The Ipoker Bot Problem Part 1

Posted: May 17, 2012 in General
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

So its a while since ive played at Ipoker but i though this would make an interesting post.

Lets face it Ipoker is riddled with bots and the only people who dont believe it are the naive and the Ipoker network itself, obviously they have their reasons for telling us no bots exsist on their network but i will get in to that later. It really all started when i made the switch to 6max at NL20 on William Hill and as i gathered more and more hands on players i would notice a player on my tables that had near identical stats to a player at my other tables and it got so bad at times that it was easy to get the players mixed up if you didnt look at the names and just checked their stats. I started to notice that these players were playing the same styles as well, i mean yes a lot of players play the same styles but if you didnt know these could be the same players.

Now i should mention that im no stranger to the bot in question and i actually have a log in for the bot website. Lets just say stuff like that interests me and although im intrigued as to the workings of stuff like that i wouldnt go as far to purchase it afterall reading the forum it was a piece of junk anyway and people were losing a lot of money, however it was clear to see that the thing did have potential if someone could make a good profile for it. The bot cant read HEM or anything like that so its a one size fits all for every villain type so someone had to come up with a profile that could win enough off the fish to make up for what it obviously loses against the better players.

Heres an example of the coding that is used and once broken down its pretty easy to see that you dont need great knowledge to be able to code for yourself:-

When hand = A Q
When raises >= 2 fold force
When raises = 1 and calls = 0 and BetSize <= 5 and ( LastRaiserPosition = 1or LastRaiserPosition = 2 or LastRaiserPosition = 3 )and ( hand = Ad or hand = Qd ) RaisePot force
When raises = 1 and BetSize <= 3 call force
When raises = 1 fold force
When In BigBlind and raises = 0 and calls = 1 and LastCallerPosition <= 3 RaisePot force

When TotalInvested > 115% StackSize and TripsOnBoard and ( bets = 1 or raises >= 1 ) and(not NutFullHouseOrFourOfAKind = 1) and havefullhouse call force
When TotalInvested > 115% StackSize and FlushPossible and ( bets = 1 or raises >= 1 )and ( not HaveFlush ) and ( HavePair or HaveStraight or HaveNutFlushDraw ) call force

So as we can see the bot can read stacksizes and it can read positions and can see how many players are left to act or where a raise has come from and be programmed to act accordingly.

As some will remember there were a load of these players who were running bots that got caught by Full Tilt and banned and rumour has it that it may have actually been the bot owner that `grassed` these players in, there were a lot of evidence that pointed towards it in fact it was believed that there was something in the bots program that actively alerted FT that people were running the bot. Since then all the dodgy dealings that were going on at FT it would be no surprise if this were true.

So back to me playing 6max and i started to collect data on these players i suspected of been bots and became a dab hand at spotting them early and then i would check them out on PTR and there they were all losing players, all running exactly the same stats and all playing an ungodly amount of hands. I mean some of these guys were putting in 12 hour stints playing NL20 and not actually showing any signs of improvement. I wondered what is the point until i started to wonder how they afford to do it. BANG it hit me, despite them all been losing players if they had the usual 50-60% Rakeback deals then they were all actually making money after RB and suddenly they became quite profitable.

By this time i had already started taking a ton of notes on how the players were playing and i would start to come up with ways to exploit them which i did and i will get in to that in the next part along with the list of players i put together, the emails i sent back and forth to William Hill support, the BS excuse and website that WH directed me to which contained information that i really shouldnt have seen, and finally some of the math that i was able to put together that showed these bots were cash cows and probably the real reason Ipoker is loathe to admit that they exist.

  1. pokerron247 says:

    This is all pretty scary stuff. Imagine what the bots will be like with another few years of development. I’m sure it won’t take too much to link them upto HEM, have them recognising table dynamics and having an overall more refined strategy, as well as being able to evade the bot-detectors on the sites.

    Artificial Intelligence was the only part of my degree that actually interested me at all. I’m sure if I was into online poker back then I’d have actually applied myself to my studies and worked on ai for poker. I wouldn’t ever want to use it for profit (unless in a bot v bot challenge), but I find it very interesting.

  2. martl1 says:

    As far as i know there are already some bots that can read trackers and act accordingly but these are bots that people wont be selling because they are playing and winning in small and midstake games. Occasionally you hear about the odd one getting banned from Stars but on the whole Stars do seem to do a good job of detecting them which is the main reason the bot in question in the piece isnt compatible with Stars.

    Im the same when it comes to this stuff(not bright enough for a degree though lol) but i find it really interesting and it was fun picking these bots apart and exploiting them at the tables once it became obvious Ipoker would take no action. Whats scary about it now is that a few of these bots have suddenly gone from losing over millions of hands to becoming winning players almost overnight.

    • pokerron247 says:

      I would have thought that anti-detection would be fairly easy to build in by just putting in a bit of randomness to betsizes, actions and timing. How are they getting picked up by Stars?

  3. x_ROSH125_x says:

    Really interesting read. Looking forward to more posts. I was thinking about moving some of my business to WH but a few people told me about the bots.

    Its pretty smart and scary what to think about what is capable with AI.

    I’m just waiting for the 1st real life bot that appears in a live game at my local casino. It will be like something outta blade runner 🙂

  4. martl1 says:

    Im not sure exactly but i think they use some capture things and think it used to be screen scraping or something like that on suspects but like you say the top end ones will be very good at getting round things like that. theres been a few that have come out in Internet poker where its been players that have noticed irregularities and alerted Pokerstars.

    The one i mention used to type `nh` in the chat box occasionally but it would do it at stupid points and they had to take it out lol

  5. martl1 says:

    Thats the ironic thing, i moved there after Full Tilt because i wanted somewhere that my money would be safe and i thought big UK bookmaker would be a good choice. Its now safe to say i dont trust them one little bit.

    A Phil Helmuth bot would be fun, one that berates people every time it loses a pot.

  6. Husker says:

    I’ve noticed lots of players on Ipoker who’s names all start with ‘TTR..’. For example, tonight there was a TTR148221132 and a TTR146639172. If you go to ptr and search for TTR14 or TTR15 etc there are loads of them

    • Husker says:

      Just spoke to Support and they have explained, after a bit, that the TTR,,, names are automatically allocated to people who don’t create a nickname on the site.

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