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.
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.