Can poker bots and cheaters take over?
Millions of people everywhere are playing online poker. In some countries the poker boom is just starting, and others it’s been growing for years and shows no signs of slowing down. Poker’s here to stay right? Well it may be the advancement of online poker bots that finally burst the bubble.
Until this week i’ve never thought about bots being a problem. But just the other day I found a site named winholdem.net that lets you download a bot, that plays for you. It’s free for a day, then you need to buy a license. They aksi have a forum of almost 2000 members where people discuss ways to program it to maximize EV.
So out of curiosity I downloaded it to see if it actually works(not to cheat). Within 10 minutes I had it playing poker for me on pokerstars .02/.04 limit poker. It wasn’t playing good, but it was definitely playing without my help. I closed the table down after 4 minutes, but here’s a screenshot. In this hand the bot limped in early position with 98s, and went into auto check/fold mode after flopping middle pair, but with no draws.
Well that definitely proved that having a bot play for you at even the largest poker site is possible. A further look into the WinHoldem forum shows that programing the bot into a winning player is REALLY hard though, and most of the members are a joke trying to make $1/hour at the lowest stakes.
But what the WinHoldem site shows is that there’s a huge market for buying poker bots, which is what can really ruin the game. Licenses for the WinHoldem but cost between $25 and $200, and it’s not even set up to win! If more then 1000 people (just a guess) are paying for the 1-year subscription, imagine how much someone could charge for a WINNING poker bot, and how many people would buy it. There’s gotta be a lot more money in selling bots, then just using them for yourself. It’s safer also.
There can be a whole competitive market for making and selling bots. The prices will get cheaper and the bots will get more advanced. All the losing players will be buying these, and eventually even the largest sites will dry up.