ACR Poker issues $100,000 challenge in wake of bot accusations

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: January 5, 2024 4:39 am EST

ACR Poker has issued a $100,000 challenge in the wake of a surging controversy and allegations made on 2+2 that an unchecked bot farm has siphoned perhaps $10 million off of the Winning Poker Network platform in recent months. On Thursday, ACR Poker team pros Chris Moneymaker and Ebony Kenney appeared in a brief video published by ACR on social media explaining the terms of the challenge, in which the first player who can prove that they’ve built a bot and run it effectively on ACR for 5,000 hands will collect $100,000 and be offered a full-time security position with the company.

The $100,000 challenge from ACR Poker is a direct, perhaps even confrontational, response to a lengthy post from a 2+2 member named “Tyler64”, who on Wednesday alleged the existence of a major “bot farm,” on ACR. The 2+2 user’s description referred to hundreds of accounts with similar playing styles that appear for brief periods, usually generate significant profits, then disappear, only to be replaced by different alleged bot accounts using the same strategic ploys.

Tyler64’s post listed several hundred suspected bot accounts and was quickly joined with the naming of more suspected bot accounts by other forum regulars. The alleged mass-botting activity is alleged to have occurred in both cash games and tournaments. Tyler64’s initial post also included links to additional data and was accompanied by the accusation that he had supplied evidence of the botting to ACR security but had received no response.

ACR team pros affirm representing players’ interests

Moneymaker and Kenney were quick to point out that botting allegations smear with a broad brush, including a site’s brand ambassadors. “We understand your frustrations, especially when you don’t hear from us,” Kenney stated, “and that’s why we’re here today.”

Kenney added, “We work diligently behind the scenes with ACR to speak up on behalf of poker players. You have no idea how vocal we are. It is really wild back here and we are doing everything that we can.”

Moneymaker then added that they are still just well-placed advocates rather than bosses. “We don’t get to see behind the curtain,” he said. “We don’t get to see what everybody’s doing, see your accounts, but are engaged with social media, are engaged with security. We’re engaged with almost all the components of ACR and trying to steer them in the right directions to help players and do what’s right for players.

The $100,000 bot challenge

Next, Moneymaker jumped to the heart of the matter, being whether ACR has a massive botting problem or not. “It’s the community that has supposedly found the bot farms, found the superusers, whatever, so we’re gonna reach out to the community,” he began.

“I’m gonna offer a hundred thousand dollars – and a job, with WPN – to anybody, the first person, that can make a bot and make it operate on WPN, that can operate for 5,000 hands and show us. … Bring it to us, show us, we’ll give you a hundred thousand dollars on the spot, and we’ll give you a job.

“The first person to do it gets this deal,” Moneymaker reiterated. “The gauntlet’s laid down. I believe our security is very good; I think we do a very good job. I don’t think anyone can create a bot that’s going to break our security, but we could be wrong.

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is, essentially,” Moneymaker added as he began to wrap up his announcement of the challenge. “We don’t have a problem. Ad if we do have a problem, we’ll stand up and say, ‘We have a problem.'”

The complete video about the $100,000 bot challenge can be found here:

Challenge possibly a response to Patrick Leonard video

The video from Moneymaker and Kenney appeared just hours after a video from Patrick Leonard, who blasted several sites and operators in general, for often failing to reimburse cheated players.

Leonard didn’t name any sites or brand ambassadors, and made it clear in several other posts that this was aimed at all sites and not singling out one.

Leonard’s video also came just days after GGPoker recently acknowledged kicking a cheating account off its own platform in a non-botting matter. GGPoker, however, hasn’t addressed additional accusations that the exploit used in that months-long hack was also being used by other cheaters. Those accusations and concerns also touched on whether the amount of cash-game funds being refunded to cheated cash-game players represented all of what was cheated at the tables or was just what was seized from the cheating account.

Featured image source: ACR Poker