It has also cancelled the challenge and called for the “most knowledgeable individuals in the game” to help make ACR Poker “the safest place to play online.”
The full statement reads as follows: “Dear Players, we owe you an apology. After listening to your feedback, it’s clear to us that our recent decision to initiate the Bot Challenge on our poker sites has caused significant concern within our player community. The overwhelming feedback against this challenge has made us reassess our approach.
“Our intention behind the Bot Challenge was to test the robustness of our security systems and showcase the advancements made by our game integrity team. However, we now realize that pitting individuals against our player base to create and deploy bots was not the right path to achieve this goal. We acknowledge our mistake and sincerely apologize to our valued player community.
“Looking ahead, we recognize that the best way forward is to collaborate with the experts and our player community to ensure the safety and integrity of our platform. We call upon the most knowledgeable individuals in the game to join hands with us in making our site the safest place to play online poker. Your insights and collaboration will be invaluable as we work together to address any potential issues affecting online poker.
“Your feedback has been heard loud and clear. We value your opinions and will take them into account in our future endeavors.”
ACR Poker admits mistake
The challenge was a response to allegations made on 2+2 that a bot farm had taken $10 million in winnings off the WPN network in the past few months.
In the post, ACR Poker said, “Think we got a bot problem? We don’t. Prove us wrong and win 100k. Check the video for details. 1 winner only. READY… SET… GO!”
The accompanying video, hosted by ACR ambassadors Chris Moneymaker and Ebony Kenney, offered $100,000 in cash and a job with WPN to the first person who could make a bot and operate it on the WPN network for 5,000 hands.
Think we got a bot problem? We don't. Prove us wrong and win 100k. Check the video for details.— ACR Poker (@ACR_POKER) January 5, 2024
1 winner only 👉 READY… SET… GO 💪 pic.twitter.com/ta6k9rEvlM
That was met with immediate criticism from players across the board.
PokerOrg Player Advisory Board member Matt Berkey echoed what a lot of players were saying when he tweeted, “Gonna just state the obvious here, if you can create a bot that goes undetected, you’ll make 10x – 100x more by not engaging in this challenge.”
David Lappin said, “ACR’s chosen line here is bizarre. Their response is provocative rather than calming, their tone petty rather than concerned, their proposal indecent rather than deliberate.”
ACR Poker put out a clarification post last night that said no one had currently completed the challenge successfully.
We are following the conversation about our Bot challenge and monitoring the play on our network. At this time we can confirm that no one has completed the challenge.— ACR Poker (@ACR_POKER) January 6, 2024
For clarity there are only a few basic requirements to complete the challenge:
1) Create a bot that could pull…
Todd Witteles replied to this post saying, “Why doesn’t ACR just accept that their botting challenge was a big mistake, apologize, and offer to do some serious work with the community to eliminate present/future bots?”
And that is what ACR Poker has now done, with its statement on X.
We owe our players an apology. Here is our statement regarding our decision to cancel our Bot Challenge.— ACR Poker (@ACR_POKER) January 6, 2024
The Winning Poker Network Team pic.twitter.com/yA4itj3273