TonkaaaP joins Upswing Poker; 888Poker silent over AI controversy

TAGs: 888poker, Doug Polk, Parker Talbot, Upswing Poker

888Poker Ambassador, Parker “TonkaaaaP” Talbot has joined Upswing Poker, and his lords and masters have decided to keep schtum over alleged artificial intelligence use resulted in players having their accounts closed down, and funds confiscated.

Parker “TonkaaaaP” Talbot’s career continues to flourish after Doug Polk anointed him as the latest member of the Upswing Poker coaching team.

TonkaaaP joins Upswing Poker; 888Poker silent over AI controversyThe Upswing Poker founder announced the news on his Doug Polk Poker YouTube channel during an interview with the man of the moment.

“We definitely want to bring in someone like a tournament expert into the lab and felt you would be a good fit,” he said. “Happy to have you on board.”

With $3.1m in online MTT winnings, Talbot has always been an outstanding online grinder, but since his decision to stream live on Twitch he has become one of the most sought after personal brands in the business. And who better to spot a tip top personal brand than the king of personal branding himself.

But is the Team Never Lucky captain joining Polk because he is the best coach for the job, or is it more gestural?

In May, Polk decided to do a spot of business with 888Poker. Rather than sign as a member of the ambassadorial team, Polk helped promote the XL Inferno series by competing in the event while broadcasting live on stream. 888Poker also held a $1 buy-in tournament, handing out Upswing Poker training packages as prizes, and created a $5 buy-in event named the “Doug Polk – NO RAKE is Better” event where Polk competed as a bounty.

Neither Polk nor 888Poker has announced furthering that partnership in the September XL Eclipse Championships, but it wouldn’t shock me if the two jumped into bed together once more.

Talbot joins the likes of Ryan Fee and Pratyush Buddiga in the Upswing Poker stable.

888Poker closes a wave of player accounts over artificial intelligence allegations 

888Poker has closed the accounts of an unidentified number of players, and confiscated funds, after alleging the players used artificial intelligence during their times at the tables.

EpaDha created a thread on 2+2 called 888Poker “Mass” Banwave where he stapled an email he received from 888Poker after they banned him, and confiscated his funds.

Here is the email in full:

“Dear Valerija, 

This is the Operations Team at 888poker and we are contacting you with regards to your account with username “EpaDha”. 

As you may be aware we carry out security checks on all of our members at some point during their membership with us. During a security check on your account we have been alerted to suspicious game play indicating that the use of Artificial Intelligence may be involved. 

The use of Artificial Intelligence is strictly against our terms and conditions and will not be tolerated on our site. This email is to inform you that we no longer require your membership on any site owned or operated by Cassava Enterprises. 

Please refrain from opening any further accounts as these too will be closed from use and no monies refunded.” 

EpaDha went on to state that he was a micro stakes player who uses both Hold’em Manager and Equilab, which don’t appear to contravene 888Poker’s Terms and Conditions (TOC).

No sooner had EpaDha posted his woes, a myriad of players also posted the same email, while maintaining their innocence. Each player posting in the thread was very open about the third party software they use when competing on 888Poker. All of them were asking 888Poker for clarity on what form of artificial intelligence (AI) they had allegedly used, so they could stop using it, and get back into the thick of the action.

Unfortunately, 888Poker officials have decided that the best course of action is to keep their feedback to a minimum. I reached out to the 888Poker team for a statement, and they told me:

‘Our Operational Department have corresponded with each of the accounts affected through these on going security checks. Each account holder will need to reply directly to the email sent to them by the Operations Department in order to resolve the case.’ 

I guess we will have to keep our powder dry until a banned player receives word from an 888Poker overlord and then shares it with the poker community, but if feels like an own goal to me.


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