PokerStars Plans Two-Day WCOOP Sequel After DDoS Attacks Lead to Tournament Cancelations

The WCOOP is getting a bit of a sequel this fall at PokerStars after the site was forced to cancel major events on Sunday after undergoing DDoS attacks.

The World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is getting a bit of a sequel this fall at PokerStars. After having to cancel tournaments over the weekend, the site is planning to re-run the WCOOP Main Events and other tournaments as part of a special Championship Weekend Nov. 5-6.

The series also plans to boost guarantees for several events as well. The move comes after Stars saw numerous hacking attempts over the weekend. The two-day mini WCOOP offers a chance for players to get back in on any missed events.

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WCOOP briefly resuming in November at PokerStars

The two-day return of WCOOP is a bit of an unusual situation for online poker. The Stars festival will start on Saturday, Nov. 5. The series will include reruns of all canceled events from Sept. 25 and players can look for the return of:

“To ensure a great WCOOP experience, all the NLHE Main Events will offer players boosted guarantees,” the company noted in a news release.

PokerStars will also run freerolls and added value satellites in the coming weeks. As part of the action, Stars is even adding more to the schedule. Players can expect additional events “to ensure players have plenty of options to choose from.”

PokerStars plans to release more details on the two-day WCOOP in the coming weeks.

Major Sunday events shut down

Beginning on Sunday, Stars players saw major delays in tournaments. The events couldn’t have come at a worse time with the massive series underway.

The WCOOP is one of the biggest events in online poker and some of the site’s major championship events were affected.

“We have paused all tournaments on the .com client whilst we deal with some technical issues,” the company Tweeted initially. “We will update here as soon as we can, sorry for any inconvenience.”

The technical issues continued and the site later announced that all tournaments would be canceled. Players involved in any action that was stopped would receive payouts or refunds based on the Stars cancellation policy.

PokerSats support announced on Monday that DDoS attacks caused the issues. The Stars team hoped to assure users that any personal data on the site was safe.

“We can confirm that all our customers’ accounts are safe and their personal information secure, with no signs of any cyber breach,” the company noted on the PokerStars blog. “Our teams are working to counter the issue and look after customers whose play may have been affected.”

What’s a DDoS attack?

PokerStars certainly isn’t the only company to become the victim of these types of hacking attempts. DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service and involves criminals looking to gain access to other computer networks.

“A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack occurs when multiple machines are operating together to attack one target,” the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency notes. “DDoS attackers often leverage the use of a botnet – a group of hijacked Internet-connected devices to carry out large-scale attacks.

“Attackers take advantage of security vulnerabilities or device weaknesses to control numerous devices using command and control software. Once in control, an attacker can command their botnet to conduct DDoS on a target. In this case, the infected devices are also victims of the attack.”

PokerStars support officials believe the issue is now resolved and behind them. The new mini WCOOP offers a chance to at least complete the series and play out the canceled events.

“We have a great track record of keeping our platform operational, however we know how frustrating it can be to experience this kind of disruption, especially during our WCOOP and Galactic series,” the company noted. “We’d like to apologize to everyone affected and thank them for their patience.”

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888poker Cracks Down on Bots, Recovers $100,000 for Players

888poker announced Tuesday that it had closed 85 accounts aided with artificial intelligence and recovered more than $100,000.

The battle against the use of unauthorized technological aids continued recently at 888poker. The site announced Tuesday that it had closed 85 accounts aided with artificial intelligence (AI).

The move included recovering $100,000 for customers affected by playing against these accounts. This becomes the latest in the industry as operators look to battle the usage of bots, artificial intelligence, and banned software.

“We are proud of our continued progress in tackling bots that use software to create an unfair advantage over real-life players,” head of 888poker Amit Berkovich said in a news release.

“We know that online poker players see bots as a concern when choosing their online poker platform, and we are proud to be leading the way in cracking down to ensure that 888poker provides an enjoyable, safe, and level playing field for all.”

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Shutting down bots at 888poker

Most legal, regulated online poker sites, including 888poker, look to ensure a fair and level playing field for all players. The company’s actions in closing the accounts are part of its efforts to do that.

These accounts affected more than 4,000 users and those players have now received a share of the money the site seized.

888 has developed sophisticated and innovative methods of detection in recent years. The site’s security team works to provide players a fair and safe environment.

What is a bot and how do they work?

A poker bot is a computer program designed specifically to play online poker. The goal is that the bot acts as a real player.

The programmers behind the bot hope the bot can play well against human opponents or other computer opponents.

This form of cheating is against the terms of service by most legitimate poker sites. Bots offer players an unfair advantage and because they are computer programs, they can play endlessly.

This means the “player” doesn’t get tired and make mistakes like regular human players. The whole concept behind online poker is real players competing against other real players.

Bots run counter to that idea. 888poker is now working even more to battle bots and AI at the tables.

“We will continue to use a combination of AI, our industry know-how, and other monitoring software to crack down on bots,” Berkovich said, “and ensure that 888poker is the safe and fair platform of choice for all poker lovers.”

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Name Game Greets Partypoker Players With Alias Changes Part of Software, Security Update

Partypoker continues working on site safety and an alias change will greet players on the platform beginning Tuesday.

Partypoker continues working on site safety and an alias change will soon greet players on the platform. Beginning Tuesday, a pop-up window will prompt players to select a new username.

The move is timed with a new software update and this year’s World Poker Tour Online Series. That series is set for May 14 to June 2, featuring a $3,200 Main Event with a $3 million guarantee. Many players will be using new names when jumping in the action,.

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Partypoker working to keep site secure 

The username change is part of party’s ongoing efforts to give players a safe and fun environment to play. Partypoker uses active monitoring and blocking all forms of software that could provide an unfair advantage to certain online poker players.

“At partypoker, we remain committed to our promise to keep the game fair and safe for all our players and asking players to change their aliases is one of the important measures that will help us do this,”, partypoker director Vadim Soloveychik said in a news release.

Players on the site have been a part of the prevention efforts at the site.

“I also want to thank all the players who proactively report the new players’ tracking and game aid tools that appear on the market every now and then to our game integrity team,” Soloveychik said. “Your proactive support means a lot to us and shows that we are doing the right thing.”

Security efforts spurs alias changes 

Player names will be subject to partypoker rules regarding appropriate language. The site blocks certain words and phrases blocked per company policy.

This is the second time partypoker has made such a change, after requiring players to change their aliases in June 2019.

At that time, the banned the use of HUDs (heads-up displays). Improvements were also made to the MyGame tool to help players review their play.

Partypoker has made investments in game integrity as part of a series of software updates to improve the playing experience.

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