WPN Makes Vital Discovery in Fight Against Online Poker Bots

November 25th, 2019 | by Greg Shaun

The home of Americas Cardroom has made an important strides in the fight against online poker bots.

WPT poker bots

WPN has found a new way to stop poker bots that use screen scraping to cheat. (Image: Future of Life Institute)

In the same way Partypoker has upped its efforts in recent months, the Winning Poker Network (WPN) is pushing back against cheats.

While its industry peer recently shutdown an additional 57 bots in October to take its tally of kills above the 700 mark, WPN has broken new ground.

WPN Makes Startling Revelation

Outlining the discovery in an official blog post, CEO Phil Nagy said modern poker bots are using screen scraping.

The advancement of technology, including artificial intelligence, has made poker software more sophisticated over the years. In line with these innovations, Nagy revealed that bots are now capable of analyze graphical data.

After running a serious of tests, WPN’s security team found that poker bots can read pixels. Using this information, the programs can determine what cards the user has, what position they are at the table, bet sizes and more.

To combat the fraudsters, WPN has released four graphics updates in the last six months. The changes prevent the bots from reading games for a limited period of time.

In tandem with new prevention methods, the online poker operator analyzed activity data before and after the updates. Accounts that were less active after the changes were asked to prove they weren’t a bot.

Those that couldn’t were closed and that’s resulted in over $450,000 in stolen funds being recovered.

More Hope in Battle Against Poker Bots

The revelation has not only changed the way WPN tackles fraudsters but our perception of what’s possible.

Poker bots have long been an issue but only now are we starting to understand just how sophisticated they can be. However, by making its findings public, WPN is providing a service to the industry at large.

In any security threat scenario, knowledge is power. By uncovering a previously unknown technique, WPN has put other operators on alert.

While the game of cat and mouse will continue, it’s another step in the right direction.

As online poker looks to expand and attract fresh blood, tackling bots is becoming more important than ever. By throwing another proverbial spanner in the works, WPN has not only improved the safety of its own network but the game as a whole.


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