partypoker comes clean about bot problem; Gross offers Durrr & Jungle a ring


partypoker announces the discovery and culling of 277 bot-controlled accounts, and Jeff Gross offers Tom Dwan and Daniel Cates a ring if they should ever contemplate re-energising the Durrrr Challenge.

In November 2017, Tom Waters, MD, partypoker, sat down with yours truly to offer a response to a potentially brand-damaging claim that a collusion ring was wreaking havoc in his high stakes multi-table tournament (MTTs) ecosystem.

partypoker-comes-clean-about-bot-problem-gross-offers-durrr-jungle-a-ringWaters was as open and fluid as his name.

Yes, something is going on.

We will deal with it.

We will get better at dealing with it.

He wasn’t kidding.

partypoker has confirmed in a press release to media outlets that between 1 Dec 2018, and 31 Mar 2019, they have found 277 bot-controlled accounts; shut them down, and distributed $734,852.15 in claimed funds to those adversely affected.

Back to that Waters interview, and he ended our tete-a-tete by saying:

“We are already working closely with a number of players for certain matters. Over the coming months, we will be rolling out some highly advanced detection techniques that we are building with the help of some of our players.”

Waters grouped those ‘players’ to form partypoker’s Poker Fraud Team, and the press release gives this ballsy band of bot bashers credit for 75% of the closed accounts.

Team partypoker’s Patrick Leonard, who no doubt faced and beat all 277 of these bot accounts, stole a quote from Liam Neeson during a shot across the bow aimed at any potential cheaters:

“They {partypoker} will find you, they will catch you, and they will… ban you!’”

If you feel like you’re playing a bot or are the recipient of any other form of skullduggery while playing on partypoker, then contact the Poker Fraud Team at [email protected].

Is this the right move?

From a space of transparency, to openly tell their customers that they have sought out, found and banned so many bot-controlled accounts is the courageous and right thing to do.

Confidence in the product will go up, and both employee and customer behaviour will change, making this full-scale war on bots more of a team effort. It’s also another crucial plotline in partypoker’s narrative that they are an ethical online poker provider. It’s my experience that a consumer will pay a little extra to choose the ethical over the unethical option. While it’s true that not sharing your bot culling strategy with your punters isn’t immoral, it does lean more towards that end of the spectrum.

It also helps the industry as a whole.

partypoker’s customers will react positively to this news. They won’t flee a feared bot-ridden landscape. Instead, they will trust partypoker even more because of this announcement.

Yes, something is going on.

We will deal with it.

We will get better at dealing with it.

I suspect the other operators will be more open about their security flaws and findings in the wake of this latest move.

Here is that 2017 Tom Waters interview.

Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan v Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates on partypoker?

Two online poker accounts the Poker Fraud Team may have mistakingly thought were bots back in the day were those belonging to Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan and Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates.

Almost a decade ago, the pair infamously squared off in the Durrrr Challenge that never ended, and during a recent podcast with Jeff Gross, the partypoker Team Online member talked about the challenge with Cates, even suggesting that partypoker would be happy to provide the arena should the pair pick up their weapons.

The challenge began on Full Tilt in August 2010, and the pair played 19,335 hands, with Jungleman up $1,251,059 with 30,665 hands left to play.

Here is that Jeff Gross interview.