Phil Nagy – CEO of the Winning Poker Network – has stated that he is working on a major deterrent to “players” who use bots at the Network´s poker tables.
Bots – computer programs designed to play against human opponents – are a major problem for every online poker site. They can play online poker for hours for small margins in order to clear bonuses and earn rakeback; relying on advanced algorithms to make profitable long-term decisions.
Some players do not mind bots. Players who also spend long hours at the tables can often identify bots with the help of poker tracking software and exploit their weaknesses. Unfortunately most online poker players do not have the time, the skills or the technology to take advantage of pre-determined betting patterns and lose money against the computer programs.
Because of the threat of net-depositing players becoming disenchanted with online poker – and because of the money that sites pay out in bonuses and rakeback to the computer programs – bots are prohibited from all major online poker sites and networks. Yet many go undetected until brought to the attention of the site by other players – or until they announce their presence publicly.
TheMadBotter Goes Public (Allegedly)
Bots have become hot topic of discussion recently due to a thread on the 2+2 forum entitled “Confessions of a Botter”. The thread was started by a contributor who claims to have won $30,000 on the Winning Poker Network, but who denies that he (or she) has cheated in
any meaningful way.
TheMadBotter claims that the money he won was due to hours of programming and tweaking his bot for optimal performance – attempting to justify his actions by his input into the success of the bot. He also claims that most sites have no intention of enforcing the rules prohibiting bots because bots keep the action flowing and pay rake.
Other contributors to the thread have suggested that the author has made his story up, or has created the thread to sell his software to the highest bidder. Many criticized the Winning Poker Network for tolerating bots and creating an uneven playing environment – criticism that prompted a strong response from the Network´s CEO Phil Nagy.
Nagy Declares War on Bots
Phil Nagy is not a guy to hide in the background when his Network gets any flak. Within a few days of the 2+2 thread developing, Nagy made an appearance on Zachary “Thrash370” Koerper´s Twitch stream, discussing the problem of bots and what he intends doing about them (starts at 57:40).
Without disclosing the details of what measures he was going to take to keep bots off sites such as [geolink href=”https://www.usafriendlypokersites.com/americas-cardroom/”]Americas Cardroom[/geolink], [geolink href=”https://www.usafriendlypokersites.com/black-chip-poker/”]Black Chip Poker[/geolink] and [geolink href=”https://www.usafriendlypokersites.com/true-poker/”]True Poker[/geolink], Nagy vowed he would
implement a solution in the coming days to make [the Winning Poker Network] the most bot-unfriendly place online.
However, Nagy also admitted that some real money players might get caught up in his crusade against the bots, and have their accounts temporarily suspended while security investigations are taking place. He said:
I will make mistakes and block real players because they might seem like a bot. If you end up as collateral damage, then I´m suffering. But this is what people want.
How Players Can Help with War on Bots
Players who believe they have identified computer programs playing at the Winning Poker Network should report their suspicions to the customer services department of the site they are playing on. Naturally, if you have evidence of automated play (screen shots, hand histories, etc.) this will help each site investigate the accusation quicker.