Friday, January 11, 2013

A Wart's Opinion - Casino Police Still "On the Pad" - Part 3

Where we left things in Casino Police Still "On the Pad" Part 2:

Casinomeister (CM, aka Mr. Bryan Bailey) had finally received and published the long awaited and much anticipated analysis of the Player's game logs.  (Mr. Bailey included the report as an embedded link to a PDF file (available only to CM forum members), but we provide a copy here.)

Mr. Bailey's post also stated:
"We requested Eliot Jacobson to review the log files to determine whether a bot was used. 
The player had played slots and blackjack.  Even though the player was demanding payment for his blackjack winnings, the casino suspected bot play on most if not all BJ and slot games.  The logs analyzed were for Ocean Princess - the conclusion is that the player used a computer program to assist in the game play.  The same behaviors appeared in his black jack play."
First of all, Dr. Eliot Jacobson is the President of Certified Fair Gambling.  I would describe Dr. Jacobson as a long term and well-respected member of the online casino community, and I would tend to trust any analysis which he performs.

(I'll deal with the rest of this post from Mr. Bailey shortly.  See below.)

In this report from Dr. Jacobson:

1.)  You can see that he was provided with three log files, all three for game play in a slot named Ocean Princess dating from May 7 to Jul 9 2012.

2.)  You can see that he was NOT provided with any log files for game play in Pontoon by this Player, either in or before this "special promotion".

3.)  And finally, you can see that he was NOT provided with any log files for game play in any form of "a blackjack game" for any date by this Player.

So, obvious conflict #1 - Why was Dr. Jacobson asked to analyze old play logs for a slot game, when the game in question was multi-hand Pontoon?

(If you want, you can play the Flash version of this Ocean Princess slot at the latestcasinobonuses web site.)

Of the three logs provided to Dr. Jacobson, his analysis focused on the third log - a "session" of continuous play that lasted 44 hours and 53 minutes.  During this session the Player played 30,619 "rounds" of this slot.

Although Dr. Jacobson mentions it, there is no option to adjust the number of lines ("reel sets") in play - it is always 5.  Further, there is no "auto-play" feature available for this game.  The Player needs to "Spin", then select either 1 or 2 "Hold" buttons, then "Spin" again, all of this manually.  Any/all of these actions can be performed using the mouse (one-handed play) or the keyboard (two-handed play).


The points raised in Dr. Jacobson’s summary:

#1. - An extraordinarily long period of continuous play at the same game.

I completely agree with Dr. Jacobson on this point.

#2. - Breaks insufficient in frequency or duration to accommodate basic human needs.

I completely agree with Dr. Jacobson on this point.

#3. - A rate of play in excess of what a human player can reasonably attain.

In his report Dr. Jacobson gave an average rate of play (over the entire 44 hour and 53 minute session) of 682.2 games per hour.  This works out to 11.4 games per minute (or about 5 seconds per game).

I played the Play-for-Free Flash version of this game at the latestcasinobonuses web site mentioned above.  In doing so, I configured the game's speed of play by clicking the Menu button (lower right), selecting Options, then Game Settings, and set everything to "fast".

Once done, and after a little "figure it out" practice time, I was able to comfortably play at the rate of about 10 games per minute.

Note 1:  I did not use the option of the number keypad to hold a column and the spacebar to spin - in other words, I did not use both hands to play.  All of my game interactions were done using the mouse, which it is safe to say would be slower than the 2-hand method.

Note 2:  I used my 5-year old Dell Precision M90 laptop to play these games, which is a serviceable PC but no "barn burner".  So I requested that my blog colleague Black Jack perform the same tests using his latest-and-greatest desktop computer (which I can tell you is a real "barn burner").  Black Jack was able to comfortably play at the rate of about 12 games per minute, again using only the single-handed mouse method.

Note 3:  In addition, it is obvious (based on the screen shots) that the Player involved did not use the Flash version of this game, but rather the download version.  (I have no interest whatsoever in downloading and installing a Playtech Casino for testing, regardless of my commitment to Truth, Justice and the RNG Way.)  It is generally accepted that download casino software (especially for such a simple game as Ocean Princess) runs faster than Flash casino software.

Bottom Line - I completely disagree with Dr. Jacobson on this point.

#4. - Minimal variation in game pace, beyond what could be attributed to lag or resets.

