WPN Reportedly Overrun With Bots, Not Paying Rakeback
While all eyes in the poker world have been glued to a scummy situation in live poker, a corresponding, albeit smaller-scale, one developed in the online realm over the past week or so.
Never exactly known for being the most above-board site, the Winning Poker Network is under fire from regulars on a couple of fronts. WPN operates a minimally regulated site, with America's Card Room as its flagship skin.
First, the site has reportedly become overrun with bots to the point that multiple are sitting at every table at some pot-limit Omaha stakes. Furthermore, the players allege, WPN has been shorting players on rakeback for months on end now, with no fix in sight.
The latest grievances against the oft-lambasted site were posted to TwoPlusTwo beginning Sept. 30.
The idea that bots are running rampant on the WPN network, whisking profits away from legitimate players and taking thousands of dollars out of the ecosystem, is nothing new. In early 2018, PokerNews interviewed Joey Ingram on the subject, as he attempted to spread word that the games on WPN should be avoided by all.
"They care about paying players and that's a big thing, but they don't care at all about the security of the games," Ingram said.
While players on the forums lamented the infestation, it took more than a year before WPN officials took action. Earlier this year, the site claimed to have become "the first and only online poker network offering a transparent, verifiable reimbursement policy" in policing cheating accounts.
That came after an embarrassing episode in which a streamer played heads up against a malfunctioning bot at the end of a tournament.
According to the players, however, no such solution has developed. In fact, the timeline laid out by "HandOfGod666" — and disputed by nobody — indicates quite the opposite has taken place. The poster called the situation "full out insane" and wrote that many tables housed as many as four bots during peak hours. Another reported that bots could be found regularly infesting games as high as $5/$10 or even bigger.
The original post in the thread named more than 90 accounts playing with the identical stats, and several more were added in later posts.
Given that bots are growing more capable than ever of beating multi-way poker, this paints a scary picture for players on the site.
Despite more than a year of complaints leading up to WPN's announced improved security, the company-provided list of banned users includes only 46 accounts, most of which originate from Eastern Europe. While the reimbursements appear to have been capped at $25,000 for most, the aforementioned tournament bot took more than $175,000 out of the games.
No accounts have been whacked with the ban hammer since mid-May.
While allowing cheating accounts to make off with player funds is bad enough, even worse could be the site itself pocketing money that's supposed to go to players' accounts. According to the thread, that's exactly what's happening with the rakeback situation.
Rakeback, of course, entitles a player to receive a refund on some of the rake he or she paid, often through affiliate sign-ups.
A software update on May 20 evidently threw a wrench into the program, and nobody has worked out how to fix things. Either that or, according to some of the theorists in the thread, the site simply doesn't care to fix it and is fine short-changing its players.
Company reps evidently promised everything would be fixed in July before changing the target date to a "TBD."
The original post states that more than 50% of rakeback has not been paid out as of September. Multiple other posters came forward to confirm they'd been shorted on rakeback as well.
With thousands of dollars missing from players accounts and hundreds of thousands more reportedly being pilfered by bots, the WPN appears to be busy providing a case study as to some of the dangers posed by unregulated poker sites.