Originally Posted by supernuts25
so do bots actually win. I mean are they good enouph to pull a profit long term.
I've moved around in some dark corners of the internet, but that's an underground circle I don't move around in so I just know what has been written about them. While the software developer in me is intrigued by how they work, as someone who enjoys his online poker and has somewhat of a presence in this poker community and others, I don't dare risk putting myself in a situation where I might have to explain why I have one on my computer.
What I do know, as I said above, is there are dumb bots that are cheaply acquired and used in volume to farm the micro stakes playing a very rigid style. These are the ones most often busted because they're more prevalent and recognizable. They don't play high stakes or have big winrates by themselves, but they can be setup en masse to play tons of volume while earning RB, so can generate considerable revenue for the bot operator.
Then there are the really sophisticated/custom/expensive bots that balance their play between strong hands and bluffs, changing up their style based on the table dynamic like any solid player would. They can randomly chat to look like a person. These can potentially be very tough to recognize and beat, but to avoid overexposure they're quite rare and not easy to get. Most of us really shouldn't be worried about them. And most probably aren't going to be wasted on the micros, which is where most beginners seem to think they run into them.
Again, multi-table grinders are often mistaken for bots by the uninformed player, because they're seen playing a lot of tables at once, not engaging in chat, and their style is fairly rigid and robotic in most cases because of the number of tables played.
One thing PS/FTP used to do (and probably still do) is when they suspect a bot in action, either from a player report or their own analysis, a rep would enter the chat window (maybe even pause the game to get everyone's attention) and challenge the player to answer some questions within a certain period of time or else be kicked. Bots can't respond to this. Of course not every player chats either, especially multi-tablers, so sometimes players have been innocently caught up, but it's fairly effective against the more common simple bots.
Bottom line: Pick your poison. There are far more ways to cheat or angle in live poker than online. Bots are such an overall small risk in online play that you shouldn't be overly paranoid about it. If you see something that looks truly suspicious, and seems unlikely to be a grinder, then report the player by name to the site, or even here so that others can participate in the investigation.