Americas Cardroom Hit with Another DDoS Attack, Forced to Cancel Tournaments

April 29th, 2018 by Jon Sofen

In September 2017, Americas Cardroom, a US-facing poker site, was hit with a serious Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on its server, causing tournaments and cash games to be cancelled as players were disconnected for days. On Tuesday, it happened again.

Americas Cardroom DDoS attack

Americas Cardroom was hit with yet another DDoS attack. (Image: YouTube)

Poker Site Attacked

ACR’s social media account announced scheduled maintenance from 7-10 am ET on Tuesday, and that the site would be offline during that time period. But after the 10:00 hour hit, players reported the site was still down.

At 9:30 am on the 24th, ACR’s Twitter account said, “we had a small ISP issue, techs checked on it and we are coming back up,” and then apologized for the inconvenience.

Less than 45 minutes later, it appeared the issue wasn’t as “small” as first reported. The next post was a bit more alarming than the previous comment.

“We are currently under a DDOS attack. All running tournaments have been paused and will soon be canceled. Our techs are working on the situation to have it fixed as soon as possible. Apologies for the inconvenience,” @ACR_POKER posted.

That was the final post of the day from ACR, causing some players to express anger at the lack of transparency on social media. When one player who was upset it had been over three hours since the last update asked for an update, ACR responded with, “our techs are still mitigating” the DDoS attack.

Still Under Attack

The following morning, players reported they still couldn’t log into their accounts. At 6:13 am on Wednesday, ACR finally updated social media followers.

“We are experiencing DDOS attacks, at this moment we are cancelling all paused tournaments and will refund them according to our T&Cs. Our tech team is working to have the system back to normal. Apologies for the inconvenience,” read a Twitter post.

Fortunately, later in the day, the site was back up and running except for a few accounts that were still having trouble logging in. Less than a day later, it happened again.

“At this moment we are experiencing a DDOS attack, our techs are working in order to mitigate it. All Running tournaments have been paused. Apologies for the inconvenience,” ACR posted at 9:19 am on Thursday.

On Thursday evening, now more than two days after the first DDoS attack, ACR informed the Twitter community that the poker site was still struggling to fight off the attackers.

This isn’t the first time ACR has faced a DDoS attack, where a cyber criminal uses multiple computers to flood the target’s server, making it impossible for customers to access the site.

ACR CEO Phil Nagy claimed a “rival site” was responsible for the September 2017 DDoS attack on his poker site, but never provided evidence.

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to stop a DDoS attack. To ACR’s credit, they are at least attempting to stop the attacks.

31 Responses to “Americas Cardroom Hit with Another DDoS Attack, Forced to Cancel Tournaments”

  1. wilywiles says:

    And maybe that explains why the cardschat freerolls dont even show up in the lobby either? It seems like ACR is definitely struggling to fight off these attacks because every tounrament I have played with them so far in the last week has been interrupted. Hopefully they can figure out there stuff because its a good cardroom and I like playing there but its been a real drag to deal with.

  2. es530 says:

    I have been playing this site, and this problem is very annoying, because we are building our stack and the table hangs, and we waste our time. right after this message on twitter saying that they are suffering attacks. sometimes if the attacks are constant and successful is because the system is vulnerable. This happened several times in 2016 to 2017, sometimes they did not even say what was really going on. I think these problems should have been remedied, after all there is cash flow, so there are resources, I do not know why they do not solve it.

    • mrosata says:

      Unfortunately, DDoS attacks are difficult to defend against and many of the solutions end up adding noticeable overhead to the servers. It’s not simply something that can be solved quickly or that should or should not have happened, it just is. The company seems to be acting mature about the situation. I’m sure it’s a shit show in-house because every minute down is a dollar lost.

      Fighting DDoS is very resource intensive, not just money either. It is a huge frustration to people who sign-up for services because they expect to be able to use that service (right, that’s why we’re paying for stuff), but the truth is that it’s not that simple.

      I’ve seen small teams fight things like this for weeks on end, hopefully, that’s not the case with ACR

    • Poker Orifice says:

      don’t you think they want to solve it? Guess what… they don’t want to lose business due to disgruntled customers. So my guess would be (call it a hunch) they ARE doing what they can to remedy this situation.

    • mrosata says:

      exactly, it just takes time

    • Time to upgrade says:

      Tbey could fix it by building out a better infrastructure. You do not see the top sites going down from DDoS attacks because they have built out a more resiliant network instead of hosting everything in a country that can be taken out with a single DDoS attack.

  3. Infinity Objective says:

    Sadly the ACR / WPN business model doesn’t allow for government investigation, intervention. Their current location, CR, is a handicap, I personally conducted business there for 4 years, lived there for 2. Beautiful place, nice folks, but dark ages comparably speaking. But are their servers offshore, I don’t know.

    Nice consolidated coverage, background and update – Thank you.

  4. cwdignus says:

    these problems with ACR are regrettable … affected our games cc in the room …. hope they can normalize the situation as soon as possible … today it is 6 days without being able to perform our game in the room

  5. ammje says:

    Yesterday Saturday night I was playing a tournament, and in the middle of it, I could not play anymore, hopefully solve the problem soon.

