PartyPoker Closes 277 Bot Accounts and Refunds Players
Bots have long been a problem for online poker sites. Since online poker has been profitable, people have created bot accounts, which are programmed and attached to software to play against human opponents. These accounts often profit at the expense of real players.
Many of them are difficult to detect, however, as technology has offered more ways for bots to operate with human characteristics. It has been one of the toughest challenges for online poker operators in the past decade.
PartyPoker, however, has put serious effort into detecting and closing bot accounts via its Poker Fraud Team. And in just the past four months, they have boasted of significant success. The latest report from the team reported 277 accounts detected and closed.
Even better, the result benefits the players who were victimized by the bots. PartyPoker reported having refunded close to $735,000 to those PartyPoker customers who lost to the bots.
@partypoker trying hard to provide players the safest site possible. To those trying to bend the rules, Team partypoker’s @plenopads says, “They will find you, they will catch you, and they will…..ban you!” https://t.co/AFQKUnvp0H
— Mike Sexton (@Mike_partypoker) April 11, 2019
Fraud and Investigation Teams
There are numerous teams of employees at PartyPoker keeping an eye on the play to ensure it is fare and safe for all players. There is a team dedicated to investigations, which consistently oversees play to ensure there is no collusion or other inappropriate play at the tables. There is also the team dedicated to fraud, which monitors play but also responds to complaints about potential or suspected fraudulent activity on the site. That fraud team is comprised of former poker pros who know how to spot the activities in question and determine the presence of a bot.
The PartyPoker website addresses a number of unfair practices that are forbidden, and the fraud team is always on the lookout for things like players using multiple accounts, colluding, ratings manipulations, and extracting player profiles for sale.
And there are bots, which take the place of humans in games but conceal their identity from other players. PartyPoker views bots as a form of deception, as well as privacy and data theft.
Some bots are already identified and blocked. PartyPoker lists those as WinHoldem, Holdem Memory, PokerBot plus, PokerEdge, Poker Prophecy, Poker Sherlock, PokerBot Pro, Snowie, JellyFish, BGBlitz, 3DFibs, and GNU.
If a player uses one of these bot programs, they will be notified that they are in violation of the site’s rules. If the use of the bot continues, they will ultimately suspend the account in order to conduct an investigation, and if that proves suspicious activity to be bot-enabled, PartyPoker can confiscate the funds in that account and close it.
PartyPoker confirms that its Poker Fraud Team was instrumental in detecting 277 bot accounts that were investigated and now closed. The closures happened between December 2018 and March 2019.
As a result of tracking the online poker action from those bot accounts and determining which players were victimized by them, PartyPoker was able to refund $734,852 to the victims. It is unclear how much of that money was confiscated from the closed bot accounts.
We don’t disclose the method we use to redistribute funds seized. Just because a player plays cash games, doesn’t mean they have automatically clashed against bots, and in fact many bots don’t operate on cash games.
— PartyPoker (@partypoker) April 9, 2019
PokerPoker site ambassador Patrick Leonard commented, “Two years ago, it wouldn’t have been possible, but after seeing the security department firsthand, the team working there, and the tools they are using, I’m very confident now that they can tackle people trying to play against the rules.”
The company continues to urge player to contact the site if suspicious activity is spotted by emailing email@example.com. All reports “will be investigated thoroughly.”
In addition, PartyPoker confirms that it will continue to update players regarding further bot activity and closures.