Joe Ingram Has a Message for America’s Cardroom CEO Phil Nagy: Get Rid of the Bots

February 13th, 2018 by Jon Sofen

Bots aren’t just influencing US Presidential elections. Joe Ingram believes they are also infiltrating one of the leading US-facing online poker sites, America’s Cardroom, and he’s calling on CEO Philip Nagy to get his act together to prevent cheating.

Joe Ingram, Poker Life Podcast

Joe Ingram has accused America’s Cardroom of being overrun by bots, with a chief executive who is either unwilling or unable to take action to stop them. (Image: YouTube)

Unlike the automatons on Twitter tasked with trying to shape the American political conversation, poker bots these days are being programmed to play near-perfect Texas hold’em against humans. Their skills at Omaha likely have been improving.

Unlike a human player who must fight tilt while calculating odds on the spot, a bot doesn’t have feelings and is programmed to always make the mathematically correct decision. As bot technology improves, it’s becoming more and more difficult, virtually impossible really, for human poker players, even the best pros, to defeat a computer-generated robot in the long run.

Thus, regulated poker sites must take precautions to protect players from bots, and if one slips through the cracks, the individual who runs the account gets banned immediately, and plausibly could face criminal sanction. On sites such as ACR, however, it is on the community and operator to police their games.

Ingram, a pot-limit Omaha cash game specialist who has played countless hours on numerous poker sites for many years, believes bots are running rampant on ACR and nothing is being done to prevent the cheating.

Calling Out ACR

As the host of the popular “Poker Life Podcast” on YouTube, Ingram has spent the past week calling out Nagy for failing to prevent bot usage, especially in PLO cash games.

Ingram acknowledged that he’s played on ACR frequently, and has referred others to the site. In his most Monday episode, he sent a message to Philip Nagy, CEO of the Winning Poker Network, ACR’s parent company, demanding that he eliminate the bots immediately … or else.

Ingram dug up an old video of Nagy in which the CEO claimed he takes precautionary measures to ensure those who use bots are banned for life, and used that against him for what he claims as refusing to uphold his promises.

“I’m taking bots seriously,” Nagy said in an old interview Ingram played for his audience on Monday. “Probably more seriously than any other network. Other networks are much more bot friendly than ours. I think I’ve come up with the single biggest deterrent for anyone who wants to use bots.”

Nagy doubled down on his commitment to protecting the ACR community from bots. “You can quote me on this,” he said. “I will make mistakes. I will ban real money people, and I will ban real people because they seem like bots. And I will be merciless about it because, to do this right, you’ve got to draw a line in the sand.”

Ingram said, after watching that clip, he was “a little bit shocked.”

“I heard this energy in what Phil brought. I heard what he said. But he has literally done this is no way, shape, or form,” he said.

What’s His Evidence?

To prove his point about excessive bot usage on ACR, Ingram shared player statistics for three PLO cash game players he believes are bots.

These three players, according to Ingram, play in micro-stakes games and have won at a rate unrealistic for a human player. Ingram went so far as to say these are “the biggest winners I’ve ever seen in my life at $0.05/$0.10 pot-limit Omaha.”

Screenname “RumWarrior,” for example, has played 147,458 hands and is averaging a profit of 10.08 big blinds per 100 hands. That means this person (or bot) is winning about $1 every 100 hands, on average, playing $0.05/$0.10 PLO.

The three accounts in question all have similar win rates and overall statistics. Could a human possibly win so frequently? Joey doesn’t think so.

“How could you look at this in an honest form and say, ‘this is legitimate?” he asked. “What exactly are they doing? What does the security team do? Who is the security team? Who are these people?”

Ingram soom directed his comments toward Nagy, saying, “And now, Phil, when I messaged you about this, you didn’t have much concern for the collusion or the bots.”

Later in the video, Ingram said he no longer will encourage others to play on ACR due to Nagy’s refusal to remove the bots, and said there are better poker sites for American players.

16 Responses to “Joe Ingram Has a Message for America’s Cardroom CEO Phil Nagy: Get Rid of the Bots”

  1. MrSamsa says:

    Its pretty telling that ACR has refused to even address the issue publicly, not necessarily about the problem itself with the bots, but of their overall attitude towards players on their site. That being that they just don’t care if their players are getting taken advantage of or whether the integrity of their games are in tact.

    This should be concerning for every player because not only is it just one more nail in the coffin of online poker but if they aren’t concerned about other people taking advantage of their players why should we trust that they wont take advantage of their own customers? Not addressing or making cheating a huge concern or priority makes it seem like the site runners themselves have no problem with amoral behavior or shiesty conduct. Which on an unregulated site breaksdown the trust needed to even bother playing there.

  2. Rijckenborg says:

    I hope that each poker room will clean up bots if it’s true.
    What if it’s the poker room owner who program bots?

  3. RhoadesHoyle says:

    Comments like these are the reason I haven’t tried online poker yet. Smh

  4. trippin says:

    Good thing I have not deposited to that site yet, I play tournaments more anyways. If a tournament with 300+ players has 3-6 bots I like my odds against the AI all day long. I know it is not that hard to develop a bot detector.

  5. milencenov says:

    “”These three players, according to Ingram, play in micro-stakes games and have won at a rate unrealistic for a human player.””

    Nowhere in this article, nor in Ingram’s statements, I could see what is “realistic” winning rate for a human player !

    And without that definition and differentiation, all those accusations are just BS.

  6. BRADYboy2 says:

    Disgusting that ACR done nothing.

  7. A2020 says:

    Sounds like bullshit.

  8. A2020 says:

    So he mentions 10 BB every 100 hands, or 1BB every 10 hands, well, with 9 players on a table, winning 1 every 10 hands (Or even less) sounds totally standard.

  9. paulsmall007 says:

    yea those figures dont sound crazy and at micro stakes, how is that a concern

  10. kena3000 says:

    I don´t think that is enough evidence. Althought there is something that not just ACR but all the networks should do about BOTS. I mean a think that they are real but as JOE i don’t have a real evidence. Now should be really about this “What does the security team do? Who is the security team? Who are these people?” and show to all member what are they really doing about this.

  11. zam220 says:

    If this is true, I hope that the poker room will be to block bots

  12. prc108 says:

    There is definately something wrong at ACR. I’m not a great poker player but If I play 10 tournaments I usually cash in 1 or 2. I cant even count how many Ive played in and only cashed for decent money a couple of times. I know people suck out but NOT AT THE RATE it happens at ACR. And Mr. Samsa is correct, they dont give a shit about their customers. When a company operates out of China how does anyone trust it.

  13. chicopaw says:

    if bots are being used and rooms do not address these problems, this will eventually lead to the biggest Dooms Day on Online Poker/Gaming .It could be the dimise of a ever growing and popular sport and enjoyment that will be cursed ,never trusted

  14. runningdog2000 says:

    get rid of the bots,u scared u cannot beat another player straight up? my last deposit u kind of look like zsuckerberg from face book

  15. KristaK says:

    is this true? many bots on ACR? i play there a lot and this is troubling .. very troubling

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