Posts Tagged ‘Software’

Unibet to Launch Around the World Dream Raffle with New Poker Software

 Unibet to Launch Around the World Dream Raffle with New Poker Software

With Unibet set to go live with its long-awaited new poker client on Thursday, the online poker room is also gearing up for spiffy new giveaway to promote the upgraded software. Dubbed the “Around the World Dream Raffle,” Unibet will be giving two dozen phenomenal trips away, including one that will treat someone to a month-long vacation visiting some of the greatest locations on Earth.

Starting December 1st, the day the new poker client goes live, Unibet will randomly drop raffle tickets at the real money cash tables. The player on the button at the lucky table that is chosen at any given moment will win the Around the World Dream ticket, while the rest of the players at the table will be granted Unibet Open qualifier tickets.

All tickets are not created equal, however. The higher the stakes of the cash game table (No-Limit and Pot-Limit only, not Fixed-Limit), the better the potential prize. Here is how it breaks down:

Gold Raffle Ticket – NL/PL25 and above – €10 UO qualifier ticket for everyone else
Silver Raffle Ticket – NL/PL10 and above – €10 UO qualifier ticket for everyone else
Bronze Raffle Ticket – NL/PL4 and above – €2 UO qualifier ticket for everyone else

There will be 5 Gold tickets dropped per day, 10 Silver tickets per day, and 30 Bronze tickets per day. Everybody who wins a ticket will win something, even if it is not one of the biggest prizes.

SPEAKING OF…the ultimate prize for the Gold level is a 28-day journey to the “New 7 Wonders of the World,” a trip valued at £31,088. The Wonders and their locations include, in the order they would be visited:

Rome (Colosseum)
Amman (Petra)
Agra (Taj Mahal)
Beijing (Great Wall of China)
Cancun (Chechen Itza)
Cusco (Machu Picchu)
Rio De Janeiro (Christ the Redeemer)

Also included in the prize package is all the transportation and 4- and 5-star accommodations one would need.

Unibet is also awarding another 23 Gold ticket winners various trips such as a South African safari, sailing in Barcelona, and golf in Ireland. Non-trip winners will win Unibet Open packages or tournament tickets.

The top prizes for both the Silver and Bronze tiers are a €3,000 Travel Experience plus €2,000 cash. Other top Silver prizes include a laptop, a €2,000 Unibet DSO Mauritius package, and a €750 UK Tour package. The remainder of the prizes for both levels are tournament tickets.

The raffle will be held live on Twitch on Saturday, January 7th, 2017. The top prizes will be hand drawn and announced by David Vanderheyden, while the lower value prizes will be selected by an automated randomizer program. Winners will be notified via e-mail within seven days, so it is not necessary for raffle ticket holders to be watching the drawing as it happens.

Poker News Daily

Israeli Software Company Creates Facial Recognition Program, Uses It To Identify Professional Poker Players

 Israeli Software Company Creates Facial Recognition Program, Uses It To Identify Professional Poker Players

In this day and age, there are many things or people that we would like to be able to identify simply from their appearance. From judging whether someone has donned a disguise to more sinister implications, such identification would be critical for particular situations. A software company in Israel says it has developed a facial recognition software that they claim can identify terrorists and pedophiles, proving it by identifying…poker players.

According to Yahoo! Tech writer Dyllan Furness, The Israeli company Faception (which is a startup that is currently looking for funding) has developed this software and demonstrated it at an unnamed poker tournament. Yahoo! states that the software analyzed 50 amateur players that were in the tournament and, after comparing them to a database of poker professionals, picked four players that the software determined would excel in the event. Of those four players, two of them – amateurs, mind you – made the final table and would finish in the top three positions (it is not stated whether they won or not).

The theory that Faception’s software runs off is that facial profiling is supported by two genetic research observations, Furness says. DNA affects a person’s personality and also determines their facial features. Putting these two “genetic expressions” together and having a viable database to work from, the facial recognition software determines who has the potential to become whatever they company is searching for…be it poker pros, serial killers, geniuses or terrorists. The program has 15 different classifiers in its system and, according to its creators at Faception, the software is 80% accurate with its predictions.

There are some problems with the system that are pointed out, however. The determinations from the facial recognition software are only as good as the data that is put into the system (otherwise known as “garbage in, garbage out” or GIGO). The computer program is, after all, using an algorithm to qualify its decisions. There is an example of a computer program that correctly differentiated between wolves and dogs; it was quite proficient in its task, but the researchers found an error that led them to believe that the software wasn’t “differentiating” the two creatures – the computer program learned by identifying snow in the background of photos that it was more likely a wolf than a dog, which normally aren’t photographed in the snow.

