Sun Poker made a bad public relations move this month when it reduced the value of the top five prizes in its “One Sick Promo,” which started back in December. The promotion spans six months and rewards the one hundred players who earn the most loyalty points (through heavy play) over that span with World Series of Poker prize packages.

All one hundred prizes were and are still listed on the promotion’s website. When the promotion started, the top five prizes were valued at $50,000 through $47,000, depending on order of finish. That value including a large sum of cash, $15,000 in WSOP lammers, transportation to Las Vegas in a private jet, and lodging at the Sun Poker mansion.

This month, the players sitting in the top five spots (although the promotion does not end until May 31) received an e-mail from Sun Poker asking if they would be willing to receive the cash equivalent of the transportation and lodging portion of the package. Some said yes, some said no or maybe, but in the end, Sun Poker decided that enough players said yes to justify changing the flight and mansion into a flat $20,000.

At first glance, this may look great. They will receive $20,000 and turn a nice profit by flying coach and staying in a reasonably priced hotel. The problem, however, is that the prize packages were all reduced by $10,000 from their previously advertised values. In fact, the promotional website still states that first place is guaranteed $50,000, when the prize is actually now $40,000. Besides, some of the players may have wanted the luxurious flight and lodging. It’s not every day that most people get to have that sort of experience.

Sun Poker needs to correct this judgment error. It is not as simple as just reverting back to the original prize packages, either, since now some of the players are probably excited to get the $20,000 cash. It seems that the online poker room has one of two options at this point to make things better: 1) allow each player to individually choose if they want the cash or the travel/lodging, or 2) give the players $30,000 for the travel/lodging instead of $20,000, since that would make the package value the same as what was originally advertised.

Hopefully Sun Poker will realize its mistake and make things right.

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