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PokerStars UK Locked My Account + Bug Annoyances After Conversion

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I updated my PokerStars account to the UK version, and since then it has been nothing but trouble.

The first bug I encountered was where hand histories were saved and titled. No problems, one minute to figure out and another to update HEM to the new directory so my HUD would work.

The second bug I encountered was with transfers. I couldn't transfer in or out for two days. There was a workaround with FTP which remained unaffected.

The third and most serious bug has apparently lead to my account being locked and my money facing confiscation. I was playing at Holland Casino watching an action player play spin and goes whilst in a live plo game. So I spent two hours or so trying to figure out why the new PokerStars UK app wouldn't load. As it turns out it has some weird issue with lack of storage space and hangs. After deleting a few things it seemed to load.


So the casino closed and I was waiting 4 hours for a train back to Wijk aan Zee I decided to check out the mobile client in the midst of Leidseplein Saturday night mayhem. I watched a presumed drug dealer get done up by the Politie in front of the McDonalds, took a few picks of the sign warning "Dangerous Cocaine Being Sold To Tourists" (News in Dutch: http://tinyurl.com/pzlxagw), and went to find a seat to lose some more money playing zoom. See graph:


So I forgot I was logged in back in the room and I thought I wouldn't be able to play after reading some threads here, but I emailed anyway and within 5 minutes they wrote back saying they had logged me out. Not bad customer support at all!

I logged in and tried to play. No dice. Error again. Sheesh. Is it actually possible to play on mobile?


So after that I email them and say I can't play as a bug report. I then logon to the station free wifi at Amsterdam Centraal and get in a few hands before wearily getting back well after sunsrise. The trains on Sunday start over an hour later.

This is where the problems begin I think. As you can see from the screenshot I am using T-Mobile NL which is a Dutch mobile phone provider with lots of interests in the USA. This is of interest when I get the letter. Keep in mind it was impossible for me to even play on 3g and I had to switch off 3g to login and play on the device. I also only tried on the 9th, not the 8th-11th.

Hello Woody,


We are writing to inform you that your account is suspended pending a standard security check, which many of our players have successfully undertaken.


An initial review of your account has revealed that you may have used PokerStars real money services while you were physically located the United States.


As a result of this initial review, PokerStars has determined that:


1. You FIRST used PokerStars' real money services from the United States on/around 11/08/2014.


2. You LAST used PokerStars' real money services from the United States on/around 11/11/2014.


3. During the above period of time, you were revealed as connecting to our services using the internet service provider (ISP) "T-Mobile USA", which we believe provides consumer internet services in the United States.


4. It seems that during the above period of time you may have tried to hide your true internet protocol (IP) address, so as to appear to our automated servers that you were not located in the United States.


In moving forward, we would appreciate if you could please address the following questions:


1. Where are you currently located?


2. Have you used PokerStars' real money services while physically located in the USA since 15 April, 2011?


3. If so, are the dates that we have listed above for your first and last access from the United States correct? If not, what are the correct dates for your first and last access from the United States?


4. Is there any other information that you would like us to take into account here?


Furthermore, we request that you please provide the following documents:


1. A clear photocopy of a valid Government issued ID card or passport (front and back).


2. If you were visiting the USA, we kindly request that you provide us with a copy of your passport's entry stamp into the United States and the entry stamp into the next country that you visited when you left. If you did not receive either stamp, we may accept copies of your flight itineraries and/or boarding passes.


3. If you were not in the USA we require proof of your whereabouts during the dates in question. We can accept a Bank or Credit Statement showing transactions placed in the following dates: from "11/01/2014" to "11/11/2014".


Please note, if you only receive online bank statements you are welcome to send a screenshot of your statement, ensuring your name, current address, and a recent date are clearly visible. The image taken must be of the entire screen as the URL (the address of a web page on the internet) must be visible.


* If you are providing a Credit Card statement, the statement should show the first 6 and the last 4 digits of the card, and the rest of the numbers should be black out.

* If you are sending a Bank statement then, you will need to black out the whole account number


Our request for information is made in line with our Security Policy, as detailed in our Terms of Service. Please refer to the link below for more information on our Terms of Service, most notably section 4.3, which relates directly to the matter of account verification.



Please be advised that, on occasion, we may be required to amend the Terms of Service. It is your responsibility to keep up to date with any changes made to the Terms of Service.


Please note that we need to receive all the documents listed within 48 hours and that any missing documentation will contribute to a delay in the verification process, which may take up to 72 hours.


Please use a scanner or a smartphone to obtain clear images of the requested documentation and send them to:



Alternatively, you may send the document by fax at the following number:


Attn: PokerStars Location Investigations Team

Fax: +44-1624-630899 (international)

Fax: 1-800-631-9050 (Canada toll free)

Fax: 00800-7653-7782 (UK & Italy)


Please ensure that if you are sending documentation via fax that you clearly write your User ID on every page.


Once we have received all the required documentation we can then proceed further with your account review.


Please also note that using another account to play on PokerStars during this review will cause any such account to be closed and the funds therein confiscated.


We appreciate your understanding and cooperation and look forward to hearing from you.




Some Annoying Guy

PokerStars Security Team


PokerStars will NEVER ask you to confirm your login credentials or password via email, phone or chat facility or in any way. We do not advise giving your login information to anyone under any circumstances.


Enhance the security of your account using "SMS Validation", a free service which will notify you via text message when our system detect any potential irregularities with the operation of your account. Activate this feature via the ‘SMS Security Options’ located in the ‘Account’ menu dropdown in the PokerStars Lobby’.

I am very unhappy with the situation. I think I will be moving my action to Betfair after this except for the tournament festivals.

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Sounds like the geo location issues we get in New Jersey.

I had the same with WSOP.com and UP in Nevada. It was really annoying to say the least, but they never locked my account.

What's most odd about this whole thing is that you are allowed to login from anywhere to check your balance. You just can't play PokerStars from the US. I really don't get any of this since I couldn't even login to the mobile client on 3g, let alone play. Pretty terrible customer service, and I have received no reply back.

I forgot to add in all of this that PokerStars (at least as of 2013 WSOP) had an active DOJ agent working in the Isle of Man to deal with this sort of thing. Perhaps this is still the case and someone with "no clue how the world works" (words of a former PokerStars employee in reference to the DOJ agent on staff) has the power to still lock accounts at their whim. No matter what the cause, I don't know if I can trust PokerStars now for more than the odd tournament spin.

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Support on security issues has definitely got slower. My RSA token ran out of batteries two weeks ago. They won't replace it for free which is fine, but it took them almost 2 days to give me a call so I could get back into my account. It didn't bother me too much since I was able to get in by Sunday when I wanted to play on Stars next, but was surprised it wasn't instantly resolved like I have been used to in the past from PokerStars's support team.

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The matter has been resolved without apology. PokerStars has the ability to sniff your actual ip even if you are using a vpn, that's how people get caught, so it boggles the mind how they would think I am accessing the client from the US when 1 minute of checking would show it is impossible. It's pretty crazy that they couldn't investigate before locking my account. I've done almost 50,000vpp in the last two weeks. All of this (I assume) stemmed from me making a polite bug report. As someone who was part of the beta program of PokerStars and sent in numerous bug reports, it was my nature.

Although I have had a contentious relationship with PokerStars over the years, a good number of my friends have worked for, been sponsored by, sold their company to, or made their fortunes on the site. I'm not sure that this particular event directly relates to Amaya. The insanity of such lockdowns apparently are years old at this point. There are some people that have had influential positions within PokerStars that I absolutely despise, and others that I can't ever say enough good things about (Dan Goldman, John Harkness (rip), Terrence Chan to speak of a few good guys most people would know). Not much to say about the people I don't like except that they are the standard when it comes to other sites.

I know that PokerStars has silently bought up many of the poker media companies you are familiar with recently. That's why this story was posted here. The new rake changes were inevitable and I made my own personal decision to continue playing PokerStars after listening to all the arguments. Now I am not so sure for other reasons.

I never really felt like my money was at risk here, but I feel wronged nonetheless. They should be giving me the benefit of the doubt and asking me via internal chat before locking anything.

Hello Woody,


Thank you for providing us with the requested information.


We have evaluated all the information available to us, including the information that you have provided and various technical data and have determined that you have not accessed our real money services from the United States (or territories of the United States).


As a result, your account has been reinstated. Your full playing privileges have been restored, along with the ability to make real money transactions as per your normal limits.


We thank you once again for your co-operation and hope that you will continue to enjoy playing at PokerStars.




Some Annoying Guy

PokerStars Security Team

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