How to beat poker bots - part II

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How to beat poker bots - part II


Poker bots have been around ever since online poker first appeared, I suppose. The idea of creating a piece of software capable of beating human players, even by the smallest of margins, and then letting it play for you, without ever tilting, without ever getting tired and without ever getting bored, must've been a really attractive one, back in the days too.

Even though we know that there are poker bots capable of beating average or reasonably good poker players, the technology to beat the best players out there still doesn't exist.

Phil Laak and Ali Eslami beat the computer opponent provided for them by the University of Alberta fair and square, the only worrying issue is though, that they too won by the narrowest of margins.

As we all know, there are few players in online poker that could ever hope to match either Laak or Eslami, so yes indeed, the technology to beat most human opponents, is a reality already.

Does this automatically mean that poker rooms are going to be under assault from these poker bots in a few months' time? For the time being, I don't think so.

In order to achieve what the Alberta crew did with their bot, dishonest players will need exactly what they did: a whole crew working round the clock for a good few weeks programming the machine.

I don't suppose a bot like the University of Alberta one will ever be available and accessible to large masses of online poker players.

There are however, more feeble attempts out there, the results of which are already prowling the online poker community.

Commercially available bots however, do not appear serious enough just yet. For one thing: poker rooms are always on the hunt for botters. New technologies are implemented all the time to prevent thieves from ruining the reputation of the industry.

Rudimentary poker bots are usually put to work on small limits/stakes tables, where - in theory - they're able to squeeze out a small positive margin. That's where fish usually play, and if the bot is lucky enough not to run into some better player multi-tabling there, it can indeed eek out a small profit.

As soon as discovered though, the botter's account is terminated and the money in it confiscated. That means a huge risk for a relatively small and uncertain profit.

On top of everything (and I'm sure the people selling poker bots won't tell you this) these bots are only useful on FL tables.

As soon as you put them into PL or NL, they'll start losing like there's no tomorrow.

How can you beat them? By playing well, of course. By playing PL or NL, you can avoid them altogether, but if you think you're good enough a player to prey on them, just hit them with good old solid basic strategy.

Since short handed tables revolve around implied odds rather than pot odds, poker bots are pretty lost there too. They have no idea what implied odds are and how they work, so they'll go on using the pot odds as their reference. Dismantling them in short-handed NL games should be a piece of cake.

In conclusion: while they're out there, poker bots are nowhere nearly as dangerous as the hype surrounding them may make you believe.

"Get the best rakeback and play in the best poker rooms on the internet!"

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