Thursday, December 6, 2007

Open Holdem Pokerbot Source Code Discussion

There seems to be a LOT of interest in OpenHoldem, the exciting new open source bot platform, and rightly so.

In my previous post I neglected to mention the official OpenHoldem forum hosted by MaxInMontreal of winholdem forum fame. It's already gained the attention of quite a few botters/coders and I predict that forum will be a new hot spot for pokerbot discussion. Hot spot means quality, not quantity.

Many intelligent, successful poker bot operators and coders are talking there right now.

Go have a look. It's only a matter of time before an open board like this either goes private, gets flooded by repeated newb questions, or this group of insiders moves the meat of their discussions to another forum.

This probably isn't the group to ask beginner questions, but read their threads and absorb their vocabulary. It is a great way to figure out what you don't know but should. Learning it is up to you, but believe me...knowing what to learn is the hardest part of building a profitable poker bot.

Go grab a clue and perhaps they'll take you with them when they move their mission critical discussions away from the public.

And to those of you emailing about my lack of internal links: Check out the Jiglu auto-tagging on the top right of every page. Sorry, but I'm too busy(lazy?) to link my own content properly. Those tags should get you to whatever online poker or pokerbot topics you seek.

Official OpenHoldem Forums hosted by

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sorel Mizzi and Chris Vaughn Admit to Cheating the Full Tilt $1 Million Guaranteed Tournament

No more debating. They've both come clean.

Mizzi bought Vaughn's account when the tournament was down to the final three tables, logged in, then resumed the tournament(ultimately winning), and still denies that he cheats in tournaments via multi-accounting. So let's recap. Sorel Mizzi enters a tournament and plays hands from his own account as well as hands from Chris Vaughn's Full Tilt account. In Mizzi's warped mind, this somehow doesn't add up to multi-accounting.

The complete interview is linked at the bottom courtesy of Poker News, but here are some highlights:

Sorel Mizzi: No, I'm not a – I'm not a cheater; I'm not a multi-accounter. I acted fast without malice and didn't intend to hurt Chris and myself, opponents, or the entire poker community.
Allow me to translate. "No, I'm not playing multi-accounts, I just play more than one" (Huh?!) While I'm sure he had no malice in his heart for himself (lmao) or his Bluff Magazine editor little buddy, Chris Vaughn, to pretend you didn't intend to hurt your opponents is either comical or insulting. I can't decide which.

Sorel Mizzi:But, I want to make it clear that this is something that was an isolated incident and it's, it's not something that I've done in the past.
So he's never cheated in an online tournament before. Ok. Fine. For the sake of argument, let's assume he's telling the truth. But then what is this comment about later in the interview?

Sorel Mizzi:The fact of the matter is that – yes, there's a lot of things going on where players are being ghosted in the middle or late – in the late stages of the tournament by a better player and this is – this is something that can never be regulated. And the fact that there is no one player per hand rule online really gives those people justification for doing this kind of thing. But, I know – I know that it goes on in the high limits and in the low limits and there's absolutely nothing that can be done.
As predicted, here is another "I don't do it, but everyone I know does" poker cheat. The only thing this guy feels he has done wrong is login from a different location. The article is full of interesting quotes that point to the simple fact that there is an Old Boy network among the top online players. They are team playing against you, and they don't think that is wrong. Buying and selling of accounts deep in the big money online holdem tournaments is the norm. If you manage to survive until the final few tables in a high payout online poker tournament, you aren't playing against just the other are playing whomever is the best final table player out of his entire network of contacts.

I wonder if Ray Bornet wasn't right after all. As this becomes more and more common, involving bigger and higher profile people, will the poker sites eventually have to throw up their hands and give up on any sort of online poker cheat prevention at all?

I have a virtual army of pokerbots playing right now as I type this. Many of them are sitting at tables with other members of my bot army, but none of them share cards or any other sort of collusion. I could collude on a massive scale with a day's worth of coding, but I don't.

Can someone please explain to me how I, or any other poker bot operator, should somehow be viewed as a less moral poker player than the high-profile guys that literally turn online hold'em into a team sport?

PokerNews Interviews Chris Vaughn and Sorel Mizzi

PokerStars Blogger Tournament 2007

Having finished in October, The PokerStars Blogger Texas Hold'em Tournament isn't exactly the freshest online poker news, but I received a couple of emails asking me why I didn't enter the event under this blog's banner.

I'd like to think they are kidding, but just in case...

