Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Online Poker Today: VP$IP, PFR, and DDoS

Was writing a little last week about what appeared to have been a deliberate attack of the “DDoS” (Distributed Denial of Service) variety over on Carbon Poker that caused the site to crash repeatedly.

Most discussions of those crashes connected them to a user who found a means to cheat by casuing the site to crash, timing the shutdowns to come after the player had raised in a hand, thus guaranteeing others in the hand couldn’t respond and the pot would be slid his way.

Since then there have been more reports of such attacks on online poker sites, in particular those on the Winning Poker Network including during its recent $1 million guaranteed tournament last Sunday. WPN includes Americas Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, and about a dozen other sites. The CEO of the Winning Poker Network, Phil Payton, was on Twitch earlier this week delivering some apologies and commentary about the attacks.

The Equity Poker Network (which includes Full Flush Poker and a handful of other sites) has also been victimized by such attacks. It doesn’t appear the attacks against WPN or EPN have to do with efforts to cheat but rather seem motivated by other purposes.

All of these sites serve U.S. players. In other words, the risks taken by Americans depositing on these sites has become even greater. Not only are they having to avoid the various obstacles to depositing and withdrawing, but now the sites themselves are becoming less reliable in terms of simply being able to remain online and functioning thanks to the attacks.

I don’t know what kind of customer service these sites provide nor really anything about the experience of playing on any of them, but it appears as though it must be getting increasingly hard to endure. I heard a player on Americas Cardroom call in to Todd Witteles’ Poker Fraud Alert show this week to describe some of that frustration. Interesting stuff, and worth a listen if you’re curious to find out more about what has been going on.

We often spoke of the pre-UIGEA world of online poker as being like the lawless Old West, although those days seem tame relative to what some are enduring these days dodging virtual bullets on the “rogue” sites.

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