Of the 30619 total games played, 30444 (99.4%) of them were played with a "game gap" of between 4 and 7 seconds.  Based on my hands-on experience, this does not seem to be an unreasonable variation in game pace.

Bottom Line - I completely disagree with Dr. Jacobson on this point.

#5. - No variation in wager size or lines played.

I don't see how this is relevant.

#6. - The player did not earn an unreasonable profit from his play.

Again, I don't see how this is relevant.


Is the fact that the Player played for 44 hours and 53 minutes without a significant break of any kind, the only points on which I and Dr. Jacobson agree, "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" that the Player used a robot?

If we apply the guidelines defined in Part 1, well, I'd have to say yes, it is.  Either that, or more than one person was playing.  But even 3 people, playing in shifts - I'd have to say we're stretching the bounds of probability here.  (Three people, each playing two 8-hour shifts, and not one of them took a piss or made a sandwich?  I just can't see it.)

So, we have a report from Dr. Eliot Jacobson which proves "beyond a reasonable doubt" that from Jul 7 to Jul 9 this Player played a hell of a lot of slot games using a robot.

I said near the top of this post - "I'll deal with the rest of this post from Mr. Bailey shortly."  Here is that critique.  In the quote block at the top of this post Mr. Bailey states:

1.  "The player had played slots and blackjack."

Agreed.  1.) We're looking at slot logs, and 2.) we know he played Pontoon in the "special promotion".

2.  "Even though the player was demanding payment for his blackjack winnings, the casino suspected bot play on most if not all BJ and slot games."

Yeah, we got that.  We don't know what, if anything, it means yet, but we got it.

3.  "The logs analyzed were for Ocean Princess - the conclusion is that the player used a computer program to assist in the game play."

Yeah, we agree that the Player used a robot to play some Ocean Princess slot games.

4.  "The same behaviors appeared in his black jack play."

Huh?  What?  What "black jack play"?  What does "same behaviors" even mean when comparing a slot to Pontoon?

Side Note **********

Unlike your typical slot, Ocean Princess does have an extremely basic form of "optimal strategy".  It boils down to a single determination - what is the minimum value slot stop to hold if your only option is to hold 1 reel?

At thePOGG they state:  "... playing max coins using the optimal strategy the house edge is 0.93%, playing less than max coins with optimal strategy the house edge is 1.26% and the average player strategy generates a house edge of approximately 3% ..."  (Sadly, no guidance on "optimal strategy" is provided.)

In addition, there is only one "big win" in this slot.  The top 5 payouts (all are 3 in a row) are: 50X, 75X, 100X, 125X, and 1000X.  From this we might reasonably speculate that this is a "low variance" slot.  Low variance slots, by design, tend to extend play time by providing lots of little wins, but few "big wins".

However, a low variance slot that has a potential HE of less than 1% would be perfect as a "bonus burner" - that is, a way to grind through the wager requirement (WR) of a bonus.  If you wanted to make and/or sell a Playtech "bonus burner" robot, then this slot game would be perfect.

One of the long-term forum members (Join Date: Oct 2004) states:  "If the WR rules count it as a slot, it becomes a very good candidate for having a bot designed for it."  They also reference a web site to potentially find such a robot:

(As it turns out by the way, this Player, during this marathon 45-hour Ocean Princess session, was playing with a bonus.  We don't know what the WR for this bonus was, or whether the $7,654.50 the Player wagered during this marathon session satisfied it, but they were using this bot as a "bonus burner".)

End Side Note **********

And thus, with Mr. Bailey's statement "The same behaviors appeared in his black jack play.", we now begin our journey into the promised fustercluck.

Before we get into what in the world the Player's July slot play has to do with playing multi-hand Pontoon in a "special promotion" in the middle of August, let's re-visit one of Mr. Bailey's earlier statements.  In this post, dated BEFORE Dr. Jacobson's analysis, Mr. Bailey stated:  "One of his sessions was for 44 hrs 53 minutes with 57.6 rounds per minute. The casino reported a number of other sessions like these."

In this statement he got the session duration right, but where he (or Betfred/Playtech) came up with 57.6 rounds per minute (1 second per game?) when the actual value was 11.4 rounds per minute (5 seconds per game) will perhaps remain a mystery for all time.

HOWEVER, this is significant because:

1.)  The Casino told Mr. Bailey that this was their proof.  (The problem with using "Casino Proof" was addressed in Casino Police "On the Pad"?)

