Partypoker fastforward update: Polk fires back at critics

Kat Martin
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Posted on November 3, 2021 5:52 am EDT

The long-running saga of the partypoker fastforward bug seems to be drawing to a conclusion, although few appear to be happy with the outcome.

As first reported exclusively by Poker.org, an apparent bug in the seating algorithm for partypoker’s fastforward tables produced a biased distribution of hands in different seats. Specifically, players who were multi-tabling experienced a deficit of hands in the cut-off (or button when 3-handed); the so-called “CO dip.”

Since it is more common for professional grinders to multi-table than recreational players, the bug was effectively handing EV from regs to recs, potentially costing the regs millions of dollars.

In response to pleas in a 2+2 thread and on Twitter to raise the issue with partypoker, Doug Polk looked into the matter. He subsequently reported on his podcast that he had raised the issue with partypoker executive Rob Yong, and that Yong had worked tirelessly to trace the origin of the problem. Polk also appeared to acknowledge that there was indeed a bug, but mysteriously added that it was “probably okay.”

Polk’s effusive praise for the diligence of Yong has irritated many players impacted by the bug, leading to criticism of Polk on Reddit. This in turn has led Polk to fire back at his critics via Twitter:

“Just stumbled across this reddit thread and I have to say, I am pretty annoyed. The Party Poker button issue was brought to my attention. At that point I could do one of 2 things. 1) Do nothing 2) Contact Rob Yong at Party to try and fix the issue.”

Where’s the beef?

The current friction between Polk and the victims of the bug, along with a subsequent Reddit thread by “Justin,” suggest that peace between the two sides may be about to break out. Polk asserts that he is under no obligation to act as an advocate for players, whereas those players seem mostly disappointed in Polk’s praise of Yong, as well as the fact he has not called for players to be reimbursed.

Most importantly, perhaps, the latest Reddit thread on the topic indicates that the bug producing the CO dip has been fixed. Thus Polk, a poker celebrity, achieved in a few days what a number of partypoker’s aggrieved customers could not accomplish over several months. This justifies player pressure on Polk to intervene, since playing thousands of hours on the site does not appear to meet the required threshold to be listened to.

Despite this encouraging development, the one party that remains unhelpfully silent on the matter is partypoker. Indeed, when Poker.org reached out to partypoker’s Head of PR & Sponsorship, Jessica Selt, she confirmed that the company’s only statement on the matter was one posted on their Discord server:

“We have optimised the seating logic of our Fast Forward games to improve player experience. We continually review this and all other aspects of our games and we remain fully committed to upholding the integrity of our games.”

What’s next?

Professional grinders who played fastforward games have, throughout this episode, been very clear on one point. They feel they were cheated out of large sums of money by the software bug, and that they deserve compensation.

Partypoker has been equally clear, both on their Discord server and in private communication to players, that no refunds or compensation will be forthcoming. The company has justified this stance on the basis that the seating algorithm was the same for everyone, thus the games were intrinsically fair.

This last point is critical, but increasingly difficult to defend given that partypoker has apparently changed the seating algorithm. But in the absence of legal action by impacted players, which Poker.org has been told is unlikely given the associated costs, it seems that this unfortunate affair may have reached its conclusion.

Featured image source: Twitter