ACR blogs about ongoing game-security and player-cheating issues

Haley Hintze
Published by:
Posted on: January 18, 2024 7:59 am EST

ACR Poker has published a “Response to recent security concerns” as a follow-up to its poorly received attempt earlier this month to prove that the Winning Poker Network, where ACR serves as the flagship skin, didn’t have a so-called “bot problem” regarding computer-driven play on its network.

While ACR’s $100,000 Bot Challenge brought a quick cancellation and an apology, the core issue remained unchanged, in that WPN does appear, from the majority of evidence, to have a significant issue with automated accounts. WPN and ACR are far from the only networks or sites to perennially combat the issue, but in issuing the ill-fated challenge, the site put itself under the spotlight regarding the issue.

“WPN takes game security and integrity very seriously,” the post begins. “We deploy significant resources and technology toward identifying any bad actors that look to gain an unfair advantage or cheat our players out of their funds.”

Investigation into questioned accounts had been ongoing since publication on forum

The post continued by indirectly addressing the “botfarm” post by 2+2 member TylerRM that stirred the pot, naming hundreds of believed-to-be-bots accounts that had posted incredible win rates while playing in a distinctly identifiable style.

According to ACR, all of the accounts had been vetted for possible cheating prior to TylerRM’s publishing of his stat-driven findings. A “majority” of the accounts, per ACR, had already been banned from the site. However, ACR acknowledged that several dozen of the suspect accounts had passed through security tests, which according to the blog post included video recordings of the accounts being played by their owners, then submitted to ACR for review.

“Out of an abundance of caution,” the ACR blog continued, “we have decided to suspend each of these accounts and put those accounts through additional scrutiny before they are permitted to continue play.”

ACR also announced its plans to issue additional refunds to affected players if more cheating is uncovered.

Current list of security protocols released to public

ACR also published its current list of security protocols, under which suspected cheating accounts are evaluated. While the list appears comprehensive, the bot issues that remain evident have ACR promising to make “additional changes and enhancements” to the site’s game-security measures.

At the present time, ACR Poker subjects suspected cheating accounts to some or all of the following protocols:

  • Mandatory player documentation updates
  • Captcha technology and table pixelation changes
  • Software that renders bots who use live data collection such as PPL or OpenPPL ineffective
  • Video-recorded sessions of players for pattern evaluation where play is matched to previous hand histories to compare results
  • Deep dives of hand and play history across all our games
  • Recent banning of virtual and remote access machines
  • Introduction of features such as PLO Reshuffle which puts folded hole cards back into the deck to reduce collusion opportunities
  • Recent partnership with GTO Wizard to enhance GTO analysis protocols and detection
  • Investment in tools that improve data analysis and detection capabilities

Though extensive, expect ACR to announce it expects to add still more anti-cheating measures in the near future, even if the site might not offer full detail – to not tip off bad actors – on exactly what those measures are designed to accomplish.