork didn't block all access to the entirety of the full tilt website -- provides that any tournament started but not yet into the money will be voided and canceled entirely, with the players' buyins being returned to them but that is all, regardless of how players were doing at the time of the suspension of play or how many people were still alive. It is a frustrating policy for just about anyone who is alive a few hours into a big tournament, or really in any tournament, but who was not yet reached the money positions in that event. But that's their policy, and they're sticking to it.

Fortunately, I do not at all expect the bloggers and the BBT Freeroll to be subject to that policy. I haven't talked to full tilt at all about this, and in fact I don't know the least bit about what's going on with them right now, other than to say that I'm sure they are focused on much more significant things that our BBT Freeroll and giving us back $1850 of money that they could have kept from us all along. But I do know one thing:

Al is on the case.

For those of you who haven't figured this out yet, Al is The Man. He is like Red in The Shawshank Redemption -- the guy who can get stuff. Only in his case, he is the guy who can get stuff done. I know Al was in contact with full tilt shortly after our tournament went down about 45 or 50 minutes into the action, but again at that time they had to be far more focused on their getting their infrastructure back up and running, and then on their larger, actual buyin tournaments at the time than ours. But I know one other thing about the situation, which is that full tilt is very, very pleased with the whole BBT idea. I know several people have commented that they doubt full tilt would be willing to give us back our rake again. Based on what I understand the situation to be, I think those commenters are wrong. There is a nice advantage to full tilt to having a bunch of us writing about their site and talking about our play there and some of our big scores there, as well as our weekly competitions there. Not to mention all the extra play from all the bloggers that the site has garnered as a result of the BBT. The BBT has been very very good to full tilt so far, I think happily worth $3600 in returned rake fees, and they have made that clear to us in communications with the organizers of the tournaments that have made up the BBT this year.

Anyways, all of that is just a longer way of saying that I know Al is on the job, and I know that full tilt likes us and is actually, contrary to some belief out there, really excited about the BBT Freeroll and about giving this money back to us. Now, I doubt they are so into the coverage they will likely get on Thursday across the blogosphere, but I have absolutely no doubt that our freeroll will not be voided and canceled forever in accordance with some general tournament policy applicable to "the masses". We are bloggers, we are ghey, and full tilt will reschedule this bad boy via Al for whenever we want it to be.

The only sad part about this really, other than the hour of me sitting around like a fonkey actually believing every "5 more minutes" message from full tilt, is that I fear when they reschedule the Freeroll, the 5 players out of 56 who were already eliminated when the shit went down will be reinstated and given another chance to grab some money. That I'm not so into, but what can ya do. Ideally they would reinstate our tournament exactly where it left off at the exact time of the meltdown, but I highly doubt they would have the capability and/or the willingness to do that. Either way I won't really care, although fonkeyboy was the first one out, on the very first hand actually thanks to BBT organizer Al himself when as I understand it he was unable to get away from a high pocket pair despite a preflop raise and an Ace flopping. Nice move, and not something I am thrilled about seeing washed away thanks to a technical glitch at full tilt, but if we need another chance to see Waffles bust anew, there are worse things.

Anyways, thanks to everyone for showing up and again for all your interest in the BBT and in the Freeroll. You can look for updates on the rescheduling of the Freeroll right here or I'm sure on Al's blog. I was in 11th place out of 51 remaining at the time full tilt went down btw, just in case they can pick it up right where we left off.

See you tonight (hopefully!) for Riverchasers, which is at 9pm ET, password of "riverchasers". I own that biatch of a tournament. Me and Dabag. Just don't bring me no 12-year-olds and I have that under control.

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Blogger Mike Maloney said...

Hey Hoy, I don't know if FT changed their policy lately or not, but what you said about the cancellations isn't completely correct.

"31.2. If the tournament had not yet reached the money - All players still in the tournament at the time of the cancellation will be refunded their tournament buy-in and tournament fee. Players will have their buy-ins refunded in the same currency they used to enter the tournament (real money, tokens, etc.), unless they earned their entry through a satellite, in which case, they will be refunded the standard buy-in for the tournament. In addition, the buy-ins of players already eliminated from the tournament will be divided up and distributed to the remaining players, based on their chip counts. Guarantees and money added to the prize pool will not be included in the player payouts."

So, for example, in the $24k, I got my buy-in back, and I think I cashed for something like $160 or so. Disappointing, but at least they do distribute the rest of the winnings to everyone still left in the tournament.

9:08 PM  
Blogger jamyhawk said...

For what it is worth, to support your theory that FT likes the blogger community: I only played on Pokerstars until recently. I decided to deposit into FT based on reading all the BBT Bloggers. I wanted to get into tournaments where I could play with the same people once in a while (MATH, Mookie, etc.), and I learned about rakeback at FT.

9:28 PM  
Blogger StB said...

Best Freezeroll Ever!

9:57 PM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

You're right that Full Tilt likes bloggers, Hoy. They've paid for advertising with a bunch of us and if all it costs them is $3600 to get a lot of high praise, that's money well spent.

You forgot one important other factor about the freeroll being re-scheduled though.

Bayne can probably play the next time around.

10:11 PM  
Blogger lucko said...

I forgot all about the freeroll, so needless to say, I am a fan of the crash. I run soooo good!

10:59 PM  
Blogger Patch said...

Meltdown was a good description. It happened at different times for different people.

My client was accepting my inputs, but clearly not passing them along to the FT servers. I had AK on the button and put in my raise, but it just sat there counting down and finally put up the Fold/Call/Raise buttons again. And again until it timed me out and folded my hand.

So I don't think starting over at the point of the meltdown would even be possible. I know some of you played three or four hands after I was no longer able to take any action.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Blinders said...

I was in the 50/50 and the $2 rebuy donk fest, so I probably got a nice cash out of all this. I say we reschedule the freeroll, but only let people in who were still alive at the time of the crash. No fair getting eliminated in the first one early, then cashing in the rescheduled version. I am sure this is possible. And, have FT throw an extra $500 in for our troubles!

11:35 PM  
Blogger smokkee said...

i was shortstacked when i crashed.


11:43 PM  
Blogger Schaubs said...

I rushed home from golf (passed up on numerous beers) to get there and log on only minutes after it crashed. My stack was at 2105 or something like that. All I know is I had 5 more chips than the food poisoned Rampage...

Of course, I too fell for the "5 more minutes" messages again and again. I could have just gone back for beers damn it! Damn you FT, damn you!

12:57 AM  
Blogger Irongirl01 said...

I set an over under shortly after 11:30 pM that we would see another message at about 11:40 or so... After that nothing. I threw in the towel and let my table no I was sitting out. I did get kicked on and off multiple times during hte down time. My guess is some kind of server issue. I wasnt in a poker mindset last nite so reschedule is goot!!

And your right Hoy. I prefer FTP over riverrstars anyday.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

I was one of the lonesome few with double stacks.

If they can recreate it, great.

If not, I believe a wash with everyone starting new is the only way to go.

2:42 AM  
Blogger lj said...

sigh. there goes my chip up to 5th place in the first half hour. : (

6:43 AM  

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