Revenge of the Poker Bots

In the introduction, I said that one of the reasons I started this site was to explore the possibility that the on-line poker tables had been infiltrated by Artificially Intelligent poker player robots called ‘Poker Bot’s’ which had been taught to play poker in order to take money from the ‘Human’ Players. The poker bots could play many tables at one time autonomously and keep winning money – lots of money for their creators. Now I have not yet managed to find a concise learning algorithm that will accomplish this feat and was considering that this may even be an Urban Poker Myth However – I have seen something on the poker tables recently that, I cannot explain.

Let me tell you the story:- I am not an OCD compulsive poker player. I play whenever I wish to play and simply play for enjoyment – it’s fun. I have accounts at a few sites and am not a bad player – I have won over five million ‘poker dollars’ on one site and so am not a total novice. The game that I prefer to play is called ‘Knock Out’ poker: It is a game where nine players all try to be the table winner – knocking out all the others by giving them a ‘Damn good Thrashing’ Yes. It is a fairly fast paced game which is good for me as I have a limited attention span and get thoroughly bored if the game lasts for longer than a few minutes.

With K.O. Poker, when the game starts it’s like the Танец леммингов – Tanz der Lemming – where lots of players go ‘all in’ – put their whole stake on the first few hands – They do this in order to achieve table leader status whereby they can dominate the play. It’s like watching the ‘Dance of the Lemmings’ as near half of the table gets thrown off and it leaves the other half of the table with their initial fund and one player with the most money – they now become the target – great!

The way I play is to first go on the ‘play money’ tables to see how the luck is going and if all goes well I will then go on to the real money tables to push the luck onwards. A little while ago I did just this. I won several tables outright and ‘feeling good’ switched to the real money tables – just to push the luck.

So I joined a real money table. As usual the Lemmings went for it – a few less Lemmings as this is real money and losing on the first hand is stupid- then we settled down for the real game. I noticed that one player had ended up with more money that the rest – no problem – Table leader, Lucky Looser. Then the play started – let me explain:

Sometimes, on a table you get the Table Bully – this is a dull individual that keeps on raising every one else – mostly to the ‘all in’ limit – they do this to force out the more timid or inexperienced players. They go to the max on nearly every hand and most conservative players fold giving the bully the pot. Its infuriating but quite normal play – the Bully doesn’t last long as they inevitably take on someone with a good hand and good experience then they are beaten, beaten but not gone as they have built up a pot that can pay and still leave them with money – however, a few plays later they will be beaten and gone. Yawn…

This particular player however was a pain – they went all in on near every hand – I am shouting at the screen – ‘Don’t fold, Take ’em on, they can’t have a good hand every time!!!!’ The problem was everyone – including me folded so no one knew what hand they had. It was excruciating….Not fun..

I took a mental note of their screen name and thought I will avoid this ‘Bleeper’ if I see this Bleepers name again I may not play them as this is not fun play. ( Bad attitude on my part = bad play – besides they were winning !! ) Anyway I carried on and got to Third place which meant I got my money back. The bully Boy carried on I jumped off the table quickly thinking I will get onto another table before this ‘Bleeper’ finishes this game.

So I clicked the next table and to my astonishment saw ‘his’ name listed on the next table. I immediately requested and refunded the money and chose another table – his name was on there too – another refund another table – he was there too… What ? Well it is not unknown that a player will play several tables at once but Four – that was different… However, It was at this point I gave up and played on the fourth table. Now rather than play my game I was intrigued and couldn’t help but watch what he does – next. However, unknown to me as I had jumped tables I had not exited the previous tables properly and they were playing minimised under my current table – So anyway the play on my current table progressed as before but this time I watched his play:

He went with the Lemmings ‘all in’ and won. Great, the table leader already. I just decided to watch so I folded everything just to stay in – His play was the same near every hand ‘all in’ ‘all in’ – players folded – so I could not see his hand – I just knew he could NOT have a winning hand each play. Then someone called his ‘all in’ entry bet – At last now we could see the face value of the cards he was playing all in with – I looked eagerly as his hand was turned. He had, as I thought, a really Crap hand – an eight and six of different suits – certainly not a hand that you would go ‘all in’ with. ‘Ha’ I said in triumph ‘Just as I thought – absolute rubbish.’ Then the middle cards were turned over, the first two cards came out and I froze – they were an eight and a six – he had two pairs – So from absolute nothing he got two pairs in the first card spread – a virtual winning hand…. Something said – Something not right here.

I played on as if in a dream. just watching him take them all out one by one – I lost my money… Now when you loose there is a button you can press to observe the game, this I did and watched – then I noticed that I still had tables minimised under the current table and so opened them up, pressed observe and saw he was still on the previous tables. I watched his play on around three or four tables concurrently. On each of the tables he was Table Leader and his playing style was the same on all tables – ‘all in, all in, all in’.

Now, it is not unusual for players to play more than one table at a time – you can usually tell, because when they are concentrating on one table then the second table they are betting on has a delay in the betting. I watched – there was no discernible delay in the betting. It was almost as if simultaneous bets were being placed on several different tables all at once! And yes its possible to play two or possibly three tables but simultaneous play on four tables is a little excessive.

The only way I can explain this situation is: In order to bet so quickly on each table that instead of one player playing there were several players playing under one name like a pooled syndicate – but why would a syndicate play under one name why would they do that? And how would they do that as the poker tables check your IP address and if two players use the same IP address and the same user name there must be a limit on how many tables you can play simultaneously. You could play like this if you spoof your IP address then it would appear to the poker tables that you are separate identities – but it still didn’t explain why all the players were using the same name – even if they were in a syndicate – they could pool resources and still play under different identities. It just didn’t make sense.

No, it just didn’t make any sense – pooling under one Id Why – unless…. they were not Human players. at all.. Perhaps… they were Poker Bot’s…. If they were Poker Bot’s then all the players were only one player and if so, they were taking lots of money off all the tables all at once – playing a simple ‘bully boy’ strategy – all at the same time.


So I am not claiming that this was a Poker Bot – I do not wish to perpetuate what I call an ‘urban poker myth ‘ all I am saying is I cannot fully explain how the same player played on that many tables all at the same time – how the betting was almost simultaneous – how they were table leader on all tables at once and how they won all the money – including mine -each time. I simply just do not know.

All I am doing is telling you what happened during a single game of Poker, that is all..

Now it is simply up to you to decide, for yourself, on how was it done… If you have any views on this topic you can leave a comment below:

4 Replies to “Revenge of the Poker Bots”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *