The IPoker Bot Problem Part 2

Posted: May 21, 2012 in General
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Now obviously ive got a ton of stuff that i still want to get in to on this topic, the emails i sent back and forth to William Hill, the players themselves and the ways to exploit them, the dodgy `Poker school` that William Hill support said these players belong to, and some of the math behind why these guys are so profitable to the network and why they could never afford to get rid of them. First of all though we are going to go off a bit at a tangent and pull some stuff off the bot forum which shows some of the reasons why these bots are getting harder to play, how easy it is for them to get caught if Ipoker wanted to catch them and last but not least the funny post made by the bot owner explaining why they dont see using the bot as cheating.

I get regular email updates from the bot site explaining new sites that bot can play on and new snippets of code which can be used to help people design better profiles for their bots.

The default profile which comes in our Holdem Bot is a solid TAG-style No Limit player, with near-perfect stats, and is classified as a shark by Poker Edge. However, today’s games are always changing – so being able to design new profiles is an important feature in our software. This is why we have supplied an easy-to-learn method for customizing your own actions in the bot, known as PPL.

Many of our members have created their own profiles and do very well with them. It comes down to how good of a poker strategist you are. Some of these profiles have graphs with impressive stats, and are sold inside the marketplace section of our support forum. You could be the next player to create a great new profile, and choose to either keep it to yourself or sell it.

For example, suppose you want to design a very aggressive 6-max cash game profile. Let’s say you are tired of getting re-raised pre-flop from the button or the blinds after you open-raise, and want to 3-bet them a certain percentage of the time regardless of your hand holding (as long as their bet size is not too big). A simple line like this will do the trick:

when botslastaction = raise and raises = 1 and amounttocall < 6 and random <= 50 raise 85% force

That code-line will make the 3-bet after your open-raise is re-raised, and do it randomly 50% of the time, as long as the amount to call is below 6 big blinds. So if your open raise is typically to 3 big blinds, and these knuckleheads are re-raising you making it 5 more to call (or less), your profile will hit them back for about 85% of the pot more, half the time, randomly. See how intuitive that is? (The raise count will only be 1 because the bots own actions are not included in the bet/raise count in PPL.)

Obviously now, you want to make a flop continuation bet when only against one opponent. That code-line would look like this:

when botslastaction = raise and raisesbeforeflop = 1 and botsactionsonthisround = 0 and opponents = 1 and bets = 0 and raises = 0 bet 75% force

With that code-line you will always follow your pre-flop 3-bet with a bet of 75% of the pot on the flop if only against one opponent, regardless of what you hold or what flops. Most of the time, that move will take the pot down right there. But, some 6-max opponents are tricky. So you may want to program a re-raise when you get raised about 1/3 of the time, just to keep them on their toes. That code-line would go right underneath the above one, and might look like this:

when botslastaction = bet and botslastpreflop action = raise and raisesbeforeflop = 1 and botsactionsonthisround = 1 and opponents = 1 and bets = 0 and raises = 1 and amounttocall < 40% potsize and random <= 33 raise 85% force

Remember, this is all without specifying what flopped or what hand you hold, which of course can also be added if you like. You might also decide to check-raise from first position 33% of the time randomly, which can be added with another code-line. But with these three code-lines above you will have a very aggressive 6-max cash game player. In fact, you can take these right out if this email and add them to any decent cash game profile (such as the one that comes in the bot), and start giving your 6-max opponents fits. When they see that you are prone to play back at them, they will think twice before trying to run over you.

As i have mentioned before its easy to see that the program language that is used is simple and easy to pick up once you have the hang of it. If you have a decent knowledge of the game then it would be pretty easy to make a bot that can grind out a decent profit at the lower level micros, luckily the guy running the site has shown time and time again that he is sadly lacking in that department but his way to get round this is to get others who are pretty good to come up with code and then include it in his profiles, so although not a good poker player hes obviously a smart guy when it comes to business.

