PokerStars upset a few of their customers when an unexpected two hour outage froze screens across the world, and a player by the name of Bighusla has shown that Spin & Go’s can be beaten.
As I pulled sleep from my eyes my phone was bouncing by the side of the bed like a happy little dog.
“Have you heard?”
“PokerStars has crashed.”
“Nobody knows what’s going on?”
It was a mate of mine. And yes he did send me three different SMS messages, when one would have sufficed. He is an open loop kind of guy. We’re both X-Files fans, but whilst my only interest is Gillian Anderson, he is a real bone fide conspiracy theorist.
I leapt out of bed, removed my old man pajamas and searched the Internet for the news story of the decade. Had the Iranians decided to wipe the Adelson slate clean by invading PokerStars?
It was the only answer.
Only it wasn’t.
There was no conspiracy theory; no Iranians, and not a single laughing Octogenarian in sight.
PokerStars experienced ‘technical difficulties’ at 4.40am (ET). These gremlins resulted in the action being frozen across all games, and all sites, worldwide. After restarting their servers, action resumed at 6.40am (ET). Two hours of time that will never be recovered. But PokerStars have contingency plans for such an event.
They decided to roll forward all affected tournaments (including Sit & Go and Spin & Go tournaments).
For tournaments which were not yet in the money, we refunded each remaining player his tournament rake (and knockout bounty if appropriate), and then divided up the prize pool based on the following formula:
• 50% of the award pool was distributed evenly among all remaining players
• 50% of the award pool was distributed proportionally according to the chip count
For tournaments where players had already reached the money, we refunded each remaining player his tournament rake (and knockout bounty if appropriate), and then divided up the prize pool based on the following formula:
• Each player receives the minimum prize not yet awarded at the time of cancellation
• The remainder of the award pool distributed is distributed proportionally according to the chip count
Time to go back to sleep.
Are Spin & Go Games Beatable?
Considering I can’t work out basic pot odds, I don’t have an answer to that question. But I am the type of guys that gets heavily influenced by the literature I read.
Lee Jones, Head of Poker Communications, PokerStars, has written an interesting blog called ‘Another Evolutionary Step’ where he talks about a PokerStars player called Bighusla and his Spin & Go experiment.
It seems that whilst every man and their dog was crying to the heavens about the introduction of these ‘unbeatable’ games, Bighusla decided to get his head down and hustle.
He decided to play 5,000 $30 Spin & Go’s in a month to see if he could maintain a chip expected value of 8.5%. He managed it. He achieved a chip expected value of 8.8%. He also made a profit of $11,000, and whilst Jones states:
“This doesn’t prove that Sp&G’s are beatable. It’s a data point that indicates that they are.”
What do you think?
Can Spin & Go games be beaten?
Did Adelson and the Iranians shut down PokerStars for two hours and steal all of their trade secrets?