Responding to all of my readers comments regarding Bot’s.
I’ve received so many responses and views on the botting article I wrote last week that I think it deserves a second post to defend my position to those that want to claim that they are in favor of Bots. So many of the comments have been critical of my view on botting. I don’t mind criticism. In fact I welcome it. I am however overwhelmed and dumbfounded at some of the lunacy that has taken place with the respect to some of the comments that have come through. Let me address these with my personal opinion on Bot’s.
The business of selling bots can be good money to the bot companies. And for players that employ the use of a good bot, they can be profitable. I understand that it takes a long time and a lot of effort combined with trial and error to set up a proper Bot. I get all that. They can be complex devices to make a tough game an easy money earner, that once set up properly, require very little effort from the player in respect to decision making. I get that. But in no way, shape, or form does it change the fact that Bots are illegal.
Bot play, while it may be beatable by decent players (especially when they know that your opponent is “Botting”) is AGAINST the Online Poker Room’s User agreements. Let me list a few:
Full Tilt Poker’s user agreement is found here: http://www.fulltiltpoker.com/end_user_license_agreement. It deals with Bots in Section 4.4.1 which states
“The use of artificial intelligence including, without limitation, “robots” is strictly forbidden in connection with the Software and the Games. All actions taken in relation to the Games by a User must be executed personally by players through the user interface accessible by use of the Software.”
PokerStars user agreement is found here: – http://www.pokerstars.com/poker/room/tos/, and they address Bot play in section 5.6 where they say the same thing:
“The use of artificial intelligence including, without limitation, “robots” is strictly forbidden in connection with the Service. All actions taken in relation to the Service by a User must be executed personally by players through the user interface accessible by use of the Software.”
I find it greatly disturbing that Shanky Technologies continues to advertise their Bots for sale on their site, claiming that the sites UltimateBet, Bodog, ipoker, and site x are all “bot friendly”. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as UB has this in section 5.3 of their user agreement:
“The use of artificial intelligence including without limitation, “robots” or software-enabled playing is strictly forbidden in connection with the Games and the Services. All actions taken relative to the Services and the Games must be executed personally by you only using the user interface made accessible by the UB software. You agree that UB may take steps to detect and prevent the use of all external player assistance programs including but not limited to an examination of software programs running concurrently with the UB software on your computer. Without limitation, if you are deemed by UB to be engaging in such activity, your Account may be closed, this Agreement may be terminated, and/or UB may take any of the other actions or remedies set forth in Section 8.2 of this Agreement.”
And Bodog has this in their user agreement:
5.4. “Bots” Prohibited. All actions on the Website must be executed by players via the supplied user interface. We will take any measures necessary to ensure that all robot software or programs designed to simulate real player play will be detected and prevented from accessing the Website. Any accounts associated with such activity will be subject to review and possible termination. If, in our reasonable discretion, we determine that an Account is employing such software, the Account will be disabled and all Account balances (including both deposits and any winnings) shall be forfeited.
Basically, you name the site, and they have provisions in their user agreement for their interfaces that prohibit the use of “Bot Play.” For Shanky Technologies or any other Bot Company to say that the poker site allows it is pure horse crap. I might as well say that “even though there’s a law that says that I can’t murder someone, it should still be ok that I do it.” Perhaps that’s extreme. Perhaps not.
I can draw a better comparison to speeding in your vehicle or running a red light. Is it illegal if you’re speeding in your car and no one sees it? It happens all the time, but just because you didn’t get caught doesn’t make it any less against the law? If I get a ticket from a camera because I run a red light, then I have to pay the fine because I broke the law. Getting caught performing illegal activity has consequences.
Botting is cheating not because it gives opponents such a unique and distinct advantage. In fact, I believe that the edge isn’t all that great. But Botting is illegal because the online poker sites say that it’s a violation to do it on their sites. These morons who got caught for breaking the site rules and had their accounts seized, got exactly what they deserved. This is their speeding ticket. This is their fine. And I couldn’t be happier that they are no longer on the site.
Shanky and other botting companies are now whining and complaining, even saying in their response that “Bot-friendly is the wave of the future” and that “We think the way forward is to simply support other poker rooms instead, ones that have a more bot-friendly attitude.” I nearly fell over. This is such a tremendous LIE. EVERY WEBSITE SAYS THEY DON’T ALLOW IT and Shanky Technologies continues to sell their illegal programs to poor saps that are looking gain a small edge. So for you jokers and yahoos that want to claim that “Botting is good” and “I bot all the time,” let me repeat this….THE BOTTING COMPANIES ARE LYING TO YOU IF YOU THINK THAT BOTTING IS LEGAL.
I encourage you to look at ANY sites user agreement with respect to their take on Botting, and show me just one user agreement that endorses Bot Play. Shanky Technologies got caught in illegal activity and tried to defend themselves by pointing the finger at Full Tilt Poker, accusing them of being the bad guy because they policed their site, and took these crooked players’ money away. They hid behind the excuse of:
“We are guilty of being lulled into submission by the permissive practices of this company and in fact have made statements, even recently, that we felt Full Tilt was a safe room to use our software at. Especially with all the stealth measure built into our poker bots”.
Are you freaking kidding me??? Because you built in a “stealth mode” it took the sites longer to hunt you down for your cheating. That’s not permissive practices because it took them a while to figure out that you were hiding your bot play. That’s robbing a bank and getting pulled over in your getaway vehicle. You’re not at the bank anymore but you’re just as guilty for committing the crime. The botting companies and their users are in no way justified in keeping that money because they spent time and money and effort in developing illegal software. HELLO!!!!! Are you hearing me on this????? ILLEGAL SOFTWARE!!!! The user agreement didn’t change a lick. Botting has always been illegal.
I could not possibly commend Full Tilt Poker more for their activities in adhering to the guidelines that they’ve established as fair play for everyone. And the sooner that they go through and clean house with the botters on their site, the better online poker will become. I hope and pray that the other sites will see what Full Tilt has done and copy their actions. Online poker deserves to be “Bot-Free.” And anyone who tries to justify themselves is simply trying to cheat.