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 Post subject: Teach a journalist about bots (Acemag article)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:54 pm 
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Hi there!

I´m a Danish journalist writing for a Danish poker magazine. http://www.acemag.dk (all in Danish)
Right now I’m researching on an article on Poker bots, so I wonder if anyone here might be able to answer a couple of questions.

I would like to know some general facts about your bots, if you like to share. :)
My aim is to show some facts about bots to the “normal” poker playing community, not to start a witch-hunt. I personally believe poker bots eventually are going to get better, and if the creators are not stupid, then they will not expose themselves. You cannot roll back technological development.

When not stated otherwise the question will concern nly your “best” bot only.

-When did you create your first bot?
- Is your bot a winning poker bot?
- How long has it been a winning bot?
-What is the highest limit, you have tested your bot on?
-How many hands has your bot played?
- How skillful do you need to be, to create a bot?
-How long did it take to create your bot? (roughly)
-Do you believe, that bots will ruin internet poker?
-Should people fear poker bots, or should they just get better a poker? –and why?
-Have you ever been banned from a poker site?
-Will the bot community grow/is it growing?

If you believe I should concentrate on different aspects, then feel free to enlighten me.

-Mattias Pinna
Ace Magazine


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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:34 pm 
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-When did you create your first bot?
June 2006

-Is your bot a winning poker bot?
Yes, I was lucky almost right from the start, which isn't very common

-How long has it been a winning bot?
1 year

-What is the highest limit, you have tested your bot on?
$2/4

-How many hands has your bot played?
Classified

-How skillful do you need to be, to create a bot?
Better be more skillful.

-How long did it take to create your bot? (roughly)
6 months first one

-Do you believe, that bots will ruin internet poker?
No. Bots has nothing to do with that. Solving theoretically particular poker games will ruin them, FL HU is good first candidate. Does anyone plays chess for money? Why not? Is it because of bots, or because there is Fritz which you can run on the PC nearby?

-Should people fear poker bots, or should they just get better a poker? –and why?
Nothing to fear, look to exploit them, and stay away from games that are close to be solved.

-Have you ever been banned from a poker site?
Yes

-Will the bot community grow/is it growing?
Bot users decreased after the "make money while you sleep" bubble burst. Community meaning collaboration etc. stales IMO.

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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:23 pm 
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Mattias,

Is this a printed or online magazine?
Can you reply with quote of the e-mail I sent you to your e-mail @ acemag.dk?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mattias Buhl Pinna [mailto:xxx@acemag.dk]
> Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 18:41 PM
> To: Image
> Subject: Re: Interview (posting in pokerai.org)
>
> Hi Indiana
>
> I am the author on the post on your forum.
>
> Ace magazine is mainly a printed magazine, the webpage is just for
> random poker gosship, tournement updates etc. At the moment a copy of
> Ace has also started to be released in Germany, even though the
> articles are not strictly the same.
>
> I've got 8-10 pages in the magazine in which I will cover poker bots,
> in the issue which will ship in start of March.
>
> best regards
>
> -Mattias Pinna

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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:27 pm 
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-When did you create your first bot?
3 years ago

- Is your bot a winning poker bot?
Yes

- How long has it been a winning bot?
1 year

-What is the highest limit, you have tested your bot on?
0.1/0.25

-How many hands has your bot played?
Loads

- How skillful do you need to be, to create a bot?
To make it profitable, pretty skilled.

-How long did it take to create your bot? (roughly)
2 years

-Do you believe, that bots will ruin internet poker?
No, many of the bots will not make money. If they do the sites will find them.

-Should people fear poker bots, or should they just get better a poker? –and why?
Some pokersites have bots well under control. Bots are likely to get caught.

-Have you ever been banned from a poker site?
Yes, when I started to make money and ran several clients I was shut down. Now I only run one client on each.

-Will the bot community grow/is it growing?
Yes, but most will create poor bots. It looks like free money but the work you need to put in doesnt make it worth it. From an academic point of view its worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:06 am 
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These questions aren't bad, at the very least we can learn a little about fellow forum members.

-When did you create your first bot?
I started seriously studying and working on it near fall of 2006.

-Is your bot a winning poker bot?
I'm still in the development stages of a good AI, but I'd say it's a break even bot right now.

