Poker Playin'

So, I never really liked poker too much, but when I found http://www.lastcallpoker.com I became addicted. It’s a great version of Texas Hold 'em, and it really is free, despite the registration and so forth…

Oh yeah, and there’s some very weird stuff going on there, too…

People still play poker? I thought online poker had turned into a bot vs. bot fest a long time ago.

Do you really think bots are good at poker?

From what I’ve seen, the online poker players are not all that amazing. Probably not bots, as a rule.

There is money in online poker which surprised me, not trivial money either…

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2005/54/TX20.html

http://www.forbes.com/free_forbes/2005/1010/089.html

No, bots are terrible at a fair game of poker. But they’re very good at collusion.

In other words, you sit down at the table and are playing with 9 bots, all of which know each others’ cards. Which affects their betting strategy more than a little.

Sorry, that just doesn’t happen. Yes, there are bots. Yes, they are being used.

Successfully? Not really. They’re just not good enough, and collusion is something that’s fairly easy to spot (for the site owners).

EDIT: Although with a few moments reflection… I realized that I could probably write one that would be damn hard to detect in the short term, but the long term problem is about following the money and running out of accounts/machines.

They take a rake off a data transfer. A rake comparable to what actual casinos with employees and physical cards take. Not trivial money at all. They only reason they get away with such a huge rake is that it’s illegal in the US to run such a site.

The bots are out there, they are being used, and collusion is effective. Sure the online gaming sites look for patterns, and sure they follow the money… but by shifting the odds just a little (2 bots per table, not 9) you can consistently make money over time.

http://www.winholdem.net/

For every person using WinHoldem effectively, there are 5 who use it and just can’t program it properly and lose money.

The same is true for people trying to actively collude (playing in the same room, chatting online…).

The pool of games is still so large that it’s easy to make money despite the pitfalls.

Slow as they might be, sites are working on detecting bots and other cheating. While they’re likely to always be a step or two behind, I think that eventually the barrier to entry (both in cost of setup and risk of losing your entire account) will be high enough to keep all but the dedicated from cheating.

As an example, the evolution of the “undetectable” WinHoldem setup has gotten to the point that it requires two machines so that WinHoldem is running on one, and the poker client on the other.

And it’s still not undetectable anyway. Sure, they may not be able to detect you’re running winholdem, but they can detect collusion, which is the only real problem.

How? They know your machine by its fingerprint, not by its IP or account name.

Now, 2 might be below their radar, but it would also be largely ineffective. Any more than that, and they will nail you. And when they do, there goes the whole bankroll.

Anyway, it’s not a concern for those and many other reasons (stated above).

Any intelligent collusion means that you will win money over time.

It’s cost-effective to pay chinese peasants to farm gold in MMORPGs. Think about what that means. It’s cost-effective to have a human being working full time sitting at a reasonably powerful computer with an internet connection bringing in the equivalent of US$1 per hour.[color=red]*[/color]

How much can you make colluding two bots in a $1/$2 game? And how many bots can one man watch over?

[color=red]*[/color] at current prices, US$0.09 for 1gp and farming 5-15g/hr. These numbers are very reasonable.

stusser- Dude, Winholdem is a scam. If you could undetectably get >3 players onto the same table and collude, you could murder the 15/30 and 30/60 games to the tune of hundreds of dollars an hour.(1BB/100 handsx3playersx4 15/30 tablesperplayer=$180 an hour)
So instead of doing that and making half a million dollars a year for nothing, you are going to start a podunk website and sell this software for $25-$200 a pop, vastly increasing your chance of the sites using countermeasures? That’s not rational behavior.

BB = ?

big blind

I suspect collusion is actually the norm in a lot of cash ring games online, which is why I predominately play sit and go tournaments.

I haven’t seen suspicious evidence of collusion in a sit and go or fixed multi-table tournament - hard to effect and, as others have stated, the sites are pretty actively scrutinizing for it. If you ever think you’ve seen collusion, report it to the site’s support – the one time I reported it, I was amazed at how detailed their response was. They realize it is critical to their viability to prevent collusion or even the appearance of it.

Thanks.

For some reason I was thinking it meant “Big Bet”. Instead, it just means a complete rotation around the table

You can’t get >3 bots on a table and collude in a 30/60 game undetectably, that’s the whole point. You put 2 bots in a 1/2 game and make money consistently over time.

stusser- Except now the sites are on the lookout for the software. One guy running 4 or 6 or 8 bots would go under the radar. A guy selling and advertising his software? No chance. 2 bots killing the 1/2 would still be better than whatever he’s making from selling his software(people can do 2-3BB/100 honestly in 1/2 games, colluding smartbots should do what, 4-5? 2 players, 400 hands an hour, $32-40 an hour for nothing). People who can beat the system don’t tell other people how to until they’ve taken everything can be taken.

VegasRobb- It’s just the standard earn rate measure. It means Big Blind when talking about No Limit and Big Bet when talking about Limit.

It seems to me like catching online colluders would be pretty easy. Just being at the same table with another account more than once should raise a flag, and you can analyze their betting patterns to see if there is likely information being passed. A colluder would have to regularly be setting up new identities to prevent obvious patterns from emerging, which probably means getting bank accounts or credit cards in other names. Seems very difficult to me.