An Olympic Style Tournament For Poker Bots

Olympic Stadium

London Olympic Stadium 2012

With the disappointment of not getting a Olympic style freeroll going, one’s thought turns to the idea of why online poker freerolls are such a bad idea. The main one is that players tend to be silly and go all in on rubbish hands and create bad vibes, arguments and rage. Although they are free to play, competitive and sanctimonious players, such as myself, get infuriated when we lose to mad strategy and confused to why we bother with these formats.

The other problems with freerolls is that they are usually populated with bots. When playing online poker at lower stakes it is clear that you are playing with bots and if  you can think laterally you can sometimes out fox the bot or at least learn how they been configured. When playing in freeroll tournaments this is surprisingly harder to do as the people running the bots are usually trying new ways of playing. This brings me to the main argument of this post and it is this. Someone should organise a tournament solely for bots to see which bots are the best!

Now, it is a assumed that some networks run their own bots so that there are always ‘players’ registered to play in tournaments or Sit and Go’s (SnG). Clearly this would not be useful in a solely bot tournament. So the tournament should consist of bots which are developed by outside programmers to be used on several networks. This would make it easier for people like me who have not got the time or inclination to play with bots to see why we should or should not learn to use these machines. 

It would also lay open the whole debate of the use of bots in online poker. Since it is clear to anyone with a modicum of sense that bots are being used, it begs the question on why online firms tolerate this. It is like the International Olympic Committee saying they are against drugs and doping but letting it happen because if they didn’t, the amount of participants would drop and the spectacle of an Olympic games diminished. 

It is a battle for people such as me who like online poker but wish that it was clean of bots so that recreational players can at least have a fairer chance. Hopefully when the US get over their problem of the morals for online poker they will encourage a regulation in which the online poker networks will be discouraged from using and/or tolerating the use of bots. When the US elections are out of the way maybe the Americans can once again do their traditional role of helping to save the world – in this case the virtual world of online poker – from themselves.