Recently, there has been a huge buzz about PokerStar’s 70th Billion Hand promotion. Over the course of the past few weeks, the online poker website counted down to the deal of its 70th billion poker hand, awarding prizes for every milestone hand along the way. The prize for those involved in the 70th billion hand was a $70 000 grand prize, but controversy has scandalized the competition.
The award was handed out to two players who were soft-folding hands on 24 heads- up tables for at least 15 minutes. Soft-folding requires the small blind to fold their hand to the big blind as a quickly as possible, so the hand is not played out in any fashion. When the two players hit the 70th billion hand, they played it out: AJ vs. A5.
According to PokerStars, the two players were going through hands every three seconds. In the 15 minutes that they were playing, they could have played up to 50 000 hands. Upon hearing this news, poker players on forums around the world called on PokerStars to reclaim the prize from the ‘winners’.
After launching an investigation, PokerStars announced that the behaviour of the players did not actually violate any of the operator’s terms or conditions. However, the company has announced that it will be reviewing its regulations and the promotion’s format to ensure that a similar situation does not take place in the future.