The Ipoker Bot Problem Part 3

Posted: May 25, 2012 in General
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

So we have had a bit of background about how the bots work and why the designers dont think botting is cheating. Now its time to get in to the juicy bit which were the emails that i sent to William Hill outlining my concerns along with providing them with evidence that i had put together.

Below is the second email that i sent to WH (1st didnt get a reply) along with a file listing names and stats including loses and number of hands and hours per day(edited to tidy up this post):-

Hi there,

I wonder if t is possible to find out both William Hills and Ipoker`s stance
or rules on people using bots to play at the tables. I have been playing
mainly NL20 6max for the past month and have i have compiled a list of players
whom i believe not to be playing within the true spirit of the game. First i
noticed quite a few players that according to my HUD are playing almost
identical stats, on further investigation on the site Poker Table Ratings when
i wasnt playing i find that all these players are playing hundreds of thousands
of hands, all losing players but obviously making money through rakeback. These
players sem to be able to play for a number of hours playing the same robotic
style but strangely enough even though they all play so many hands, none of
them ever play on the same tables as another player on the list.

If you could please inform me of the rules on this and also what actions i
should take from here that would be great. I have heard rumours that things
like this are not taken very seriously by Ipoker which i hope isnt true as
these players appear to be blatently breaking the T&C of the site.

Thanks for your help.

Martin.

*****************************************************************************
Since then i have searched on the forums of 2+2 and it appears that im not the only one who is complaining about the use of bots at this site.
I now have a list of about 30 players who all play in an identical pattern and have the same bot tendancies.
Again i would like to know the Ipoker policy on this. If they say they are aware of it then i guess its ok and we can just publish the names on 2+2 and go from there.

Thanks for your help in this matter.

Martin.

Here is the first reply that i recieved:-

Hi Martin,

This is Amy, VIP Manager here at William Hill Poker.

I would like to thank you for bringing these group of players to our
attention.

We have completed thorough checks on each of the accounts and are satisfied
that none of the accounts at present show any signs of using prohibited
software to aid their poker activities.

Although all of the accounts appear to have similar stats, this could be due
to the players each sharing tutors from the same respectable Poker School.
The players never sit on the same table as each other because of an agreement
between the card room of the players and the poker school. This was a
preventive measure to protect the other players on the tables from possible
collusion and the list of players themselves from being suspected of being
possible colluders. I can also confirm that the players are each owned by
different individuals.

We have also come across many instances where the players have timed out
during hands due to having to make important decisions on other tables at the
same time. This does not appear to be normal bot activity as bots are
programmed to play and not time out. None of the accounts also appear to have
excessive hours. They all have breaks during the days activities as well as
long breaks at the end of each days play which again goes against normal bot
behaviour.

We conduct a number of tests to determine if a player suspected of being a bot
is using prohibited software, our tests have shown that none of the listed
players show any signs of using prohibited software to aid their poker
activities. We will however continue to monitor the accounts and will update
you should we deem any player on this list has been frozen for the use of
prohibited software.

We take all bot complaints extremely seriously and do not permit the use of
bot software on our network. Any account found to be using prohibited software
will have their accounts permanently closed and balances suspended.

Kind regards,Amy – VIP Manager

Obviously a few questions need to be asked about this reply. If its a poker school then what sort of school teaches players to play a losing type of poker and lets them do it for hours on end?  What type of school makes players play the same robotic style and make the same mistakes over and over without deviating from their style and seemingly without tilting? So the good things about this school is that they teach players a zen like state to play poker yet cant teach them a style to beat the games yet they teach numerous players what looks like the exact same style.

I decided i would follow up my initial email with another asking some more questions:-

Hey thank you for response regarding the list of players that i sent you.

I have a few further questions about this if thats ok.

What is the name of this Poker School that you mention?  I just wonder because it seems that they can teach people to play in a very tilt free robotic style and i wonder what their secret is. I also wonder why all the players on the list are significant losers in the games they play yet still continue to play. So we are saying that these guys are probably all sat together in a room playing, is that right? Otherwise there wouldnt be a problem with them playing against each other. I mean i have had many hours of coaching and have played against my coaches students on numerous occasions and never felt the need for preventitive measures like this. If this is the case then what is to stop them colluding against myself and other players anyway? Also by now these guys must have noticed that they are been exploited in certain ways and would adapt to counter that but as yet that hasnt happened and it makes me curious as to why.

The questions above have me really curious and i am looking forward to some answers. I feel if there is nothing to stop them discussing how i am playing against them then i may as well post on the web the list of strategies to exploit these players that i use that works against every single one of the players i have on the list.

I know the session time was mentioned but do you think it is normal for people to play for 12 hours at a time at NL20? All these session times for each of these players is publicly available on Poker Table Ratings and all of them can be seen doing stints like this on a regular basis. Now if someone is playing all that time there is no way they couldnt improve their game to be a winning player at that level yet they never change their style which again points back to the first set of questions about them all sat in a room together and actually `working` for someone and having to play a specific way without any deviation.

Now on to the actual bot in question. Is it not strange that none of these players play more than 4 tables at a time which strangely enough is the maximum number of tables the bot can play. I think we all know the bot is the Shanky bot which can be found pretty easily on the web.

