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Would you play on an unregulated site like ACR?

Aaronn Posts: 21Subscriber
edited May 16 in Low Content Forum
I watched the Phil Nagy interview on Joey Ingram's channel, Phil seems like an accomplished, intelligent and honest guy. He was surprising candid about the relationship between bots and card sites, what security measures they are taking now and he acknowledged mistakes they made in the past and how they were going to rectify them going forward.

So I came away a great impression of Phil, but also I resolved to never play on an unregulated site.

Here are some things that were notable to me (both from the interview and not):

If you deposit $1000, run it up to $2000 (or $10000) in quick flips in poker, you can't actually withdraw it because it hasn't been raked enough yet.

A bunch of the security/scrutiny is on the back end when as a winner you try to withdraw. Try to withdraw your winnings and you can suddenly find yourself needing to make a videotape of yourself playing (and answer questions) to prove that you aren't a bot. Who are you going to sue, and in what court, if they refuse to pay out?

Joey offered to help Phil for an amount that would be perfectly reasonable in my industry (software and security consultation) to clean up ACR. Phil dismissed this almost as if it were a joke.

The next generation of ACR's poker client will have complete control of your PC, including the ability to read from other apps, monitor other processes and windows, read non-client files out of the file system, etc. This is to prevent bots and collusion. He says he'll be able to read anything happening on your PC, chat windows, etc. Actually all this does is detect bad bot writers. Sophisticated bot writers run everything in a VM, or even better, run it on a full PC which the bot it scraping from the screen and driving the mouse/keyboard. So what he is detecting is stupid bot writers, not smart ones, but it is exposing everyone to the risks of having what amounts to spyware installed.

Online poker players obsess about poker sites having "bad RNGs" when they get bad beats or when they get what they think are unlikely flops or runs of cards. Here's the truth: It is very unlikely any poker site uses what anyone truly knowledgeable would consider a good RNG, but bad RNG's don't evidence themselves in the way you think. Phil's response to the "bad RNG" accusation was perfectly reasonable (from a business perspective) and it is what I would do if I ran a poker site. Instead of proving to people the RNG is actually good (but knowing they are actually unqualified to make a judgement about), Phil is going to post statistics proving that ACR isn't doing what people think a bad RNG would do. I'm not sure if this is being extremely clever or extremely ignorant, but I'm leaning towards clever.

Comments

  • CycleV Posts: 914Subscriber
    edited May 16
    I played very briefly on ACR about 2 years ago, when I was travelling abroad and needed a new site to play on. I quit playing after 2 weeks and had no cashout problems, though my cashout was probably only 102% of my initial deposit. I definitely thought the site was bot-infested (NL50 was mostly what I played).

    There SHOULD be security measures on cashing out after a quick double up. In case you don't know how chip dumping can work, it's a bit like money laundering. I am a bot, I steal/win 10K from you, then I dump it to another account, so that the clean account can cash it out. The bot looks like it's not a big winner long-term, and doesn't make withdrawals, so I get to keep that account active. If the bot ever does get caught, all the money is already gone.

    Pokerstars can also read your computer while you are logged in to their client. I once got a warning email cuz I had opened Equilab near the end of a session, I prob had just 1-2 tables still open, but they knew and wrote to me within 24 hours that I was in vilation and could have my account suspended/funds confiscated. (I wrote back, and nothing came of it.)

    So I am extremely unlikely to ever go back to ACR, but I'm more likely to use them than PPPoker or any of the fly-by-night poker apps, where you are 100% gambling that you will even get your money out.

    I listened to about 40 min of the interview, didn't feel the need to continue. If there was something super interesting that occurred later on, I'd like to know.
  • Aaronn Posts: 21Subscriber
    edited May 17
    There SHOULD be security measures on cashing out after a quick double up. In case you don't know how chip dumping can work, it's a bit like money laundering. I am a bot, I steal/win 10K from you, then I dump it to another account, so that the clean account can cash it out. The bot looks like it's not a big winner long-term, and doesn't make withdrawals, so I get to keep that account active. If the bot ever does get caught, all the money is already gone.
    So if I have a quick double up, I might need to prove that who I won it from wasn't a bot? What if it was a bot? This doesn't sound like an improvement.