The Washington Post’s Matt McFarland also looked into Faception’s work and potentially revealed further issues. “Can I predict that you’re an ax murderer by looking at your face and therefore I should arrest you?” said Pedro Domingos, a professor of computer science at the University of Washington and author of “The Master Algorithm.” “You can see how this would be controversial.” Domingos also pointed out that the software program may focus on one particular trait – such as a beard – and develop inaccurate predictions from such information.

The folks at Faception do not seem to be fazed by the naysayers, however. “We understand the human much better than other humans understand each other,” a Faception chief executive, Shai Gilboa, boasted to McFarland. “Our personality is determined by our DNA and reflected in our face. It’s a kind of signal.” They also state that they have a signed deal with an undisclosed security agency that will use the software to fight terrorism.

It might have been a joke previously – how all the great poker players were named Phil, for example, or they all were successful backgammon players – but what if there is something to the Faception theory and their software? Could we be identified by our faces, with them dictating what our future course may be from an examination of its contours? Or is it just another “snake oil” sales gimmick by a company to attempt to fool people?

Poker News Daily

WSOP.com Player Caught Using Illegal Third-Party Software

 WSOP.com Player Caught Using Illegal Third Party Software

The use of third-party software in online poker has been the subject of debate ever since such things came into existence. Over the last couple years, many internet poker sites have begun banning third-party software in an effort to appeal more to recreational players, as they are rarely the types of players who use them. Now it seems that one poker pro may potentially be in legal trouble for his use of banned software on U.S. regulated site.

A player going by the screen name of “BTCBLADE,” reported to be successful online and live pro Tommy Chen, was outed as a heads-up display (HUD) user on Nevada’s WSOP.com in November. According to Nevada law, HUDs and other software aids are illegal. NRS 465.075, the applicable portion of the state’s gaming code lays out the rules:

It is unlawful for any person at a licensed gaming establishment to use, or possess with the intent to use, any device to assist:
In projecting the outcome of the game;
In keeping track of the cards played;
In analyzing the probability of the occurrence of an event relating to the game or;
In analyzing the strategy for playing or betting to be used in the game, except as permitted by the commission.

While originally intended to curb brick-and-mortar casino customers from using electronic devices to cheat (for example, an electronic card counter hidden in someone’s shoe), it also applies to online poker. HUDs obviously qualify as an unlawful device, based on the above definition.

Even if one might argue that a poker site doesn’t count as a “gaming establishment,” WSOP.com also made HUD’s against its rules. From the site’s Terms and Conditions:

7.3 Software Aids: The use of any automated tool which in the Company’s opinion is designed among other things to provide assistance in betting decisions, to exchange the opponents’ hand histories, to enable You to find a seat at a poker table, to automatically seat You at a poker table or which is used in any way in connection with Your use of the Services is strictly prohibited.

One of the odd aspects of this case is that Chen is a prolific Twitch streamer and broadcast his online play complete with visible HUD for everyone to see. Thus, one might be inclined to believe that he was simply ignorant of the law and WSOP.com rules and at least didn’t intentionally violate any rules. That thought could be countered, though, knowing that that the two most popular HUD software makers, PokerTracker and Hold’em Manager, don’t offer support for WSOP.com. Thus, Chen would have had to come up with a different solution and would have likely known that HUDs were against the rules.

In a discussion with poker pro Randy Dorfman over Twitter in November, WSOP.com Head of Online Poker Bill Rini said that Chen had been informed of his transgression and had simply been warned, a “punishment” that irritated Dorfman. According to Flushdraw.com, however, the matter was later escalated and is being investigated by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Chen’s videos have been taken down from Twitch and Flushdraw also suspects he may have been suspended from WSOP.com, as he has not played there since November 22nd.

The violation of NRS 465.075 could cost a player a fine of up to $ 10,000 and as much as six years behind bars, as it is a class B felony.

Poker News Daily

partypoker to Implement Software Changes to Curb Third-Party Software Use

 partypoker to Implement Software Changes to Curb Third Party Software Use

We have seen a trend lately of online poker rooms trying to make themselves more recreational-player friendly, not by necessarily weeding out skilled pros (though this is often what happens), but by attempting to protect weaker or simply newer players from those who want to prey on them by means other than simply playing good poker. The latest poker room to announce changes it partypoker, which wants to “level the playing field” for all players.

In a blog post last week, the poker room listed out the following three changes to its software platform (emphasis added):

•    Players will be able to view the last 12 months of their own hand histories within the Missions icon in the partypoker software, but hand histories will no longer be able to be downloaded and saved to their local devices
•    Players wishing to wait for a cash game will join the room-wide waiting list and be randomly seated when a seat that matches their preference becomes available
•    Players joining a cash game will see the names of their opponents only once their first hand is dealt

The goal of these changes is pretty straightforward. A growing problem in online poker has been what many would consider unscrupulous “sharks” using third-party software to target and hunt down “fish” in a way that runs contrary to the spirit of poker. They use software that collects data on players (either from the user’s own hand histories, purchased hand histories, shared hand histories, or some combination of the three), tags statistically weaker players as fish, and helps them find those players in the lobby and then automatically seats them at their tables. Nobody should have a problem with a good player simply winning money from a lesser player at the poker tables, but when they purposely stalk them and have automated assistance from software in doing so, it does appear to be crossing the line.

