Launch of Fairplay Aims to Fight Bots and Cheats in Live and Online Poker

The newest idea in the fight against cheating in poker is the impending launch of Fairplay - an independent organization made up of live and online poker operators who work together and share information on players known to engage in nefarious activity.

By: Charles Rettmuller

Fairplay would operate as a non-profit, its members forming an alliance in an effort to protect honest players from "cheats, colluders & bots". That information came to light via a tweet in the form of a poll from The Dusk Till Dawn Casino owner and partypoker partner Rob Yong, asking followers to express their opinions on the potential success of such an endeavor.

As is evident from the results of the survey, 4 out of 5 respondents are in favor of the idea, while the remaining 20% are an almost even mix of those who either don't give a damn or believe that the concept will never work.

Naysayers of the proposed plan were quick to point out that sharing such information from one poker room to the next may violate the Terms of Service between the original poker room and its customer. Also a possible hindrance to the Fairplay proposal is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) put in place in Europe to protect individuals' personal information.

Those areas of concern are being looked at under consultation with attorneys, but Yong and partypoker bosses such as John Duthie remain undaunted and appear confident that the Fairplay plan will work. Said Duthie in a tweet:

"All Fairplay associates will make it clear in their TOC's if a player is caught cheating or breaking the TOC's then their personal data will be shared with Fairplay. The main obligation a company has is to inform customers how they use their data."

Yong and partypoker have embarked on a fairplay initiative that included a recent software update that banned HUDs and the perusal of opponents' hand histories. New player usernames were required to effectuate the upgrade.

The software revamp was met with criticism from some, mostly from players and companies that rely on third-party software for their profits and livelihood. Regrettably, those customers had to be alienated, but partypoker's choice to level the playing field for all players was deemed the more prudent route to take for the good of poker in the long term.

A perhaps greater concern of critics of the software upgrade is that without the ability to study hand histories, it becomes harder to detect collusion and unscrupulous play. But partypoker remains hard at work at spotting rogue players and the launch of Fairplay is yet another step toward creating a fair and safe poker-playing environment for all.

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