2.)  Mr. Bailey was prepared, even willing, to take the Casino "at their word".  (This problem was addressed in Casino Police "On the Pad"? Addendum.

3.)  Based on this, Mr. Bailey had already concluded that the Player used a "bot" prior to any analysis.  If he had not succumbed to public pressure, the CM classic "Judge, Jury and Executioner" scenario would have played out.

Why, why, why does Mr. Bailey keep doing this?  (I think the AA quote goes:  "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.")

Now, onward into the development and conclusion of this fustercluck.

Well, the first post following the one containing Dr. Jacobson's linked report immediately pointed out the obvious - what does a slot robot have to do with a Pontoon promotion?

Mr. Bailey provided the totally non-helpful - "Please read what I posted. His gameplay was identical in BJ."

The Chief Bailey Buttock Remora, Nifty29, added the equally on target:  "At least now we know the OP was bullshitting us the whole time (which many suspected anyway)."  (If Mr. Bailey dies, Nifty29 will either have to be buried with him, or require significant facial reconstruction in order to correct the years he has spent in "ass sucker" mode.  Following a particularly nasty rant - even for Nifty29 - someone made an appropriate response.)

Mr. Bailey gets pissed that anyone dare defy his "Godhood", so he decides to award the forum with a (mini) BaileyBlastTM.  In this he addresses everything except the critical points:

- What does a slot robot have to do with a Pontoon promotion?

- Why weren't the actual play logs for the game in question analyzed?

Side Note **********

Mr. Bailey does make one statement which I'll need to quote here:

"Betfred has done a thorough investigation, Playtech has reviewed all of this info as well."

Let's take a look at yet another situation involving Betfred, Playtech, Blackjack, a Player and a "robot".  (This one is from Nov 2011, and is on Gambling Grumbles, a web site generally recognized as the #2 Player Protection web site in the online casino industry.)

In this case, the Player lost £1,658 in winnings due to the charge of using a robot.  You can see in this web page report that Betfred's Deputy Casino Manager states:

1.)  "... I am not legally allowed to provide you with the actual games logs for you to see ..."

2.)  they will "... send [the Player's] logs to a contact at a high position in Playtech who is an expert and provide a second opinion for us ..."

Gambling Grumble's conclusion:
"What we are certain of is that BetFred can not be positive that a bot was used.  Also, despite the fact that we were told 10 days ago that this would be checked by the expert at Playtech and we would be informed of his opinion, that never happened."
Our conclusion:  Betfred is full of shit!  Not legally allowed?  Playtech has an expert?  Promised data that never materializes?

I think all of this provides us with a proper context for Mr. Bailey's statement:  "Betfred has done a thorough investigation, Playtech has reviewed all of this info as well."

End Side Note **********

The CM Betfred rep makes a post - 140 words, saying absolutely nothing.  He makes another post - 116 words, saying nothing.  (As I said earlier, it takes real skill to do this.)

Dr. Jacobson makes his first post following the one which contains the link to his report.  Although I agree with his conclusion concerning the logs which he actually analyzed (the Player did use a robot in playing their 45-hour, 30,619 round slot marathon in order to grind through a bonus WR), Dr. Jacobson goes off the reservation in extending this "based-on-data" conclusion into complete speculation.

- "He built and tested his robot software on a low-level slot."  How does he know that the Player didn't simply purchase the robot?  As stated above, an Ocean Princess robot would be a great tool for burning through a Playtech casino's bonus WR.  It therefore seems logical to conclude that such a robot would already be available "off the shelf".

- "This was simply the development stage for his software.  His final test run was the slot play I analyzed."  "Final test run"?  Where did that come from?  (Another post raises a logical point:  "He could've done all that in free play."  That is, if the Player was actually creating this robot, then this development and final testing work could have been done for free in the Play-for-Fun casino.)