I like my accounts at PokerStars. They make me money. They make Pokerstars money as well, and they don't seem to mind if the poker bot accounts hang around there playing poker and multi-tabling for 4-5 hours a day. I'm not going to shoot off a flare gun for Stars security, however. The anti-bot crowd would love to find my identity and out me on two plus two or some other major forum. I'd get banned and setting up new accounts, proxies, etc is a real pain in the ass. In fact, if you could guarantee I'd win the entire tournament, I'd still pass. $12k isn't worth it. It's not even close.

Anyway, here are the top 9 finishers from the event complete with links to their respective poker blogs if you want to take a look. Let them see their hits come from an online poker bot blog...It'll make them nervous.

Congratulations to LParreira. As I stare at snow on the ground, that Caribbean Adventure package looks like heaven.

LParreira (Portugal) — $12,000 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure package
mathwise (Canada)
lborba (Brazil)
ulan-ude (United States)
Abellyus (France)
NileFever (United Kingdom)
stakaman1962 (Greece)
BoreN =P (Norway)
fourflushers (United States)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Another Full Tilt Poker Scam

Chris "BluffMagCV" Vaughn, Managing Editor of Bluff Magazine: BANNED!
Sorel "Imper1um" Mizzi: Maybe sorta almost banned?

Details are still hazy about Sorel Mizzi, but without question Chris Vaughn (Winner of TWO Full Tilt $1 Million Guaranteed Tournaments in a row) has been disqualified from the tournament, his winnings removed, and his account 100% banned from Full Tilt Poker after running a scam in a million dollar hold'em tournament.

You can catch the link at the bottom to get all the details from the 2+2 forum, but basically 1 guy let another guy play under his account in the final stages of the tournament. It's blatant cheating (ahem...unlike a poker bot system). Poker is not a team sport.

It's funny how the public screams and yells about bots, but every single one of them seems to "know somebody" who chip dumps, or colludes, or switches accounts. So if I search for these two online poker celebrities on 2+2, what odds will you lay that I find a post from both of them condemning the "evil" poker bots out to destroy the game?

2+2 Discusses Mizzi/BluffMagCV Banned at Full Tilt Poker

Open Holdem, Free Online Poker Bot Source Code!

If you have been sitting on the sidelines, afraid of what virus or trojan might be hiding in a commercial pokerbot, now is the time to get in the game. Open Holdem is a new OPEN SOURCE (nearly) commercial quality botting platform.

That's, right. It's open source. You can see the source code and you are free to modify it anyway you like (within GPL restrictions, I believe).

OpenHoldem builds on the foundation of WinHoldem established by Ray Bornet. In fact, it uses Winholdem screenscraper profiles and formulae. It appears as if it were a reverse engineering job on WH, but I guess only the WH developers know if they've actually decompiled WinHoldem or if the mystery coder simply copied the function. I doubt it is a decompile, or we'd be hearing about legal problems already.

Without a doubt, though, it is a solid piece of code. This isn't a hack job. Outsourced or home brewed...I don't know, but it sure looks like the work of a professional coder to me. The OpenHoldem developers (no idea who that is, but I've heard whispers of "SingleMalt" from the WH forums) give the following reasons for releasing this project:

  • Questionable long term viability of the WinHoldem platform (and I totally agree). WH requires connectivity to a "license server" to function. If that server is unavailable or discontinued, the software is non-functional.
This is the main reason I jumped from the WinHoldem platform. I didn't like the idea of being dependent on Ray's updates or liscencing. I always had the nagging suspicion that WH would up and disappear someday, and then you'd be totally screwed.
  • WinHoldem forces software upgrades on you whether you want them or not. With OpenHoldem, you choose when you want to upgrade, if at all.
This was never that big of an issue for me, but I can certainly understand the concern. WinHoldem never seemed to have the greatest beta testing and some of the updates forced you to change your formula or profile before you could run the program again. I understand Ray's need for version control since he's supporting all these users, but still...that's no consolation when you are about to leave the house for a weekend and your bots don't work.
  • Peer review. Does WinHoldem really do what it says it does, and does it do it correctly? Without peer review of the source code, we will never know.
  • Are you a tinkerer? Do you want a solid code base from which to develop your own particular botting platform? OpenHoldem provides this.
  • WinHoldem is a closed platform, and the community has been unwilling to contribute to the success of that platform; this is a cultural issue encouraged to a large degree by it's author(Ray Bornet).
I'm not going to ring the death bell for WinHoldem just yet, but this can't be good for them. As of this writing, a WH subscription is still needed in order to properly screenscrape the casino and output a valid profile. The OpenHoldem Pokerbot Platform developers are planning to release their own version of Winscrape (Winholdem's tool for creating a profile that let's the robot "see" cards, chips, and everything else on the table).