There has been a few rumours on the site of Ipoker banning accounts but they get taken down pretty quickly as Ipoker is the best place to play with the bot its obviously bad for business if it looks like theres a possibility of been bannd from the network. Below are some of the comments in regards to people complaining about this and its basically brushed under the table although the bolded part at the bottom basically shows how easy it would be to catch them if Ipoker really wanted to something about them. Clearly though its obviously not a worry otherwise you wouldnt really tell the sites how to catch your own product would you?

our iPoker rooms are not banning our accounts – if that were happening, this forum would be blown up with dozens of posts – we have supported iPoker for years with no issues

therefore I deleted the thread because the source was questionable – if somebody did get banned at Titan it was probably for something else such as multi-accounting and/or identity fraud, which has always been something poker rooms crack down on much more than using a bot

sometimes the poker rooms crack down on the more serious abusers and this is usually because multiple other players turn them in, the people who go 24/7 for 8 days straight on 4-6 tables, and that sort of thing

if a poker room/network decides to come after us, there is nothing we can do to stop them, no amount of stealth will work, we have been all through that with the Merge network – they can simply program in their software a way to detect our .dll file being injected in their process, or scan your hard drive for the bot license

Following on from that the quote below appeared on the website from a customer giving away just another way for the networks to detect the bots and as yet it hasnt recieved a reply from the bots creators.

Would be a good idea if the programmer will hide bot exe via hook method with protection from anti-debug, windows hooks and parent process emulation. The bot executable file associated registry entries and dll(msiltcf.dll) can be easily discovered by the pokerroom and detect that the executable belongs to the bot.  thumbsup

Now for the really funny bit, for anyone who thinks that botting is cheating(I mean who in their right mind would think that?????) the bots creators explain why botting isnt really cheating and it shouldnt really be frowned on. Ive edited out the compant names for various reasons but by now most people will know which company im talking about.

Xxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx  is an honest business run by honest people. We sell poker bots. Poker bots are specifically mentioned as not allowed at the online poker rooms where we program them to work at. So we make a living selling a product whose intended use violates the rules for the place it is intended to be used at.  There is no denying this. It is flat-out a violation of the rules you agree to play by (when you sign up for a poker room account) to use our software there.

However there is a big difference between cheating and using automation tools on your computer, the way we see it. There is a big difference between cheating and violating (what we see as) a minor point buried in the fine print of the terms of service form. Our products cannot collude. They cannot gain any information that is not available to everybody else who is playing. They are not created in a spirit of cheating, nor are they promoted as cheating tools. Cheating discussions, and discussions about committing fraud in any way, shape, or form, are not allowed in our support forum. They don’t belong there.

We see successfully using a bot as the ultimate achievement in the natural progression for a passionate student of the game. It is like doing your graduate work in the field of online poker. It is very much within the spirit of this unique game environment; in fact it nurtures and inspires that spirit. If you haven’t fooled around with a poker bot, tweaking it to play how you want for a specific game type that you have identified, you have not yet experienced all the satisfaction that mastering the incredibly fulfilling challenge of online poker offers.

We are obviously not the only people that think this. We have sold thousands Holdem Bots over the last few years, and one thing we can conclude is that people who truly love poker also love playing with this toy. Our typical customer is an honest player. They are mostly people that just love the game, people who would shudder at the idea of cheating. In fact I would describe most of our members as poker purists, intelligent players who like to solve puzzles and tinker with gadgets.

Even some poker rooms have seen it from our point of view as well. I have actual letters from Bodog on file, from their customer service department, answering emails where somebody reported a suspected bot user. They basically say, “Well so what? Using a bot isn’t cheating. If you have any evidence of collusion let us know.” This was their natural reaction to the issue, arrived at from thinking logically. (Unfortunately they have since been blackmailed by the jerks at 2+2 into changing their official policy on this, and nowadays say bots are not allowed. So now they just turn a blind eye like our other supported poker rooms do).