- "I did not look at his play on Pontoon because I was not asked to do so.  But I do believe he used his software to target Pontoon in the same fashion it played against the slot."  Wait a sec ... "I do believe"?  Based on what?  At what point does "belief" enter into a statistical analysis?
"The point of his project was always to try and beat these promotions by stuffing the box with his play.  He knew it might not happen the first time, but if he could play very fast, continuously, for a long period of time and at a very low level, then at very little expense of his personal time and energy he knew he stood a better than average chance.  Since these promotions are apparently ongoing, his intention was to continue using his bot in this way to win a car.  He may have been a member of a larger team playing collectively using this bot software.  My guess is that this is the case, since there have been some issued pinning down the IP address that this play originated.  Lucky (or unlucky) for him, the first time out he won the car."
"This incident points to the main reason that online casinos ban bots.  It is not that bots can beat their games.  They can't (if the software is built right).  It is that a bot signals a secondary intention that may be more sociopathic.  This case is a perfect example."
In all of this, Dr. Jacobson has removed himself from the world of data and analysis, and has decided to entertain pure speculation.  Dr. Jacobson later states:
"My opinion, without any evidence to support it other than the IP issue, is that a syndicate is using this bot to target promotions and other advantage situations."
Another member posts, asking the logical question:  "Id personally like to know how a video poker or slots bot, whatever the game may be, can be tested on such a game and then just switched to play perfect stratergy pontoon. It just does not make sense."

When asked whether Dr. Jacobson had seen the Player's Pontoon logs but had simply not reported on them, Dr. Jacobson replied:  "No. I never saw the pontoon logs. I did this audit as a favor to Bryan and was not paid (nor offered payment) by any party. I have no pony in this race."

Mr. Bailey provided Dr. Jacobson's report on Sep 3 2012, in post #174 of the thread.  4 days later, Sep 7, in post #372, Dr. Jacobson's report, along with Dr. Jacobson's speculations, as well as statements by the CM Betfred rep, are still being questioned.  And it is the same questions, over and over and over ...

- What does a slot robot have to do with a Pontoon promotion?

- Why weren't the actual play logs for the game in question analyzed?

That is 200 posts in 4 days, or an average of 50 posts a day!  At CM, 50 posts a day is an amazingly busy thread.

But that was the problem, for CM, and for Betfred.  The majority of these 200 posts were either asking the two questions noted above, or criticizing the answers (or perhaps more accurately the non-answers) that were being provided by CM and BetFred.

What should have happened?  Betfred should have paid Dr. Jacobson for a statistical analysis of the Player's game play records for the Pontoon play in the "special promotion".

What did happen?  Mr. Bailey made a final post, which contained the following statements:

- "I welcome criticism - and I welcome debates on bot use and fraudulent activity."

Yeah, right!  The first post following the publishing of Dr. Jacobson's report, which criticized the report as well as its conclusions, resulted in a (mini) BaileyBlastTM.

- "Unfortunately, sometimes threads spin into a bash-fest - either on a casino rep, or your fellow members. I for one will not tolerate this.  There have been several comments made in this thread that I found highly disappointing. Those members have been notified."

And this from a man who has already stated that he welcomes criticism.  A BaileyBlastTM for the general public, and private notices (threats?) to specific members.  His "welcoming" efforts are truly inspirational.

- "In my opinion, this specific issue is done - this thread's course has run."

50 posts a day, essentially demanding justice, and Mr. Bailey decides to lock the freakin' thread!

OK, so the thread is locked, the decision is done, there is nothing left here.  How in the world do we Bottom Line this whole situation.

Well, the first step is to apply our Integri-MeterTM rating.  The result clearly deserves a rating of 1.  However ... there was a lot of effort put into this (mostly the report, and NOT the subsequent subjective input, from Dr. Jacobson) ...

So, I'm going to bottom line this with an Integri-MeterTM rating of 3.  It is painfully obvious that Casinomeister's protection racket remains in full swing.  There is just no other way to describe why the CM forum members were asking these questions and NOT Mr. Bailey.  After all, these questions would be obvious to any fifth grader.

It is also obvious that either Betfred is amazingly corrupt, or just amazingly incompetent at running an online Casino.  In my opinion, Betfred's casino is a relatively small part of the entire Betfred operation.  I therefore conclude that what we are seeing is:

1.)  Betfred's Casino Management and Marketing Management are amazingly incompetent.

2.)  These people spend a significant amount of their time trying to hide this fact from the people that sign their paychecks.

My colleague Black Jack made a post several months ago:  Avoid Betfred (And Casinomeister) Like The Plague.  Well, I'd agree with the "Avoid Betfred" part of that.  But as far as flat out "I just do not believe this shit", you can't get any better than Casinomeister.

1 comment:

  1. It doesn't matter if cm is corrupt. Only an idiot would trust anything they read online. A real player trusts there gut, plain and simple.


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