  6. king11682 says:

    Waiting the early incorporation of the Cardschat tournaments, and that the whole system returns to normal in this poker room that has become one of my favorites.

  7. freestocks says:

    Yea. I’m gonna have to ask you to go ahead and come in this weekend.

  8. Poker Orifice says:

    Doesn’t ACR know they’re cutting into some of these guy’s groceries? I mean come on… they’re likely losing 100’s of thousands on ACR but these guys here are missing out on the FREEROLLS!!!!!

    • Infinity Objective says:

      There is always another game, another game…..I never chase, I pick, enjoying the vacation. As far as freeroll cash goes, dj11, had a pretty great parlay with his Intertops freeroll winnings yesterday, lol, $27.50, then some of that into $196. Money is money, and in some hands it multiplies and others it evaporates.

      Company spokesperson / insult comic, congratulations, you’re hired! 🙂

  9. Jere Rivard says:

    Must be their Bots attacking each other.

  10. Time to upgrade says:

    They could mitigate the attacks, but they refuse to build a resiliant infrastructure to do so. Hosting everything in Costa Rica alone is the first problem and not having a proper distributed network is the other. Costa Rica has a whole 10G sub link into their main ISP, 10G DDoS attacks are nothing these days…

    ACR needs to take some those profits and spend it on a better infrastructure across multiple datacenters and to take the load of DDoS attacks and integrate better with providers like akami , cloudfare and others. You dont see the top poker sites going down from DDoS attacks do you…..

  11. chicopaw says:

    IT’S unFortunate that ACR has been attacked continuosly with DDOS attacks, ACR is becoming a forerunner in online gaming with its good selection of games and these obstackles will only make the site stronger an better providing many of us the entertainment we all look forward to. keep ur site strong ACR

  12. rogbob says:

    its the Russians!

  13. Zorba says:

    As one of the places as an Aussie that I can play at it sucks that it is happening but like Poker Orifice said they won’t want to be loosing business and would be doing all they can to remedy the problem. The ACR rep here at CardsChat has been informative and helpful.

  14. blommen says:

    I have ready many articles about betting,casino and poker sites being the victim to multiple ddos attacks. I think hackers target these sites because they know these gambling sites make a lot of money. often when the hackers ddos they blackmail the victim and say things like “we wont stop the attack until you pay us xxxx$”

  15. mackmasterss says:

    I think this shows the weakness of the security of ACR, which I remember pokerstars has never been so many days disabled by attacks, to date today is almost 8 days that has this problem ACR, it is worth asking the question, or the attackers they are very good or the ACR team is too bad to solve a problem of these, this kind of situations and problems are not solved immediately, it creates bad comments in the forums and news from the internet and affects the ACR image, but it affects the image more the time of problem solving, hopefully ACR will recover soon

  16. zqpz says:

    For a DDOS attack to be sustained for this long would take an incredibly dedicated source coupled with the most inept security/IT team on the planet.

  17. acidburnfx says:

    Even if users switch to a rival site, there’s no guarantee that their new poker-playing home wouldn’t also one day become the target of a distributed denial-of-service attack.

  18. Alexandr Svinarshyk says:

    if very often attacked this means that weak defense or they account that hackers will not be able to find loopholes in their defense. Such popular sites need highly qualified specialists in their defense business.

  19. migesan says:

    they are not new, my advice would be to hire a couple of hackers who know how to do their job, there would be fewer problems like this, give people a decent salary, and there will be no problems anymore. It is probably because of this, the problem of paying in banks in my country.

  20. AvovchikA says:

    As you can see the problems are still there. Partially solved and thanks for that. Let’s hope that everything will be fine

  21. PeanutDDos says:

    Still down on 05/05/2018 @ 9:44am EST time. I can log in, but no tourneys. Only $5 on Demand and $10 on Demand.

  22. I thinl ACR has no so strong security as other poker sites thats why some of poker tourneys were cancelled or just dissappeared!But I thinl we shpild give some time to support team and they will solve everything!I think ACR has one of the best supports from all poker sites that I had connected!

  23. MrHachiman says:

    Personally I would not play nor could I trust a poker room where your system is vulnerable.

  24. cubons says:

    Sadly americascardroom did let me down 🙁 I used to play there alot, but last couple days I feel deceived.
    Nowadays I play on partypoker, but nevermind 😀 I hope that ACR will find a problem and will know how to fix that.
    P.s. I like that text in photo “THE NEXT BIG THING” 😀

  25. stackzilla says:

    Yes they were attacked and while they coud have been more transparent about the situation as well as keep players infromed, the site is still 1 of the best poker rooms out there and has been for years. Was fully reimbured for a few trnys I got booted on and for everyone who complained about the money they lost or could’ve won consider this is poker legal where you live? I’m just grateful there’s a poker room I can play in and so should you. Never has any problems with cashing out usually BTC cashout takes less than 2 days love it. BOL.

  26. wilmer907907 says:

    lately americas cardroom has become a target of attack, several weekends I could not log in with my account due to these problems, I only imagine the most active players in this site, they will feel frustrated. hopefully and optimize the platform that there is security and confidence in its players

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