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Old 06-09-2015, 03:55 AM   #376
Simonsayscall
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

schwein maybe even posting that last image of the stats is making it too easy for them to work out the stat...

All the same, youre a legend
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:58 AM   #377
Zsipali
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

Awesome job Schwein, thank you so much!
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:06 AM   #378
kelnel
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

I strongly agree with joeri's post about the rake made by stars because of the bots and have sent the following mail to stars:

Quote:
Dear support,

I am not certain I am adressing the appropriate recipent by writing to the "VIP" part of your support. Please transfer if necessary.

In the following 2+2 thread you will find growing concern by the players playing mid stakes PLO cash games on your site concerning botting:

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/15...-them-1537778/

I am sure your security team is on it. I am writing to you to express my sentiment concerning the rake Pokerstars has made by offering their services to these bots. I am not talking about these bots in particular as the investigation is still on going and it has not been proven yet; but I am talking about bots in general, and even any kind of cheating going on.

I feel that stars has a good policy of freezing and confiscating the balances of cheaters to redistribute the funds to the players. However, this is not enough. I know that you are working hard on keeping your games clean. And that is awesome. Sadly, sometimes, even though you did your best, you discover that some kind of cheating (bot or else) has taken place on your tables. Knowing that this cheating shouldnt have happened, you should not make the players pay rake for offering a service that wasn't fair. As such, I strongly feel that Pokerstars should be refunding to the players the rake paid by these cheaters when they were cheating.

In the case of the thread mentioned above, the suspected bots have played more than 14 million hands on your site and has paid more than 2 million $ (2.000.000$) in the process. That is a lot of money taken from the legitimate players that went to Pokerstars in unfair games. I hope you understand how unnacceptable this is for the legitimate players on your site and would very much like to know what is your stance on this.

Thank you very much for your consideration,

Sincerely,

Philippe
Will post if I get an answer

Last edited by kelnel; 06-09-2015 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:07 AM   #379
Scar18
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

Quote:
Originally Posted by kutty2 View Post
Just saying,

The gratitude given to Schwein et al is well deserved,

But it's not like the botters are just going to go away. They are going to make a few small tweaks and come back with new accounts. There's way too much money on the table and basically no punishment whatsoever
I said this earlier in the thread but i think Stars has to basically make their client a trojan (like ESEA for counterstrike). basically it means their software will have access to every file on the computer its running on which should make it able to detect botting programs or at least identify suspicious accounts to focus their investigations on.

the problem with this is it will likely make casual players uncomfortable and potentially not play
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:11 AM   #380
joeri
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

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Originally Posted by Kyyberi View Post
The problem is that even if you suspend all the mentioned accounts, they will just make new ones and continue for few millions until someone busts them again. Rinse and repeat.

Hole card sharing is a HUGE problem in PLO, especially if it's automated. How can that be stopped? I have been trying to figure out doable ways to prevent it, but can't come up with a solution.

Against botting some sort of CAPTCHA is probably the best way, maybe for PLO200+?
captcha has been implemented by stars/ftp for years (4+?)
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:30 AM   #381
wrsport1015
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

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Originally Posted by Kyyberi View Post
Against botting some sort of CAPTCHA is probably the best way, maybe for PLO200+?
they do captcha for people who multi-table. i have been sent multiple captchas in my chats over the past few years. the problem is that this is easy to get by. all they must do is have someone present watching over the bots/chats. this is also how these bots can "chat." someone watches and comments here and there, types in the captcha when it appears, and the bots go on making a ton of money. it's well worth the operators time to just watch over them.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:33 AM   #382
cocktails
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

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Originally Posted by Scar18 View Post
I said this earlier in the thread but i think Stars has to basically make their client a trojan (like ESEA for counterstrike). basically it means their software will have access to every file on the computer its running on which should make it able to detect botting programs or at least identify suspicious accounts to focus their investigations on.

the problem with this is it will likely make casual players uncomfortable and potentially not play
I think the botters can screen/data scrape information straight from the HDMI cable and input the retreived data into another computer were pokerstars isn't running on. Then they just have to make manually brainless actions and they will keep taking millions out of the poker economy.

seems like online poker is ****ed one way or the other

scheinberg got out right on time surprise surprise
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:46 AM   #383
Pastafiore
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

they should take customers more seriously in future, because those bots was ~easy to spot, i still kept playing even if i knew those are not playing fair. and i still did beat the game even if there was bots.

for example i wrote on 6.11.2014(i had spotted those bots loong time earlier) about fedor, samanta, SSelrive, and told also to check another russian regs(meant prius and rockfella for example) and another reg, alias straate did as well report them for example. pokerstars did nothing.

going to report right after i spot something even a littlebit strange in future, and pokerstars should prepare for that every1 else does too, because they were unable to find those bots first even if regs were told about them.

only now, when games are ~died and people were going crazy here, they took this seriously(i hope). it is very sad that worlds biggest poker site does not have emplyees who does their job in this kind of situations.

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Old 06-09-2015, 05:09 AM   #384
Dandan160808
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

Excellent work - thank you.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:22 AM   #385
joeri
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

I send the following email. Please do send emails, we have to let them know this is a huge deal to players.

