Online Bots and How to Solve it

Krexnik

Krexnik

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One of the biggest issues in the modern world of online poker is the existence of bots and people using programming knowledge to exploit recreational and unsuspecting players. I would suggest that all poker sites cease allowing players to use HUDs. If hand histories are not readily available then individually tailored and automated strategies will be impossible.

HUDs also make the game less about skill and more about how much a person is willing (or able) to pay for software that eliminates the need to actually think about what play is optimal in the moment. I think we can all agree that poker should not be about who can buy the latest exploitative software and more about who is able to truly make the most plus EV decisions based on the circumstance at that moment.

I believe Online poker will eventually become a minefield of bots seeking out naive players to exploit without any real need or reliance upon skill. If this is allowed to continue then online poker will die forever. This is why i support an all out ban on HUDs and hand history generators. If you feel otherwise then let me know your argument to the contrary.
 
puzzlefish

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One of the biggest issues in the modern world of online poker is the existence of bots and people using programming knowledge to exploit recreational and unsuspecting players. I would suggest that all poker sites cease allowing players to use HUDs. If hand histories are not readily available then individually tailored and automated strategies will be impossible.

HUDs also make the game less about skill and more about how much a person is willing (or able) to pay for software that eliminates the need to actually think about what play is optimal in the moment. I think we can all agree that poker should not be about who can buy the latest exploitative software and more about who is able to truly make the most plus EV decisions based on the circumstance at that moment.

I believe Online poker will eventually become a minefield of bots seeking out naive players to exploit without any real need or reliance upon skill. If this is allowed to continue then online poker will die forever. This is why i support an all out ban on HUDs and hand history generators. If you feel otherwise then let me know your argument to the contrary.
Online poker won't die. It will just change to be mostly bots playing against bots. As long as deposits keep coming, there is profit to be made, and rake is generated, online poker will not die.
 
okeedokalee

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HUDs are not bots. They are cheap, why don't you buy one to help your game improve. They are only a guideline, I seldom refer to mine, but they can give me an indication of a players style.:)
 
Poker Orifice

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One of the biggest issues in the modern world of online poker is the existence of bots and people using programming knowledge to exploit recreational and unsuspecting players. I would suggest that all poker sites cease allowing players to use HUDs. If hand histories are not readily available then individually tailored and automated strategies will be impossible.

HUDs also make the game less about skill and more about how much a person is willing (or able) to pay for software that eliminates the need to actually think about what play is optimal in the moment. I think we can all agree that poker should not be about who can buy the latest exploitative software and more about who is able to truly make the most plus EV decisions based on the circumstance at that moment.

I believe Online poker will eventually become a minefield of bots seeking out naive players to exploit without any real need or reliance upon skill. If this is allowed to continue then online poker will die forever. This is why i support an all out ban on HUDs and hand history generators. If you feel otherwise then let me know your argument to the contrary.


I agree with most of this post & also agree that some drastic measures need to happen... & need to happen a.s.a.p. If getting rid of HUDs will solve the bot situation, then I too am all for it.
(only part I disagree with is " HUDs also make the game less about skill")
 
Poker Orifice

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How could 'we' (the players) go about this?
How do we reach out to the poker sites as a group in hopes of serious measures being taken to eliminate the use of Bots? (reporting suspected bot activity seems like a waste of time on most sites)
 
Krexnik

Krexnik

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HUDs are not bots. They are cheap, why don't you buy one to help your game improve. They are only a guideline, I seldom refer to mine, but they can give me an indication of a players style.:)

Online poker won't die. It will just change to be mostly bots playing against bots. As long as deposits keep coming, there is profit to be made, and rake is generated, online poker will not die.


I am a computer programmer and i can tell you that this bot wars concept is antithetical to anything that can remotely be termed positive for the poker community. Do you realize that for a HUD to operate it must have access to every move every player has made at a certain table? I have nothing in general against HUDs, though i could make a separate argument against them as well, my real issue is with the potential of that information being used to create completely autonomous bots that can predict behavior over an infinite number of hands given the stats of particular players... How can this be good? Are you benefiting from using automated systems to predict villain behavior? Is this not an ethical issue? Are you not promoting a complete dominance of poker by computer programmers?
 
puzzlefish

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I am a computer programmer and i can tell you that this bot wars concept is antithetical to anything that can remotely be termed positive for the poker community. Do you realize that for a HUD to operate it must have access to every move every player has made at a certain table? I have nothing in general against HUDs, though i could make a separate argument against them as well, my real issue is with the potential of that information being used to create completely autonomous bots that can predict behavior over an infinite number of hands given the stats of particular players... How can this be good? Are you benefiting from using automated systems to predict villain behavior? Is this not an ethical issue? Are you not promoting a complete dominance of poker by computer programmers?
Krexnik, if you think this is all not already here then you know nothing. It is way worse than this, in fact, as online poker is basically an artificial lottery system construct that simulates a card game experience.

It's not about ethics because poker room operators have no interest in this. They care about profitable operations only. As long as people keep depositing, the rooms will keep earning rake. The future with bots will see bot operators making the deposits. The future of poker for human players is in live play, until cybernetics bridges the gap between online and live play. By that point, we will be approaching the singularity.
 
Reload

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Do you have any statistics that shows the duality Bots/Players winning cash games, with the precision?
I'm just curious to know if a fine player can be beaten just because someone uses a bot.
 
Poker Orifice

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It is way worse than this, in fact, as online poker is basically an artificial lottery system construct that simulates a card game experience.



What exactly do you mean by this ^ ?
 
