Betfair Poker have sent a letter to around 20 online poker players demanding that they return over £100,000 that was won during a software glitch at the poker room. The glitch meant that instead of only paying the top two, every player in a 'six-pack' sit and go was given 2nd place prize money, apart from the winner who got the normal payout. This ensured a profit for everyone at the table.
This happened last month and when certain players caught wind of what was happening, many were quickly testing the situation out again and again, at higher and higher stakes. Eventually making unusually large traffic in the $1000 six-pack games.
Hundreds of games were played before the poker room caught on to what was happening, at which point players were quickly withdrawing money from their accounts. PayPal noticed the trend and started freezing withdrawals when it became obvious what was happening. Those who were successful in clearing the money from their accounts received the following email from Betfair Poker:
"You recently received payments from playing Sit & Go STTs [single table tournaments] on Betfair Poker in circumstances that resulted in greater payouts than intended. (The games) were incorrectly set up to pay everyone involved in certain all-in situations and this was exploited by you and others to generate substantial returns in a short space of time. As I'm sure you can understand, the winnings received as a result of this exploitation must be returned."
Although many observers might suggest that this error was no fault of those playing in the games, and thus are arguably entitled to the money, this is in fact a very genuine form of 'collusion'. Collusion is any instance where players act in cahoots and the table and explicitly influence each other's actions – it is akin to showing another player your cards and Betfair Poker are well within their rights to demand their money back.
Ed note: Stay tuned to UK PokerNews for more on this story as it develops.