  • CycleV Posts: 914Subscriber
    If a person deposits a grand on a site, it's likely that they want to play some poker. If they double up and then want to cash out a day later, how can this NOT look suspicious?

    Back when I bounced around (when bonus whoring was an easy way to make money), I had to email copies of photo ID with current address, etc at most sites. Pretty standard stuff.

    So you are worried about bots (correctly imo), but you're also worried about anti-bot measures to verify identity of hit and run accounts? I don't know what to tell you, other than (as you may already suspect), online poker ain't for you.
  • Aaronn Posts: 21Subscriber
    CycleV said:
    If a person deposits a grand on a site, it's likely that they want to play some poker. If they double up and then want to cash out a day later, how can this NOT look suspicious?
    Just like I wouldn't go into a casino that wouldn't let me play (without getting stopped by security at the door), one $1000 hand of black jack and walk out with $2000 or nothing I wouldn't patronize an online establishment that wouldn't let me play for "only" a day and cash out my winnings. I'm exactly of the opposite opinion, someone logs into a poker site, gets lucky and wins big and wants to cash his winning out and this LOOKS SUSPICIOUS? Holy crap!
    CycleV said:
    So you are worried about bots (correctly imo), but you're also worried about anti-bot measures to verify identity of hit and run accounts? I don't know what to tell you, other than (as you may already suspect), online poker ain't for you.
    No, I'm not worried about bots. As Phil pointed out they don't have any special powers, they just play perfectly. I'd be worried about collusion which is something both humans and bots can do, but bots do it much, much better.

    As I said the amateur-hour spyware approach only catches the people stupid enough to be caught. It is trivial to be entirely undetectable to software like that, but the mack-truck sized security hole it exposes every other user to is just an invitation for misuse and exploitation.

  • Jack7777 Posts: 653Subscriber
    edited May 18
    "No, I'm not worried about bots. As Phil pointed out they don't have any special powers, they just play perfectly. I'd be worried about collusion which is something both humans and bots can do, but bots do it much, much better."

    Ok. FR 200NL @Aaronn In the BB, w/3 bots sitting at the table, plus two players accumulating rake points, one pro, two good regs and a fish(maybe) There's no money in that game.

    I used to play ACR, low hourly profit. I would satty into tourneys, then register late and cash. That started to get hard to do.

    I won a seat to the WSOP($12,500) a couple of years ago on ACR/ $560 entry. They even called me asking why I didn't take out all the money which was above the max withdrawal. They sent me the rest. Now, it's $1000+ entry fee. Guess what? The field just got a lot tougher.

    I'm not interested in rake prizes.

    I watched some of the interview and I was amazed at how badly the site is controlled. Phil "I feel sorry for the players from Turkey, they got run off PS. So, I welcome them to my site." "In fact, I welcome all players from Russia and other countries in that region." America's Card Room "If we catch you with a bot, you gotta set up a new account."

    Ask yourself. Why would ACR refund millions to users? Are they even making that much? Off the rake? They have players who play 24/7 on ACR. They are taking a lot of money out of the games. When ACR sees huge rake back don't they notice who got it? But you go over there and try to withdraw some winnings," you gotta play some more against our bots." This happened to me on a different occasion.

    **I check in over there from time to time. Looks slow."
  • Aaronn Posts: 21Subscriber
    Jack7777 said:
    "No, I'm not worried about bots. As Phil pointed out they don't have any special powers, they just play perfectly. I'd be worried about collusion which is something both humans and bots can do, but bots do it much, much better."

    Ok. FR 200NL @Aaronn In the BB, w/3 bots sitting at the table, plus two players accumulating rake points, one pro, two good regs and a fish(maybe) There's no money in that game.
    Yeah, I can see how bots can be a huge problem especially if then can dilute the fish down to one per table.

    Maybe I should have said that I'm not personally worried about bots. They are clearly a problem for some people.

    I can't overemphasize how powerful online collusion is, both for humans and 100x for bots. In games like PLO and short deck the bots can see a large fraction of the deck.

    Again, the anti-cheat departments at these sites are only catching the bad bot writers and bad collusion. It's not even close and the facade of security they present just makes the damage done by the undetected ones that much worse.


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