PartyPoker Clamps Down on Bot Activity
There’s some good news from the resurgent PartyPoker, where site officials have confirmed positive results from an increased effort to identify “bot” accounts, meaning play on the site through automated, software-driven accounts that operate in violation of Party’s terms of service (TOS). In a recent PartyPoker blog update, the site confirmed that 277 such bot accounts were identified via the efforts of a small but dedicated “Poker Fraud Team”.
The Party game-play reviewers identified the 277 bot accounts over a four-month period running from December 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019. In addition to identifying and closing the bot accounts, Party also seized a collective $734,852.15 from the bot accounts and redistributed that money to cheated players. According to a recent Party blog on the account closures, over 75% of the cheating accounts were identified via the efforts of the new fraud team; the other fourth presumably came from players reporting suspicious accounts.
Team partypoker’s Patrick Leonard said: “Two years ago it wouldn’t have been possible, but after seeing the security department first hand, 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. In my opinion it isn’t worth somebody trying to bend the rules because, in the words of Liam Neeson: ‘They will find you, they will catch you and they will.. ban you!’” PartyPoker plans to provide running updates on its efforts to identify, close, and seize the bankrolls of cheating accounts. Presumably, those updates will also come via the Party blog.
PartyPoker isn’t the only online-poker site to place increased emphasis on rooting out illicit software-driven “players”, even if the site has no plans at the present time to expand the anti-fraud team any more. Yet it’s good to see Party among several forward-thinking sites continuing to take steps against botting activity; simply stated, there appears to be an increasing schism between sites that are serious about blocking bot activity and those who aren’t, preferring perhaps to just grab rake from any source without regard to the longer-term health of a site’s player ecosystem. (It’s pretty easy to tell where this writer falls on the topic.) Caatching botting activity is always going to be something of a cat-and-mouse game, but it’s both good business and good press to stamp out software-driven play wherever and however possible. That’s something Party seems to be taking to heart.
Poker botters and botting have negative impacts to online poker in so many ways it’s frankly hard to keep track. Software-drien accounts never get tired (thus making fatigue-induced mistakes), they don’t tilt, and they can play many more accounts than their real-human counterparts. How they’re usually found is through the botter’s own greed. Since it takes some considerable effort to custom-program a bot to be able to beat even the lowest stakes, botters typically try to take a winning profile and use t on multiple accounts. But since those accounts all play in roughly the same way, they’re that much easier to identify the more of them there are.
Still, let’s hope Party’s word is good, and that they’ll keep on keeping on stamping out the bots. It’s just good for poker.