-What is the highest limit, you have tested your bot on?
$.25/.50 FL

-How many hands has your bot played?
A few thousand.

-How skillful do you need to be, to create a bot?
Depends on your attack. If you are using a commercially available kit (like WinHoldem), you only need to be good at poker (and have lots of free time). If you are writing a bot from scratch, it can require some very skillful programming.

-How long did it take to create your bot? (roughly)
I've been working on it for over a year.

-Do you believe, that bots will ruin internet poker?
They may change it, but they will probably never ruin it. I believe either case is a long ways off. I don't believe that a Nash equilibria will ever be possible for full scale poker without a major advancement in processor technology.

-Should people fear poker bots, or should they just get better a poker? –and why?
Other than heads up, I'm not aware of a bot that can win at higher limits. My theory is that the winning bots usually win from the many poor poker players, while constantly losing money to the few good poker players. In total, I'd bet bots have lost more money than they've won, but that's only a guess.

-Have you ever been banned from a poker site?
No.

-Will the bot community grow/is it growing?
I don't know. The online community seems to be growing a little, but I don't know if there are more or less botters.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:10 am 
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Hmm, this is weird. There is a 2nd magazine that wants to write about poker bots. See here:
http://www.maxinmontreal.com/forums/vie ... php?t=3301

Max even mentions a danish magazin. Propably the same as here?


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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:24 pm 
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dipitlow wrote:
Hmm, this is weird. There is a 2nd magazine that wants to write about poker bots.

What do you find strange here? Press wants to write about bots ... :)
Not surprising I would say. I think many guys will scam in similar ways. But I did some checks on Mattias - looks legit.

I will not lock this thread, but keep in mind I may edit parts of your responses if they are against the policies of the general forum, opened to google and everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:14 pm 
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Hi there

Thanks for the answers.

I don’t know who contacted Max on the other site. If a Danish magazine really did contact him, then I do not believe that is mine. I have only been at this job for a short while, so one of my colleagues might have tried to research him. I doubt it though, as no one from my magazine had contacted the Danish sources I have spoken to, and I guess that would be where you start.

I can see they are a bit reluctant to give out information on the site, so I guess I have been more lucky to choose this site, as I actually got some replies which give me some information. Thanks.

The target group of my magazine is people interested in poker as a hobby. You won´t get to be a great poker player by reading my magazine. Too small a ordinance otherwise, we are only 5 million in Denmark.

The purpose of my article is to describe poker bots to your average Joe (or Jens in Denmark). Should people fear bots, why shouldn’t they? Indiana told, he believed 90% of the bots are losers. If that is true, much more people would probably accept them. Certain aspects are not covered, when you do not hear all sides.

As the question: why do people create bots? To make money is the easy answer, but is it so simple.

I would like to answer questions like that in my article.

-Mattias Pinna
Ace Magazine


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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:00 am 
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I think many of us are driven by the challange. It is very hard to do and there is always something you can improve. Also the dream of a program that makes money while you sleep is very appealing, for example by bots for sports betting or the stock market. But to be fair, the money you can make on a good job as a good programmer far exeeds what you will make with a poker bot.

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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:13 am 
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I have a full time job, not poker related, and make quite some money from it, and I like it, my job and the company I work for is great. I started with Poker as a hobby, later switched to poker-botting, both are a hobby for me. As with any hobby - you like it, you might even get obsessed, and what pokerbotting offers for me on top of just playing poker is the academic, game theory and programming aspects.

People sometimes ask do you do it for the money. You always do it for the money, even when you do it as a hobby: the $ won is the benchmark. A difference kicks in based on do you depend on botting, I myself don't. Right now I make good money out of poker botting, but it's less than what I make from my full time job. I like them both, so no major changes in my life.

Agh, forgot, of course the setup and running these forums and the wiki are also good fun. I plan to keep these non-commercial, a honest place, and hope to attract some additional intelligent people around. No matter how it goes I am here to stay in the next years to come.

