Winamax Bans Two Accounts for Suspected Botting
French online poker site Winamax recently concluded its two-month investigation into possible botting and has decided to ban the accounts in question from the poker room.
The suspicion of the accounts, “Twopandas” and “VictoriaMo” (the latter of which was changed to “mr.GR33N13” at some point) started as most of these things do, with players feeling like something was up. One person analyzed his data on the two accounts and found that they showed oddly consistent patterns in very long sessions multi-tabling €100 and €250 Expresso games. It appeared that they had made profits extending into the seven-figures.
The two accounts also never played against each other, which is extremely unusual considering they played so frequently in the same game types and stakes, and it appeared that when one logged on, the other logged off. Right there, even with no further investigation, all signs pointed to bots, likely controlled by the same person or team of people.
But Winamax did investigate, eventually getting to the point where it invited the two players to come into the office and play online poker in front of management to prove that they were human players and not bots. Interestingly, VictoriaMo accepted the invitation, but Twopandas did not.
Because Winamax determined the evidence pointed towards botting and Twopandas failed to meet in-person, Winamax closed the player’s account, banned it from the site, and confiscated all of the account’s funds. Those funds will be re-distributed to players as Winamax figures out who was victimized by the bot.
The person controlling the VictoriaMo account did visit the Winamax offices and participated in an extended session, recreating the typical multi-tabling conditions that the account normally played. Winamax’s conclusion was as follows:
The VictoriaMo / mr.GR33N13 GTO score is average for its usual sessions and remains significantly better than other regulars in the format.
We did not see any deviation from its game statistics standards.
We noted some differences in reaction times compared to the usual numbers.
Though VictoriaMo seemed to satisfy Winamax management, the player was still banned from the site because there was still enough evidence and suspicion to question the account’s validity. Unlike Twopanda’s, though VictoriaMo’s funds were returned to the account’s owner.
On the French poker forum, ClubPoker, the place where this whole case originated, Winamax posted that it was going to crack down harder on botters:
Our policy has hitherto been based on the presumption of innocence for lack of evidence, and the conclusions of this thorough investigation have motivated us to question this approach by hardening the treatment of similar cases that may arise thereafter. We now reserve the right to apply a precautionary exclusion in order to restore a climate of trust that we consider indispensable.
The prevailing theory in the poker community seems to be that Twopandas and VictoriaMo were run by the same person, particularly considering 1) one logs in when the other logs off, and 2) only one human agreed to visit Winamax. If they were the same person, they clearly couldn’t both show up in person, so one account had to be sacrificed. It would be interesting to know if the Twopandas account had less money in it than the VictoriaMo account, as if it did, it would be more evidence that they were one and the same.
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