PokerStars Spin & Go Integrity Brought Into Question After Players Receive Refunds Due to Breaches in TOS

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PokerStars Data Integrity Team has returned funds to players involved in Spin & Go games after they found action where player(s) had broken their Terms of Service (TOS)

PokerStars Spin & Go Integrity Brought Into Question After Players Receive Refunds Due to Breaches in TOSPokerStars Spin & Go product shows they understand who I am, my worldview, my problems, and what I need to overcome them.

It’s a gambling revelation.

I want to use a food analogy to describe why I believe Spin & Go is the bees knees.

I am a busy man. It takes time to sit up in bed and write articles like this. My thumb is killing me. Eating takes me away from writing. It’s a pain in the ass. I derive zero joy from cooking. Food is fuel. If a health food manufacturer understood my worldview, they would create a pill that I would take once a day with all the essential ingredients and goodness a body needs to operate at peak efficiency.

Spin & Go is that pill for gamblers.

I love poker but don’t have time to compete in multi-table tournaments (MTTs). Cash games don’t provide a shorter-term fix. Zoom triggers my motion sickness. I don’t like SNGs.

Spin & Go is perfect.

A very quick and easy game of poker with all the needle in the arm highs and lows that every gambler craves.

It’s the reason professional grinders complained about them when they launched. They knew that were like cake to the fat kid. They knew the fish would leave their games in their schools. It’s the reasons PokerStars have ploughed millions in advertising dollar to promote them through the brands of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr.

So it saddens me to hear that PokerStars may have a problem.


PokerNews got their hands on an e-mail issued to a selection of Spin & Go players written by PokerStars Game Integrity Team. It advised them that they had become aware of a ‘violation’ of their Terms of Service (TOS) and that as they {e-mail receiver} participated in games that were ‘adversely affected’ they were having a portion of their funds returned.

We are not talking about a few cents here and there. According to the sterling work undertaken by Jason Glatzer, players posting on popular poker forums are talking about four figure sums.

Five years ago I was at a BBQ when the conversation turned to ‘work’. After telling people that I worked in the poker industry, one young man said that online poker was fixed. I laughed him out of the garden.

A year ago I was playing in a live game at a casino in Cardiff when the conversation turned to game integrity. It surprised me that over half of my table no longer played online poker because they couldn’t trust the organiser to provide a safe and secure environment.

What PokerStars have done, by finding the problem, and then returning the money to those affected is honourable. But they haven’t done enough. In some quarters, trust has eroded to a level that is about to snap. PokerStars need to explain to all 60 million plus users of their products what TOS’s have been violated, how they happened, and what they are doing to ensure it won’t happen again.

Going back to that e-mail:

“We regret that we will be unable to answer questions as to how your specific credit amount was calculated. Likewise, we are not at liberty to identify the specific games or player(s) in question. Suffice to say that the offender(s) have been barred from the site and you will not encounter them again.”

I don’t think this is good enough.

Data Mining

Without explanation people guess.

My guess was a data mining problem. It’s an issue that was raised by the Spin & Go community after they began to suspect that the matches weren’t as exciting as the levels of viewers would suggest.

Grinders on Two Plus Two alerted PokerStars to this potential problem. PokerStars said they would try and do something about it Q1 2016. We are well past that sell by date, and I can’t remember seeing anything released from Stars on the issue.

However, I’m not sure it’s a data mining problem. PokerStars state, ‘The offender(s) have been barred from the site and you will not encounter them again,’ and, ‘In a case such as this, it is our policy to confiscate the balances of the offender(s)’.

These don’t seem like the words and phrases to use when dealing with an issue of data mining. Instead, it seems like blatant in-game cheating. Also, if it were data mining wouldn’t everyone across the board get a refund?

So what is it Stars?

Please let us little fishes have your answer, because until then, we don’t know if it’s safe to go back into the water?


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