We are a little late to the party on this one (no pun intended), but partypoker recently issued its monthly report on bot account banishment, announcing that it purged 42 accounts in May. 33 of those bot accounts were from the main, “dot com” site, while the other nine were on the “dot eu” site on which French and Spanish players compete.
From those dot com bot accounts, $46,805 was confiscated, while €3,598 was taken from the dot eu accounts. The poker room is working on getting refunds to players who were victimized by those accounts. Of course, it is very likely that the owners of the bot accounts cashed out at various intervals, so those totals above are probably not the entire amount of money they made of off unsuspecting players on partypoker.
Partypoker says the number of bot accounts deleted was a decline from April by more than half, “reflecting the studious work of the site’s Poker Fraud Team in actively purging the site of bot accounts.”
That could also mean that many bot accounts were not caught, but we’ll give the benefit of the doubt to partypoker here, as there is no way to know for sure. The poker room did say that on the dot com site, five of the accounts were reported by players and on the dot eu site, three were spotted by players.
A total of 413 bot account closures have been publicly reported by partypoker since it decided to focus on tracking down such accounts.
Bots: They Can’t Be Reasoned With
For those unfamiliar, bots are automated programs setup by an account holder to play poker with zero or minimal human interaction. The hardest part is programming them to actually play solid poker, but they are generally available on the internet for those who want to find them. The best ones grind out very small win rates, but over time, the profits add up.
Thus, the benefit of a poker bot is not that it is some incredible player that just wipes everybody out at the table, but rather that it can be consistent in the long-term. Bots like Terminators, don’t feel pity, remorse or fear. It does not need to sleep, eat, or use the restroom. It does not get emotionally unhinged if it gets sucked out on on the river. A bot will not stop, ever, until you are dead (wait, that’s Terminator again).
And that’s why a bot is considered cheating. It plays for the account holder and even if real players are better than it (most are not because most people are not good poker players), a quality bot can always win in the long run because of that lack of fatigue and emotion.
In reality, bots are good for poker rooms because they fill seats and don’t tend to win money from opponents quickly, but any poker room worth a damn also understands they are unfair and will work to get rid of them.