In eliminating downloadable hand histories, partypoker takes away the ability for hand tracking software to gather data on players, thus making it that much harder for third-party software users to identify fish. And by removing both the ability to select cash game tables and see their opponents before sitting down, sharks should be prevented from hunting down their prey even if they can somehow still identify them ahead of time.

In an interview with PokerNews, partypoker’s Head of Network Operations and Business Intelligence Jay Kanabar explained some of the thought process behind the upcoming implementation, saying:

If I walked into the Bellagio Poker Room in Las Vegas, I could not ask the Card Room Manager, “Who are your worst players? Can you lock me a seat up to the left of one of them? Where do I get the printout of all the hands everyone here has played over the last 6 months? When my juicy seat comes free can you give me a shout, I’m just nipping into Bobby’s Room to take some notes on the hands being played in there!

Tony Dunst, partypoker’s Ambassador and WPT commentator added in the blog post:

These changes at partypoker are designed to create a more hospitable environment for recreational players. Unfortunately, many of the tools and tactics that professionals use to maximize their edge have made the games too difficult for new players to survive. Without them, grinders will merely pass money back and forth while being raked, and games will inevitably dry up. I think these changes will help level the playing field for casual players, and preserve the quality of games for professionals.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Announces Massive Changes to Third Party Software Policy

 PokerStars Announces Massive Changes to Third Party Software Policy

In a move that could have a seismic effect on how online players take on the game, PokerStars announced earlier this week new changes to their policies on third party software usage. The new changes are in effect now and, if fully pushed by PokerStars officials, will effect players who have come to depend on something other than their own abilities to play the online game.

In a post on Two Plus Two, PokerStars’ Sit & Go and Tournament Manager Baard Dahl details out the discussions that had been echoing around the halls of PokerStars’ offices. Those discussions brought out the following changes to the third party software policies, straight from Dahl’s post on Two Plus Two:

1. Reference material, such as starting hand charts, now have to be “basic in nature”. Anything considered to be sophisticated in nature can no longer be used whilst the client is open.

2. HUDs are no longer permitted to display non-numerical data, categorize players or dynamically display statistics specific to a certain situation.

3. Hand or Situation Analyzers, such as programs that compute equities of various ranges of hands against one another, can no longer be used whilst the client is open.

4. Game State Reporters can no longer automatically or semi-automatically retrieve information from an otherwise permitted reference material. For example, tools can no longer notify an end-user that their starting hand lies in Group 1 of a statically defined grouping of hands.

5. Table Selection and Seating Scripts can no longer time a player’s registration into a global waiting list. They must register players into specific tables or tournaments.

The first three changes will actually have an impact on how the play will be conducted on the virtual felt. HUDs have long been popular for the voluminous information that they provide to the players, with some even allowing situational analysis for determining the play of hands. By removing the ability to either display hand grouping information or player categorizations, a HUD user will have to rely more on his own immediate knowledge.

Another important change will be in the ability for software to automate the selection of tables and seats. In the case of the Spin & Gos, Dahl writes, it should be totally random whom players were being seated to play against. Such programs as SpinWiz, however, were circumventing the PokerStars software and allowing for players to target certain opponents (the practice when done in a cash game setting is called “bumhunting”). Dahl was quick to note that “at this time” PokerStars was still allowing some generic seating scripts for other games.

In his post, Dahl also details out how the new protocols will be implemented. “In accordance with our usual procedure, our first objective will be to educate people who do not realize that this form of software is now prohibited,” Dahl writes. “Consequently, we will have sent a notification of these rule changes to players who we know have been using such software in the recent past. None of these players have broken any of our rules, but we want to make sure that everyone has first-hand information so that they do not inadvertently end up in a situation where they break the rules in the future.”

The commentary from the users was divided on both sides of the issue. Some thought that the new regulations are the result of Amaya Gaming, the owners of PokerStars, further protecting the “casual” player and taking away from those looking to make a living off of the online game. Others, however, have long bemoaned the usage of third-party software at the virtual tables – even longtime poker professional Patrik Antonius recently lamented that he cannot beat the games online anymore because of the usage of HUD software – and see the moves by PokerStars as long overdue but perhaps too late to help the online game.

With the new rules enacted, we should be able to see the effects on PokerStars traffic numbers – if there is to be any effect – over the coming weeks. Players will either have to adjust to life without some of their favorite software devices or – as is usual in the online game – find others that can circumvent the PokerStars protocols.

Poker News Daily



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