It is worthwhile to consider that the people who are waging the anti-bot campaign are actually just good players who don’t want a bunch of other good players saturating the games and fileting their fish before they can get to them. They are motivated by simple greed, a “more fish for me” attitude. So what is really better for the game of poker? Catering to greedy semi-pros who are only concerned about their bottom line? Or introducing a natural new element which helps further a dedicated player’s thinking and strategy development?

Any popular computer activity has always had aiding aftermarket software developed for it, since the dawn of the personal computer. It is only reasonable to expect that every possible kind of software to aide in online poker play will be developed as well, of which the poker bot is the pinnacle achievement (in our opinion). To stifle that development is not only oppressive, it goes against the very spirit of the game. Mike Caro made a poker robot twenty years ago. There have been official poker bot vs. human competitions sponsored by major gaming corporations. Major universities have engaged in poker bot projects.

Operators, please don’t let the greedy semi-pros poison your mind with their anti-bot propaganda. Poker bots are really, really cool. Real players love them, they are a natural development of the game, and they should not only be officially allowed, but openly welcomed. They are as natural part of online poker as playing in your pajamas. Soon there will probably be a major online poker room that officially welcomes poker bots, and our prediction is that when the world sees how popular they really are, others will get in line as well. But whoever makes that first bold move will no doubt reap huge rewards for it.

If you were attracted to our website because you thought we were offering a cool way to cheat, and you are a person who is not repulsed by the concept of cheating, please go away. You are not welcome in our community any more than you are in the poker games.

Now its fair to say after reading that your probably going to need this:-

So there we have everyone is now clear that botting is not cheating. What? You mean its not clear?

So that just gives a bit more information on that company and how it looks like they think they are invincible when it comes to been detected on IPoker. Part 3 is going to include a lot of the stuff i mention in the opening paragraph.

  1. DAVE says:


  2. pokerron247 says:

    I completely agree that bots are interesting and probably exciting to work with, but to say that they are not cheating is ridiculous.

    There’s the basic principle that the site we choose to play on sets the rules. Whether you agree with those rules or not, gaining an advantage by breaking those rules is cheating, especially if you are doing so without the knowledge of the players you are playing against.

    It would be completely different if the site specifically allowed bots, but as it is, they are breaking the rules and therefore cheating.

    To say that it’s a natural progression of the game and that makes it fine is just dumb. Maybe using bionic legs is a natual progression of the 100m sprint, but until the IOC allows it, anybody who turns up at the track with rocket powered legs is cheating.

  3. martl1 says:

    Yes totally agree, some of the comments are just down right hilarious. The one thing that has always bugged me in this respect, as someone who suffers from quite bad tilt, i get a bad beat or whatever and my mood changes and the red fog descends and suddenly im off my `A` game. The bot takes a bad beat and just carries on regardless as if nothing happened. Thats an unfair advantage right there.

    • pokerron247 says:

      That’s exactly where bots will have a huge advantage. It’s not just the tilt issue, but they will only make mistakes when their strategy is programmed badly, whereas human players make mistakes even when they know what the correct decision should have been.

      For example a human player knows that in a certain spot I am not bluffing enough for him to make the call, but he manages to convince himself to make the call because I ‘might’ just be bluffing this time. The bot will never make this call.

      I would guess that a large amount of the profit I make from regs is from these kind of mistakes where the human players level themselves into making a decision that they ‘know’ is wrong.

  4. martl1 says:

    Yes thats another big issue. I hear a lot of people saying things like well if you cant beat the bots its no surprise you want them banned. They are missing the big picture in that most average to good players will beat the bots but the bots manage to turn a profit through big RB deals and also from taking money from the fish who they are able to beat on a consistent basis. Call me selfish but they are taking money from the table that they are not entitled to.

    A lot of people also dont realise that these bots are able to use table hoppers that help them get on to the best tables and can also be programmed to avoid certain players that they know are taking advantage of them on a regular basis.

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