Full Tilt Poker Issues Statement re: Robot Case

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Full Tilt Poker

Call it arrogance on the part of the world's second largest online poker room.  Full Tilt Poker typically does not comment on any type of complaints lodged against it from lawsuits to player complaints about software upgrades to nasty public relations people who are yet to properly utilize their star player and representative at next month's World Series of Poker final table. 

In an unusual - and some might say BOLD - move by the online poker company, Full Tilt has responded to a recent lawsuit alleging it uses "bots" to play against real customers.

As first reported by the TMZ.com website two weeks ago, Lary Kennedy and Greg Omotoy claim they won $80,000 and that the funds were confiscated by FTP. 

Full Tilt Poker, which has among its equity partners Phil Ivey and Chris Ferguson, claims that plaintiffs used an automated play functions called "robots" instead of playing the game themselves. Since using robots violates Full Tilt's rules, the site's owners confiscated more than $80,000.  Omotoy and Kennedy, in turn, claim that Full Tilt Poker also use their own bots on the website.

Full Tilt Poker issued this statement:

"Full Tilt Poker has been made aware of the recent filing of a baseless lawsuit by former Full Tilt Poker customers - Ms. Lary Kennedy and Mr. Greg Omotoy.  Both of these player accounts were appropriately terminated for multiple violations of the express terms and conditions governing fair and lawful play in the Full Tilt Poker online virtual cardroom, including their own admissions of using multiple accounts.

"The usage of multiple accounts not only violates the clear terms and agreements governing fair and lawful play, it creates an unequal and unfair advantage that Full Tilt Poker does not and will not permit.  We aim to protect our players at all cost, thus we terminated these two claimants' accounts.

"The claims of these former customers have no merit, their complaint is frivolous, especially given the lack of candor during extensive investigation and the unequivocal and unambiguous admissions of using multiple accounts.

"With respect to alleged use of prohibited automated systems, the claimants' false assertions will be revealed as such in due course.  Full Tilt Poker has never knowingly allowed "bots" to play on its site.  To the extent either of these claimants indeed used such prohibited "bots" in violation of all applicable rules, such impermissible use by the claimants was without the knowledge of Full Tilt Poker.  When fraud, collusion, and cheating of any kind is uncovered, Full Tilt Poker investigates extensively, and then acts accordingly and appropriately, as was the case involving these claimants.

"As always, Full Tilt Poker remains committed to protecting their players from anything that might compromise the integrity of its games.  Full Tilt Poker expects that this erroneous lawsuit and its spurious claims will be dealt with accordingly by proper courts of law and other appropriate tribunals.  Full Tilt Poker expects that these claimants will be obliged to compensate the aggrieved defendants for any harm that may arise out of their false allegations, and for the wrongful institution of these bad faith legal proceedings."

This is not the first time Full Tilt Poker has been thrust into the spotlight over alleged bots playing on their website.

In September 2007, the company was forced to respond to concerns that "bots" were playing on the site.

The website at that time issued several players affected by the "online poker bot play" refunds, according to Kelli Smithgall of 4Flush.com.  Smithgall went on to suggest that suspect "bot" accounts had been froze and were "under investigation".

"The bots reportedly played on Full Tilt at the Texas Hold'em Limit cash tables and possibly, however not confirmed, at some no limit style tables.

"A poker bot is a type of malware, since the bot player is not human, they don't express fear or shame, they also can't recognize a bluff, they play the math, playing correct poker, not emotional poker, which has both it's ups and downs. Humans on the other hand might back off against extremely aggressive players.

"For example, a poker bot will raise any two cards if they think there is even the slightest advantage based on a real player's history.

"Although bots have been a common theme in online gambling and poker playing for several years now, it has been almost impossible to catch them. Like slimy snakes, they seek out unassuming new poker players that are still naive about the online gambling world."

Not all "bots" are bad. For example, the Google Bot is a "good bot" that scans websites for content than lists news stories to be part of the Google listings.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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