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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:50 am 
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I first started programming as a kid 40 years ago and quickly decided I this was an interesting field with a future. While I've had a bit of fun at work and made some money, I've also been dissappointed by the moron managers I've had to deal with along the way who make the simplest things so difficult. So, in my retirement I've decided to do the kind of thing I dreamt of as a kid. I've got a long queue of things to do in AI and it's getting longer by the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:03 pm 
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Different Types Of Bot
An "expert system" tries to reproduce the rules of thumb that expert players use to play poker. Of course this means you have to be an expert player, and even then it is very difficult to anticipate all the different situations that arise in real games. Winholdem is a framework for building a poker expert system. Poker Academy's Pokibot, Xenbot and AveryBot are mostly expert systems.

John Forbes Nash discovered that all zero sum games have "equilibrium strategies" where there is a single best way to play that can't be beaten. These strategies, however, don't exploit weaknesses in opponents and can be beaten by opponents who collude (in the case of >2 players), even unintentionally. Polaris is the best approximation to a Nash Equilibrium bot that I know of. It is very hard to calculate a NE and this has not be found for any game except heads up limit. Sparbot is another NE bot.

"Best response" is a strategy that attempts to exploit weakness in the opponent. This is also very difficult to calculate, and even the worst poker players quickly alter their strategy. Also you don't usually know your opponents strategy when you start to play. Vexbot is a BR bot.

Most approaches I know of are based on some mixture of these three approaches. There is a lot of good stuff in Indiana's pokerai.wiki and its references. If you have some specific questions I might be able to answer or point you at good references.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:54 pm 
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Will Bots Ruin Online Poker?
While the standard of bots is low, no. When (or if) bots become better than humans I don't think it's easy to say. I sure as hell wouldn't play for money against a machine that was going to beat me, but some people might. There seems to be no shortage of people playing slots, bingo, roulette and other such skill free games.

I read somewhere that Phil Laak was particularly concerned about this issue after he played Polaris.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:00 pm 
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Quote:
Will Bots Ruin Online Poker?


I love this question, poker bots have been active for the past 3-4 years and online poker has not been affected.
OK there are a few sites where the low limits are flooded with bots BUT these Site Operators are quite aware of whats going on, and whilst there making money nothing is going to change.

TBH I think people are scared of Poker Bots and dont like the idea of losing there money to a computer :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:02 am 
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Seems like the article is out, as far as I understand danish (and I don't even a single word):

Attachment:
Forside_440x604b.JPG
Forside_440x604b.JPG [ 54.76 KB | Viewed 3478 times ]


Quote:
En computer som kan slå dig i poker. Det er vist enhver pokerspillers mareridt. Computeren slog mennesket i skak for lidt over ti år siden, men hvordan står det egentlig til på pokerfronten? Ace undersøger, hvor svært det er at lave en pokerrobot, og om der findes nogen robotter på pokermarkedet i dag.


Have to ping Mattias for the pdf, then ask matrix for translation, agh, anyone speaking Danish?

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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:28 am 
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indiana wrote:
Quote:
En computer som kan slå dig i poker. Det er vist enhver pokerspillers mareridt. Computeren slog mennesket i skak for lidt over ti år siden, men hvordan står det egentlig til på pokerfronten? Ace undersøger, hvor svært det er at lave en pokerrobot, og om der findes nogen robotter på pokermarkedet i dag.


Have to ping Mattias for the pdf, then ask matrix for translation, agh, anyone speaking Danish?


I'm not realy speaking Danish but I can understand it. ^_^

Translation of your quote:
Quote:
A computer that can beat you at poker. It is every poker players nightmare. The computer beat mankind in chess a little over ten years ago, but how is it doing on the poker front? Ace examines how hard it is to make a poker bot, and if there is any bot on the poker market today.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:01 pm 
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Hi everyone, and thx for all your help.

There is indeed an Interview with Indiana in the new issue, which should be on the market on the 13th of March. I have requested a pdf of the bot articles (8-9 pages) and will send to Indiana when it becomes available to me.

-Mattias
ACE


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 Post subject: History of Poker AI and Poker Bots (+ pictures)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:06 pm 
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any way to get this article translated into english?

JT


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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:10 pm 
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JT:

"For all level1 users, you can --> get the English translation here of the above article <--, Thanks to Matrix."

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 Post subject: Re: Teach a journalist about bots
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:41 pm 
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What about those of us on the bubble? Where can we see the translation?

Wait . . . did this post put me in the money and now I qualify for Level 1?


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