Sunday,  November 6, 2011 : Special prize of $73,380 awarded to German player, but was he playing in the ‘spirit of the competition?’
The much-anticipated 70-billionth hand was dealt on PokerStars Friday as a German player using the handle ‘koenigskeba' was declared the winner of the special $73,380 prize to mark the occasion.
Unfortunately the celebration was marred by the manner in which the player achieved the win, with accusations of collusion between him and another German player, ‘DodgeUrOuts'. The latter won $1,690 as the losing hand.
Hand histories at the $.25/.50 no-limit hold'em heads-up winning table showed the two players had been open-folding for several hours to increase their hand count before the landmark hand was dealt.
Since they weren't paying any rake, they were accused of unethically free-rolling in order to better position themselves for the mega-prize.
Amid complaints, site officials conducted an enquiry, but concluded that although the conduct of the two Germans was contrary to the spirit of the competition, it did not contravene the T&Cs, and that the decision to award the prize stood.
Pokerstars has since indicated that it is to review the format of future promos in a bid to minimise the risk of a repetition of this type of conduct in other landmark celebrations.