PartyPoker Announces More Bot Seizures in May
Partypoker has announced the latest results in its continuing effort to combat poker bots, the computerized software programs unscrupulous gamblers occasionally employ at the tables at lower and middle stakes in an attempt to wrest small but steady profits from weaker players. In its latest update, covering the recently completed month of May, party has announced the closure of another 42 accounts associated with the rules-violating play.
According to the update, available via the popular partypoker blog, the 42 accounts again came largely from party’s dot-com global site, with another smattering coming from partypoker’s “dot-eu” platform, which services players in ring-fenced France and Spain. Over 78% of May’s seizures — 33 of the 42 — came on the dot-com platform, while the remaining nine cheating accounts came from France and Spain.
Another chunk of funds were seized from the banned accounts. Per the recent update, “partypoker seized a subsequent $46,805 and €3,598 in player balances over the month, and the site is currently processing refunds from the entire pool of forfeited balances.” It typical takes a few weeks for party to calculate refunds to cheated players who lost against the illicit automated play.
In a bit of self-congratulatory but pointed aside, party noted, “The latest monthly closures represent a 55.3% fall on the previous period (vs. 94), reflecting the studious work of the site’s Poker Fraud Team in actively purging the site of bot accounts.” There’s more to that, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Since party announced its plans to step up its anti-bot game, which included the creation of a dedicated Poker Fraud Team last December, it’s closed a total of 413 bot accounts. It’s great that the funds also seized go back to cheated players, even though that represents only a fraction of what the cheaters actually stole, since they’ve often managed to withdraw at least some funds before being uncovered.
And it’s on to the other part of the tale. Further on, party offers this: Direct player reports accounted for five of the 33 dot-com closures (15.2%), with three accounts shut on the dot-eu network also owing to player diligence (33.3%).” When combined with the emphasis on the fact that bot closures were down by half in May, signaling the effectiveness of the anti-fraud work, it’s an attempt to reassure the playing public that its internal efforts will be enough over time to effectively rid the site of bot-based play.
The pointed asides come as partypoker is taking heat from the online-grinder portion of its player base about sweeping software changes that will take effect tomorrow. Those changes will greatly reduce the impact of HUDs and other software on party’s games. However, in the sole downside of what is overall a very positive move, the changes are likely to make it at least somewhat harder for players themselves to identify such bot-based play themselves.
Partypoker’s soft sell here is duly noted, and while the site absolutely has the right idea, let’s hope its anti-bot efforts continue to be effective.