Poker Stars - Close Encounters of the CAPTCHA Kind

Joe Slick

Joe Slick

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Feb 27, 2008
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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?

Thanks,

Joe
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.

Hello Joseph,

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.

Regards,

AaronA
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.
 
1

1122phoenix

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Mar 7, 2008
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Glad to see pokerstars doing what they can to combat bot play. Always thought PS was one of the better sites and this proactive approach shows it. From what I've been told bots show very consistent play and they bet specific fractions of their chips for premium hands.
 
dj11

dj11

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Very interesting, I wonder if your email counts as entering that code. Incidentally, I would be hesitant about entering that code too.
 
S

switch0723

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what are you meant to do if this pops up on 1 of your tables while you are 24-tabling?? You probably aren't going to see it
 
Joe Slick

Joe Slick

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Very interesting, I wonder if your email counts as entering that code. Incidentally, I would be hesitant about entering that code too.

I suspect that the email might count but, as an IT Consultant, I can just about guarantee that NOT answering the question will haunt you no matter what the customer service rep does, at least for a while. I think it's kinda like getting arrested for something, being fingerprinted, and then being released after they figure you're not the person they were looking for. Yes, you're free but the prints are in the system forever.

what are you meant to do if this pops up on 1 of your tables while you are 24-tabling?? You probably aren't going to see it

That's a good question. I'll never find out because there are times when I have trouble 1-tabling. I hope you don't have to find out either. I suspect that it wouldn't be pretty or pleasant. At that point, you have to prove that you're NOT a bot. If they don't buy it, you have no recourse, and may no access to your bankroll. That's all conjecture on my part.
 
I

IrishRope

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Jun 6, 2008
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I had this for the first time yesterday and was like wtf is, this was on all 3 tables I was playing. I only typed it in one chat window. My word was "winner" I thought it was some kind of joke.
 
zachvac

zachvac

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Sep 14, 2007
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what are you meant to do if this pops up on 1 of your tables while you are 24-tabling?? You probably aren't going to see it

"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."


Note that it doesn't ever say the CAPTCHA compliance is mandatory, just that if you don't respond they will further scrutinize your account and you should be able to prove that it is you playing if it came to that and that the 24-tabling was why you couldn't respond.
 
belladonna05

belladonna05

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that happened to me the other day, I was also in another poker room so missed responding....none since though and shudder the thought they would scrutinize my small amount :D
 
shinedown.45

shinedown.45

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Aug 18, 2006
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My question is "How many times will they allow you to miss before they freeze your account until you can prove you're not a bot?"

I believe that the CAPTCHA will become more frequent when not answerred on the day you see it. IMO
 
B

Bytie_nl

Rising Star
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Sep 14, 2007
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9
good to see measures taken!

DID i REALLY SAY THAT BEING A BOT MYSELF?!! :D
 
arkadiy

arkadiy

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While this is a very nice feature, and must make the users feel safe I can say that it does not stop bots, if real / private ones exist.

If he has programmed a bot (I know programmers who have made much more useless tools) it can easily read CAPTCHA and it would take 10 - 45 seconds to read and type it in.

While this definitely must make users feel more secure, and probably helps stop some of the worse bots but the private ones would most likely have the feature to detect and automatically write the CAPTCHA.

I am guessing these things go to people playing X+ amount of hours...
 
bluesboy47

bluesboy47

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Mar 18, 2008
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Thanks for the heads up. I play PS infrequently and would of thought of it as phishing and would have ignored it.
 
C

CromMitra

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Oct 13, 2007
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not topic related but......luv your pic Inscore ..laughed my ass off,now i can't sit down
 
Tygran

Tygran

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Sep 4, 2007
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I've seen this pop up once... If I remember correctly it popped on all tables, not just one simultaneously.
 
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