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 Post subject: Re: Bots to be criminalized in US?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:41 am 
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psilon wrote:
I doubt real-time advisor programs will be allowed on any licensed site.

I don't find the "according to an algorithm" to be unclear at all. The provision applies to the decision-making of the bet, not whatever else the program may do incidental to its operation. Think like a lawyer, not a programmer :)


So you mean then that "advisors" like programs would be considered illegal? It's clear we are speaking here about the law, not what would be allowed under the ToS.

On a second read of the paragraph, my feeling is that anything that would be not allowed under the ToS, could be considerd a cheating device. If Cake e.g. bans "HUDs", or modding the software is not allowed, then a HUD e.g. is a cheating device under the first paragraph?

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 Post subject: Re: Bots to be criminalized in US?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:41 pm 
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Advisors, by themselves, would be allowed as they don't make bets. But under the first paragraph, anything not in the TOS would be a criminal offense and (I believe) no site will allow advisors.

This is not really all that different from the Vegas casinos, the law can't anticipate all the types of cheats people will come up with so they let the casinos figure it out. I suspect that, should the bill pass, the situation would be similar to today, where most sites allow HUDs but some don't. It's just that it would have the force of law, which it effectively already does because they can confiscate your funds and you have no recourse.

Really, I think the law is aimed at PTR and bot sellers, not individual players, because burden of proof would be too high (almost impossible) against an individual in a criminal case. But shutting down PTR and bot sellers would probably actually help us. Bot sellers attract attention and PTR gives a bot advantage (having lots and lots of data from high volume) to everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: Bots to be criminalized in US?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Well, that's why it's important how law is to be interpreted. It can't be that both "advisors" and "table ninja" is legal under this law, but "advisor" + "table ninja" isn't allowed. So I still think this law has no further value beyond making illegal what is not allowed in a ToS.

Btw, if realtime advisors are allowed and legal, one can easily hire humans to click according to an advisor. I don't really think the stupid bots around for sale are an issue, they hurt nobody, not even a marketing issue for the poker ecosystem.

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 Post subject: Re: Bots to be criminalized in US?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:39 pm 
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As long as a human is in the loop I think you would not run afoul of the bot clause.

I would not at all be surprised if some people are already hiring humans in China to play poker according to bot instructions. We know there are already Chinese "poker schools" that set up PC farms and have strict playing rules (of course). It is not that much different. To win in a tough game you need to be able to play deep, in the short stack tables there are too many rule-following shortstackers, the game is becoming almost like blackjack, even the optimal strategy is a loser.

As far as the for-sale bots not being bad, I disagree totally. They are bad for us because they attract attention and they are bad for the games because they are nits. Even I consider buying a bot to be somewhat unfair - poker is a skill game and hardcore botting of the type that goes on here is still a skill pursuit, just a slightly different type of skill. No skill to buy a bot. And they usually leak money out of the poker economy by paying more rake than they lose to the other players.

In any case all this is moot (for now) because the bill is dead. But I believe some sort of poker law is inevitable in the US and all bills proposed so far contain similar provisions.


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