Hello Support team,

I'm sure you are aware about the huge investigation into plo regulars in the 2+2 forums. To me, it seems certain that a large number of players are bot operated and possibly also card sharing. At 2+2 we identified over 30 accounts on your site playing close to identical. These players have played at least 15-20 million hands on your site undetected. In the proces they won millions and also payed millions in rake, so they extracted at least 4-6 million from the legit midstakes regs. I'm sure you understand this is a huge deal. Right now this is still a bit contained to just 2+2 plo, but I'm sure this story will spread all over, including regular poker news sites as well as investment communitees for Amaya. Bot's are simply a huge threat to poker.

I'm really dissapointed and furious by what happend here. I would like to make some suggestions;

- Freeze the accounts in question immediatly please. It just to frustrating to be played with these accounts, days after the uproar begon.
- Pokerstars make millions in rake on the play of these bots. I think it's a huge failure by the pokerstars team to detect them this late (or at all). I think it's fair to the players that you are not only distributing the pennies confiscated in these accounts, but also the rake you guys made in the process.
- I hope to see a lot of vacancy's in your security department soon. I'm not saying the current team is not qualified enough, but this case certainly showed it doesn't hurt to add significantly to the team. In the last financial reports of Amaya i see hundreds of millions of profits, so adding a million or 2 to the security department is not a huge hit. A huge blow to your credibility to the players and investment communitee is however, so it seems like a no brainer to me.

Regards,

Joeri
L0ve2playU (6 million VPP's)
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:35 AM   #386
centebakkie
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

Remaining motivation to move up the stakes = 0.0
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:39 AM   #387
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

Why is this not in nvg or internet forum? I mean, this is a huge deal (there are a lot of accusations about nlhe bots flying around at the moment too) and I would never have heard about this disgrace if it wasn't for someone else linking me here.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:00 AM   #388
kelnel
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

although nvg does bring attention; the thread would be filled by horrendous trolling post and wouldnt be viable anymore. NVG is sadly not what is used to be (it's starting to take the same slope as BBV did).
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:00 AM   #389
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

Quote:
Originally Posted by pontylad View Post
Why is this not in nvg or internet forum? I mean, this is a huge deal (there are a lot of accusations about nlhe bots flying around at the moment too) and I would never have heard about this disgrace if it wasn't for someone else linking me here.
Bc

1. It gets already derailed heavily by complete nonsense posts

2. Its not in our interest to make every single one of teh NVG rigtards aware of this bc once out that spreads like wildfire and can be of big damage to credibility of online poker
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:09 AM   #390
Schwein
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

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Originally Posted by pontylad View Post
Why is this not in nvg or internet forum? I mean, this is a huge deal (there are a lot of accusations about nlhe bots flying around at the moment too) and I would never have heard about this disgrace if it wasn't for someone else linking me here.
I was intending to invite you MSNL guys here tonight, but since you already found your way here I will post some more of my research now.

After investigating the PLO bot ring for 2 days it became rather obvious to me that whoever created them might have written some NLHE ones as well.

NLHE bots are easier to spot so if the majority of the PLO ones got banned in February 2015, I started looking for the NLHE ones that might have been banned a bit earlier.

I found this guy Iddqd55, who happens to be Russian according to Google search and was banned January 2015. Notice the CheckR on all streets, the AFQ extremely similar to the PLO ones I found. And mostly FvCB IP. I am not super familiar with NLHE stats but its really low for a big bet game.



Ok, so who else. In some 2+2 chatter thread I found the nickname D33XTR. Bingo! Already gone and stats line up perfectly, he also played during the same 8 hours of the day for a whole year which matches my description of SuSaaNiN and some other PLO zoom bots.



But maybe Stars missed someone just like Iddqd55 or D33XTR? After digging and digging I found one more account that never got banned. This is really going to be good.

Spoiler:
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:16 AM   #391
NickNemeth92
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

I recieved an answer from Stars regarding this issue today. It seems they are taking it quite seriously, lets hope that rings true and that its not just a facade. Wonderful work btw, Schwein.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:17 AM   #392
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

Whens the next stars meeting? Some pretty obvious noms in thread to attend.

And if you guys think stars are not monitoring this thread, thats a bit silly.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:19 AM   #393
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

I received an answer from Stars support

"Thank you for your report. Your email was escalated to me as an expert in bot detection and as a member of the PokerStars Game Integrity Team.

We are indeed aware of the online discussions alleging a group of accounts to be operating poker bots. Please rest assured that we do not tolerate such activity on PokerStars. We have an extensive arsenal of detection tools in order to ensure that each player is a human being and playing without the use of prohibited programs.

Firstly, we note that the discussions include a list of accounts that are assumed to have been closed due to lack of recent activity. We can confirm that a number of these accounts have indeed been closed for violations of our Terms of Service, but this does not hold true for every account mentioned. Due to our strict privacy policy, we are unable to disclose User IDs in the context of fraud, nor offer comment as to why accounts we might have previously investigated may not have any recent activity.

