Poker Stars - Close Encounters of the CAPTCHA Kind
I think I read something about this in the CC bots discussions but thought I would share this with you all anyway.
So there I was playing in my micro SNG (doing pretty well, in 1st or 2nd position) and all of a sudden I noticed a message in my chat window prompting me to enter a code that was drawn in wavy letters in an image in my chat box. I had 100 seconds to do this. I did as requested and shot off the following email to PS customer support:
I am playing a tournament and there was a popup in the chat window asking me to type in a code within 100 seconds? Is there a problem with my session?
I was somewhat nervous about this so my play and, therefore, my stack suffered. About 20 minutes later I got the following message from PS.
Thank you for contacting PokerStars.
The prompt you received is a legitimate part of PokerStars' robot player detection and prevention system, known as a CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA is an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart".
This system helps ensure that PokerStars is as free of "bots" as we can make it. The system has been designed such that most players will experience a CAPTCHA very rarely so as not to be intrusive upon your game play. The exact criteria for who receives a CAPTCHA and when cannot be divulged.
We ask for your cooperation in completing the CAPTCHA whenever it is presented to you, in order to help protect the integrity and security of our games here on PokerStars. Failure to complete the CAPTCHA when prompted may subject your account to unnecessary further CAPTCHAs or more careful scrutiny of your account.
Good luck in your games, and thank you for playing on PokerStars.
PokerStars Support Team
So, there you have it.
I narrowly avoided "bubble man" status in my tourney and cashed.
The only thing I can't decide is if being identified as a possible bot means I'm playing well, poorly, or unimaginatively.