When that day comes, WH may be in trouble. Honestly, I'd hate to see Ray Bornet suffer from this. All in all, he's done a lot of good for poker bot operators, as well as having taught me the ropes. I owe him a lot.

So, anyway, grab this source code if you have any aspirations of running a poker bot system. This is valuable source code without a doubt. I know of poker bot players that have spent thousands of dollars for their own custom bots that were no where near this quality. Grab it before Google pulls it.

Here's a link to the OpenHoldem OpenSource Poker Bot home. You'll find the source code, versus bin, and even a free Cake poker 10-man table Winscrape profile. For any other poker site, you'll have to find a profile or build your own with Winscrape, but you'll need a WinHoldem subscription for that.

We'll be watching this closely to see how the WinHoldem vs OpenHoldem war turns out.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Pokerbot World Championship Cruise Results

Well, the much hyped PBWC has come to a conclusion and, as I expected, turnout was dismal. Honestly, I forgot about the event completely. A few academic types and Ray's forum favorites showed up, but just about anybody who's first priority is profit stayed home.

The max buy-in anybody would pony up for a game was $100, which is kind of sad when you are calling the event a World Championship. I understand why Bornet is trying to find a revenue stream outside of grinding code, but he might want to keep looking. I don't think anyone who's seriously running a bot for profit in today's world is going to fight against diminishing returns to become the elite 2 or 3 bots that exist. There's no point.

All of that energy and brainpower should be applied to scaling your bot farm war room and your table selection algorithms.

Are my bots the best? Doubtful, but that's not the name of my game. My bots are automated nearly 100% and they are self adapting in many ways. Fire and forget. Collect profits. Repeat and multiply.

That's no really is $1 buy in.

$1 Fixed Limit Holdem
2007-09-24 01:17:36 GMT
Place Player Mode Prize
1 HTC Man $3
2 Asbak Man $2
3 Winngy Bot $1
4 AsbakAlpha Bot -
5 ChadZ Man -
6 Matrix Bot -

$1 Pot Limit Holdem
2007-09-24 19:10:03 GMT
Place Player Mode Prize
1 Tyche Woman $4
2 Guaran Man $2
3 MatrixB Man $1
4 ChadZ Man -
5 Asbak Man -
6 Winngy Bot -
7 HTC Man -

$1 No Limit Holdem
2007-09-24 20:29:57 GMT
Place Player Mode Prize
1 AsbakAlpha Bot $4
2 Guaran Man $2
3 Winngy Bot $1
4 Asbak Man -
5 ChadZ Man -
6 MatrixB Man -
7 HTC Man -

$10 Fixed Limit Holdem
2007-09-25 01:22:55 GMT
Place Player Mode Prize
1 AsbakAlpha Bot $30
2 ChadZAlpha Bot $20
3 Braveheart Bot $10
4 Matrix Bot -
5 Winngy Bot -
6 Mulciber Bot -

$10 Pot Limit Holdem
2007-09-25 14:39:58 GMT
Place Player Mode Prize
1 Tyche Woman $30
2 Asbak Man $20
3 Winngy Bot -
4 HTC Man -
5 Guaran Man -

$10 No Limit Holdem
2007-09-25 17:34:14 GMT
Place Player Mode Prize
1 Guaran Man $40
2 HTC Man $30
3 ChadZ Man $20
4 MatrixB Man -
5 AsbakAlpha Bot -
6 ChadZAlpha Bot -
7 Winngy Bot -
8 Asbak Man -
9 Braveheart Bot -

$100 Fixed Limit Holdem
2007-09-25 20:19:23 GMT
Place Player Mode Prize
1 HTC Man $300
2 Matrix Bot $100
3 Winngy Bot -
4 Asbak Man -

$100 Pot Limit Holdem
2007-09-26 01:20:48 GMT
Place Player Mode Prize
1 HTC Man $200
2 Tyche Woman -

$100 No Limit Holdem
2007-09-26 02:32:13 GMT
Place Player Mode Prize
1 HTC Man $300
2 Guaran Man $200
3 MatrixB Man -
4 WHooray Man -
5 Winngy Bot -

World Champion Fixed Limit Holdem
2007-SEP-28 FRI
Place Player Mode
1 HTC Man
2 AsbakAlpha Bot

World Champion Pot Limit Holdem
2007-SEP-28 FRI
Place Player Mode
1 Tyche Woman
2 HTC Man

World Champion No Limit Holdem
2007-SEP-28 FRI
Place Player Mode
1 Guaran Man
2 HTC Man
3 AsbakAlpha Bot