As for the numerous active accounts mentioned, we do understand the concerns surrounding their playing statistics. Our access to all hand histories on PokerStars allows us to analyse any similarities in playing statistics between these accounts, as well as every other account. However, similar playing statistics alone is not sufficient proof wrongdoing, and we must do our due diligence to ensure that the correct resolution is reached. Our investigation includes, but is not limited to, reviewing their software and playing environments, how they interact with the PokerStars client, as well as analysing their activity in real-time and conducting Turing tests.

We kindly ask for your patience while we thoroughly investigate this matter. We also recommend that the identities of suspects be reported to us directly, not only to avoid slandering potentially innocent players, but also to avoid tipping off potential offenders. If you have any further information to provide regarding this matter, we will take it into consideration.

PokerStars will advise you of the outcome of the investigation as soon as possible."

I got the reponse mighty fast, so probably they got ****load of emails such as mine recently.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:54 AM   #394
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwein View Post

35 accounts from the botring played a total of 16.6M hands across PS,FTP,888. They made 1.39M net profit and payed an estimated 2.49M in rake (15/c hand). Legit players lost over 3.88M against the bots. The amount might be higher for 3 reasons. I might have missed some of them. The rake estimate is on the low side. RPTR misses zoom hands and I didnt account for that.
Looks like Stars was the biggest winner.

I really remember playing with IbizaDreaming a lot on FTP, he was a huge fish and I just thought he quit or went busto. I also thought he was that Ibiza guy from partypoker.

Did anyone mention partypoker btw?
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:01 AM   #395
mynameiskarl
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwein View Post
After investigating the PLO bot ring for 2 days it became rather obvious to me that whoever created them might have written some NLHE ones as well.

....

I found this guy Iddqd55, who happens to be Russian according to Google search and was banned January 2015. Notice the CheckR on all streets, the AFQ extremely similar to the PLO ones I found. And mostly FvCB IP. I am not super familiar with NLHE stats but its really low for a big bet game.
In the stars regs thread for NLH, it was mentioned that belowtail has very similar stats to Iddqd55. And I think GOmoneyGOV will also fit that category. Might be worth it looking into these accounts.

Keep up the good work guys
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:01 AM   #396
TeHKai
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

the ibiza guy from party is like 99% the same guy on stars and he's a known austrian "live pro"
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:02 AM   #397
Schwein
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

This my 2nd and final post about the NLHE botting. I am not looking to start a discussion on NLHE here, but I thought there are enough links for me to at least mention it. Accounts from same country, alot of them them banned around the same time, playing same style on both PLO and NLHE, accounts showing up always during the same 8 hour window for a whole year and never outside of it. And last but not least FedorZaysev.

There are 2 banned NLHE botters that played very similar style, Iddqd55 and D33XTR. Now Fedor with his stats from NLHE heyday is even closer to D33XTR then Iddqd55. That was just to much of coincidence for me.



The picture shows the squared distance between the accounts. Values 160-250 arent super low actually, some of the PLO botters that are still playing have the squared distance (calculated for 21 stats from RPTR) around 30-50. When I compared legit regs playing same stakes the squared distance was usually between 600-1500. To find out more about the squared distance between accounts look my OP.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:14 AM   #398
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

The death of online poker came a lot sooner than I thought. Nice job on the investigation, but I think any hope of stars refunding that rake under new management is slim to none.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:15 AM   #399
Dandan160808
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwein View Post
This my 2nd and final post about the NLHE botting. I am not looking to start a discussion on NLHE here, but I thought there are enough links for me to at least mention it. Accounts from same country, alot of them them banned around the same time, playing same style on both PLO and NLHE, accounts showing up always during the same 8 hour window for a whole year and never outside of it. And last but not least FedorZaysev.



There are 2 banned NLHE botters that played very similar style, Iddqd55 and D33XTR. Now Fedor with his stats from NLHE heyday is even closer to D33XTR then Iddqd55. That was just to much of coincidence for me.




Just like to thank you for your strenuous work in bringing attention to these bots. I hope some kind of formula can be worked out if these players accounts are frozen to at least distribute this confiscated money back to the mid stakes players. My wife was correct in that she just could not beat $1/2
PLO when stepping up. I see many of these 24/7 alleged bots have disappeared including the weirdest winner online being Fedor. His stats so similar to sergeax.

Keep up the good work and I hope all who have lost money out of these bots get compensated in some way.

Bring back honest regulated online poker where each country can keep an eye on any kind of cheating with all poker sites being more transparent. I hope pokerstars sets the standards that all players want to see.

Best wishes.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:25 AM   #400
Taknikatel
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Re: Massive bot ring on PokerStars and how to spot them

Disgusting stuff. But it does make some sense. Like people are 3betting utter trash and hitting on boards more often than it would seem possible.

I've had hands vs these guys calling my multiway cbets on like KT4ss boards with 2 players left behind with a pair and nonnut gutter and getting there when i had KK. Like Pastafiore said, either these people know something we don't, or he just knows that board pairing cards are out as well as that the flushes can be bluffed.

Sick stuff, hope it gets resolved and proven. It makes sense how these guys make clearly - EV plays and hit (the plays suddenly aren't - EV if you know 10 hole cards)
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