For the love of the game

I’m getting a lot of reactions to this blog, obviously people have strong feelings about poker bots. This is of course understandable but the most common point taken in these reactions is that we should not build bots “for the love of the game”. People are claiming that we are destroying poker. I disagree and coulnd’t disagree more. We are building a poker bot for the love of the game. If you claim that poker bots are destroying the game you obvously don’t play that well. A bot, at least of this quality, will never beat a good human player, it will only beat really bad players. If the bot does something it’s to teach the fundamentals of poker, if you can’t outsmart a machine maybe you’re just not cut out for poker. The bot plays only on statistics, it bluffs like a 6 year old and it can never learn to read you, it’s just a machine. Maybe in the future we might build a smarter AI but so far it’s nothing more than a beefed up calculator.

The challenge of building a bot is something you take on because you love the game of poker, it’s not a small task and it demands that you learn to do things by rules instead of by instinct, this is really hard and it has certainly made me a better poker player. Understanding the basics in poker is something most players actually skip to go directly to the fancy stuff and this is why a bot can still win. If you had just bothered to learn pot odds, outs and some basic statistics you would have beaten the bot every time, but you didn’t did you? How can you claim your love for the game to be bigger than ours when you didn’t even bother to learn the basics.

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