Got To Stop The Bots

Oct. 25, 2011, Posted by Submission

Got To Stop The Bots

Poker bots are becoming an increasingly huge threat to the online poker industry. What use to be a bunch of bots grinding 5NL on 100 tables for rakeback has now become a bunch of bots grinding midstakes and crushing the games.

These bots are becoming better and better each and every day. They will eventually become completely unexploitable by anyone in any game at any time (this is a fact and here is not the time to explain why in detail). They never tilt, never take breaks and never gamble. They are programmed to play as unexploitable as possible and can adjust to their opponents. To which level they are able to do this, no one really knows. But we do know that they took ongame for AT LEAST 500k+ this year alone. There have been talks about bot rings on iPoker for a long time as well. The money taken out by bots over the last year could easily be over 1-2 million dollars.

With the increasingly difficult environment of online poker, it is of paramount importance that the sites crack down as hard as possible on not only detecting bots, but also on cracking down on the people using them. Without a serious series of actions vs these botters, it won't be long before online poker is rendered unplayable. These bots are playing all forms of poker, even heads-up. They suck money out of everyone in the poker industry, from top to bottom. From the 2NL grinders to the high stakes players, from the affiliates to the poker training sites.

Action needs to be taken industry-wide and poker sites need to collaborate together on tackling the issue. Everyone would gain by having the major players (PokerStars, Party, Ongame, iPoker, Merge) work together on this issue. Sharing of information and technology, and discussions need to take place between sites to help speed up the process and also increase the potential strength of any detection methods. The botters are already working together and so should we.

Poker has been through a lot this year, but there is not a single threat bigger to online poker than bots. It is the one thing that could kill the games completely and not just for one country or two, but for the whole world. Poker sites need to be pressured into taking every single step possible to help combat this issue. This includes poker sites working together as a group. Without this, they are NOT looking for our overall interest but instead their own personal gains and profit margins.

Here are some suggestions to the poker sites:
- The creation of a "defense committee" to oversee this process. This committee would bring together each site's security teams/experts so that they can share information between them and come up with solutions together. This committee would be the hub for all matters relating to bots and how to combat them. Information should obviously be kept to a select few from each networks as knowledge on potential detection methods, etc should be kept strictly confidential.

- A shared black list should be established to ban botters on every single poker site. Bans on accounts using bots should extend to the owner's immediate family as well, to avoid easy ways around a ban.

- I would also suggest potential legal action against websites/individuals who share information on how to create or improve these bots. I am not sure if using bots is actually illegal, but this could be something to look into. They are in fact cheating and I don't see how it is any different than cheating at sports or in casinos. Obviously, regulation industry-wide would probably help in this matter.

Take action!
If you agree with me and think that they should collaborate on the issue of bots, please take a minute to email them to let them know.Tell them you would like to play in a bot-free environment and still be able to enjoy online poker in the near future. Tell them also that you will NOT play on their website if they do not do everything in their power to stop bots. By not collaborating together they are far from doing so.

Cookie-cutter lazy-mail for your copy-pasting enjoyment:


Poker bots are becoming a serious issue and threaten the viability of the online poker industry-wide. These bots are better than ever before and teams of really really smart people are working together in an effort to improve them even further. Poker sites need to take this very seriously and should work together to combat this issue as effectively and quickly as possible.

For online poker's future and for the benefit of everyone who is involved in this industry, I urge you to please collaborate with other networks/poker sites in developing ways to make poker bots more difficult to create and less effective. If you do not collaborate then you are not doing everything in your power to stop this epidemic.

A discussion on TwoPlusTwo's forums is ongoing about this issue with suggestions and ideas from other players:

Thank you for reading,

Poker sites/networks emails:

 (Contact form)

This piece was submitted by Stake Monster - a regular postes on the 2+2 poker forums. More on this topic can be read in his thread here.

What Others Are Saying

1 Comment about Got To Stop The Bots says:

26th of October 2011

What will the owners of playtech and ipoker do about it, when they are promoted on bot sites affiliated to them (William Hill and Titan)? Nothing. Evidence that ipoker and playtech do not give a f**k about bots can be found here

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