Iryna Stryzheuskaya

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And I read that the reason for banning trackers in rooms is that players could not use statistics to prove the dishonesty of the game of rooms. :) This is only a version.
 
puzzlefish

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What exactly do you mean by this ^ ?
You're really just playing a lottery that shows up as the poker card game on your computer screen. You play alone, bots can play as a team. You assume your game is fair because it looks like the card game and, on the surface, behaves and performs like the card game that you are expecting. There's nothing wrong with it mathematically or statistically. However, it's more like a lottery where the winning numbers are drawn without any way for you to verify that any entity did not influence or know the outcome beforehand.
 
Poker_Mike

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I am a computer programmer and i can tell you that this bot wars concept is antithetical to anything that can remotely be termed positive for the poker community. Do you realize that for a HUD to operate it must have access to every move every player has made at a certain table? I have nothing in general against HUDs, though i could make a separate argument against them as well, my real issue is with the potential of that information being used to create completely autonomous bots that can predict behavior over an infinite number of hands given the stats of particular players... How can this be good? Are you benefiting from using automated systems to predict villain behavior? Is this not an ethical issue? Are you not promoting a complete dominance of poker by computer programmers?


I am not a computer programmer. But....

Can't a bot be merged with access to a HUD and therefore have sufficient data to outplay individual human players?

Is that too futuristic? Too impossible?

Just asking because you seem knowledgeable.

Thanks and good luck !
 
uriell

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The bots in the rooms are actual, but this does not mean that it cannot be isolated.
 
Krexnik

Krexnik

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I am not a computer programmer. But....

Can't a bot be merged with access to a HUD and therefore have sufficient data to outplay individual human players?

Is that too futuristic? Too impossible?

Just asking because you seem knowledgeable.

Thanks and good luck !
Yes, this is entirely possible and is happening already.

I do not care that much if some sites have GTO bots blindly playing with programmable hand ranges and 3bet frequencies etc., though this does bother me to some extent, it is unavoidable.

My issue is that the information required for software like holdem manager and poker tracker to work provides the data needed to create bots that could become essentially unbeatable because their player adjustments could be fine tuned to such great precision that theoretically no human player would be able to compete.

If sites do not allow players to access this information then the issue is essentially solved in my view.

ignition and global poker have both taken steps to combat this issue, ignition by anonymity and global by not allowing access to hand histories in an exploitable way. pokerstars has taken some steps to try to prevent access to external databases, though this has not really been effective.

The only real way to avoid this is to completely ban HUDs and end automatically generated hand histories.

I am sure the creators of Holdem Manager and Poker Tracker will lobby the sites to avoid this taking place, but it must be done.
 
Krexnik

Krexnik

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How could 'we' (the players) go about this?
How do we reach out to the poker sites as a group in hopes of serious measures being taken to eliminate the use of Bots? (reporting suspected bot activity seems like a waste of time on most sites)
One thing people could do is email the sites and explain to them how people are utilizing hand histories to create bots, but I am sure they are well aware of this and many of them are likely profiting from people purchasing this software in one way or another.

Another option is to not play at sites that allow HUDs. At least this way the only bots you are likely to find will be operating without any real reads and generally should not be able to make adjustments in any truly dynamic way.

I believe this is just a first step in protecting the integrity of the game online. Software engineers and hackers will always try to figure out new ways to exploit the game and/or cheat, so it will be a never ending battle.
 
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How could 'we' (the players) go about this?
How do we reach out to the poker sites as a group in hopes of serious measures being taken to eliminate the use of Bots? (reporting suspected bot activity seems like a waste of time on most sites)
Last week I reported suspected BOT activity on ACR in a NL5 cash game.

Things I noticed about the suspected bots..
  • Both BOT accounts were created earlier on the same day, both from China
  • The BOTS 3-bet preflop with every chance
  • The BOTS performed a LOT of check-raises on the flop OOP
  • In a hand with each other the BOTS played passively (i.e. maximum GTO play)
  • In a hand with other players the BOTS play aggressively almost never flat-calling (i.e. knew exactly how to exploit the players)
I played at this table for around 2 hours - I caught on that "something was different" in the play of the 2 suspected BOTS after about 45 minutes. About 1.5 hours into the game I was fairly certain that these 2 players were BOTS so I contacted ACR support/security.

Within 15 minutes of contacting ACR support both of the BOTS left. I do not know if the suspected BOTS were removed forcefully by ACR security or if the BOTS just quit playing. At the time the suspected BOTS left they each had profited 5 buys ins (both had >$25 stacks).

EDIT: I should also add that I managed to "out play" one of the suspected BOTS to double up through him - but I was playing very tricky on a draw and hit my hand.
 
8bod8

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Yes, this is entirely possible and is happening already.

I do not care that much if some sites have GTO bots blindly playing with programmable hand ranges and 3bet frequencies etc., though this does bother me to some extent, it is unavoidable.

My issue is that the information required for software like holdem manager and poker tracker to work provides the data needed to create bots that could become essentially unbeatable because their player adjustments could be fine tuned to such great precision that theoretically no human player would be able to compete.

If sites do not allow players to access this information then the issue is essentially solved in my view.

Ignition and global poker have both taken steps to combat this issue, ignition by anonymity and global by not allowing access to hand histories in an exploitable way. PokerStars has taken some steps to try to prevent access to external databases, though this has not really been effective.

The only real way to avoid this is to completely ban HUDs and end automatically generated hand histories.

I am sure the creators of Holdem Manager and Poker Tracker will lobby the sites to avoid this taking place, but it must be done.
Despite all claims of being independent: poker rooms, hand trackers like HM and perfomance trackers like sharkscope, happily work together.
Rooms that do not allow huds seem to become more popular.
When many players move to rooms that do not allow any online tools other than provided by the room, all will follow. Until then we can expect the rooms to maximize their profit.
 
D

deMorphine

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Anything on the Internet will be susceptible to bots, like most games. It's just an inevitability.

If it bothers you that much, play better or go live.
 
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