Now i presume that this website will be monitored by Ipoker for preventative measures so they will already know quite a lot about this bot and the way it functions. So they will already know that it is fully programmable and can be programmed to change styles of play and programmed for how long it plays a session and also to be made to take a break every x amount of minutes. They will already know that this was the bot that was cracked down on by Full Tilt which resulted in a lot of accounts been frozen and money returned to players that had played against them.

(I go on to mention here about the bot site offering a 55% rake back deal at WH and have edited it out to save space)

This is a site selling a bot that breaks the terms and conditions of most poker sites and also advertising generous RB offers as well as openly advertising that the bot works on Ipoker and that the company turns a blind eye to people using the bot there.

I guess you can see where peoples suspicions are coming from and why numerous threads pop up on 2+2 discussing Ipoker and this apparent turning a blind eye. I still have no doubt that i am playing against players that are using this bot. I have played poker for enough years online to spot peoples tendencies and weaknesses and when i come across multiple players playing exactly the same then i am going to notice this quite quickly.

Again thank you for taking the time to respond and hopefully you would be able to help me out in the matters above.

Thanks.

Martin.

So i waited and waited for a response and eventually i received the following email:-

Hi Martin,

Thank you for your patience while the points you have raised have been further
investigated.

We are able to confirm that the poker school in question is an internet
related tutoring site rather than a location where members can attend. The
site to which the players listed in the original thread are linked to is
http://ruaff.com/.

The measure put in place between the card room and the poker affiliate
preventing the players from playing together was put in place to protect other
players on the tables. The affiliate and card room are well aware that as
members of the same poker school, the players could be in possible contact
with each other and restricting them from playing on the same table prevents
them from possibly sharing hole card information. There is no reason to
believe that any of the players are playing in the same room.

Many grinders at every stake level regularly play sessions that exceed more
than 12 hours. We do not view this number in particular to be an excessive
amount. The players you have listed average between 7-10 hour session times
with long breaks in between.
In regards to the statement that the players play 4 tables at any one time
which is the maximum to what the Shanky bot can play, the players on the list
regularly play more than 4 tables at any one time.

We can assure you that any player or account found to be using prohibited
software will have their account closed and funds confiscated. As stated in
our previous email, all of the accounts listed by the player will be continued
to be monitored.

Kind Regards,

Amy – VIP Manager

With Best Regards,

William Hill Poker Customer Services

Once again their reply left more questions than it did answers. I mean why would they put a restriction in place stopping players from this `Poker School` from sitting on the same tables? Do they do the same for members of Deuces Cracked or Cardrunners which is essentially the same thing as they have described? More importantly how do they enforce such restrictions? How are the people who are part of this school going to know which tables they can or cant play?

Looking further in to this email it also brings in to question how this `poker school` has managed to get each and everyone of its students playing the same style of losing poker with seemingly no deviation at all.

They do make an error in the email saying the bot can only play 4 tables when it can in fact play 6 at the same time. Strange as well that they go in to the amount of time they play and inform us that the players on the list average 7-10 sessions at a time. Now just to get this straight in my head we have about 50 players all averaging long sessions playing the same style of poker and consistently losing money yet probably should be showing signs of improvement for the amount of time that they are playing.

So that was that and i decided since IPoker were loathe to admit that these players were bots i would come up with ways to exploit them which i did for the rest of my time playing on IPoker.

In the 4th part i will get in to the things i used to do to exploit them, i will also do some basic rake calculations that show why IPoker are so reluctant to rid their site of the bots and also why William Hill shouldnt have really given me the website address of that `poker school`.

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Comments
  1. pokerron247 says:

    I Googled the Shanky bot that you mentioned as I’d never heard of it. I had no idea that it was that easy to just buy a bot online. I thought there’d be secretive forums, with ready made bots changing hands under the table. It’s pretty scary to see how overt it is.

    Also, regarding bot detection, I’m sure with a bit of thought, and less greed, it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid being detected, unless they can actually detect the program running on your computer. Shorter sessions, built-in randomness, maybe a bit of a built in spaz-factor, taking longer over decisions where the bot is playing multiple hands at once etc etc.

  2. martl1 says:

    Yeah its easily available for anybody that wants it and the reality is that it is a blank canvass and if you can work out the programming bit and are pretty good at poker than you would be able to create a winning bot. I honestly believe it would be possible for these guys to be winning at NL50 and NL100 but obviously people that do that wont publish results and wont sell their profiles and will be very careful as to how much time they run the bot as they are essentially cash cows.

    Like i mention in the first piece the developer of the bot actually says that it would be very easy for the bot to be detected by the Poker sites if they actually wanted to detect it. That in itself says a lot about how shady the Ipoker network is and in all honesty i wouldnt be one bit surprised if it wasnt in fact Ipoker that were running a shed load of bots on their own site to increase traffic and try and get people to play the games.

  3. Anton says:

    Hey,

    I checked http://ruaff.com/ (russian is my native) and it is actually a cheap affiliate page with copy pasted articles from pokerstaretegy.com 🙂

  4. martl1 says:

    Apparently so. By the sounds of it a lot of the bots i was going to name are gone and traffic has been dropping but in the last few days there has been a massive upsurge of players. Husker on 2+2 reported that instead of the usual 7 tables of FR running there were about 24 all day yesterday.

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