These are some pretty hefty accusations, allegations, and stories.
JNandez is proving to be quite the grinder in more than one sense.
He has given an update on ACR Poker bots at PLO cash games. 51 suspected bots were identified at $1/$2 PLO in 2023. Now, I don't know how many people are in these pools, but I can't imagine it's more than a few hundred. So, if you've played in any of these stakes, which is apparently between 50 and 600 on ACR in PLO, you've been cheated.
🤖 Update on @ACR_POKER Bots (PLO Cash)— JNandez (@JNandezPoker) January 24, 2024
– 51 suspected bots identified at $1/$2 PLO in 2023
– $116,415 stolen from legitimate players / customers of ACR
– Bots held a 4.5 EV bb/100 winrate before rakeback
We (@PLOMastermind) tracked bots via 16 key statistics in which they…
Here's some good news – ACR seems to be taking action and has suspended accounts while they investigate. Still, JNandez has questions about refunds.
JNandez seems to be in direct communication with ACR Poker since they didn't announce the same thing on their own X/Twitter account.
Story Number One
So, we'll see how this is going to run down. We've got bots held at 4.5 EV bb per 100, meaning for the non-pros out there, their win rate, i.e., how much they're winning over a long time, is an EV, expected value, how much they're expected to win before the all-in and the variance and stuff like that, is 4.5 big blinds.
So, if you're playing $1/$2, that's $9 per 100 hands that they're playing. A little bit of a breakdown, sorry if you already knew that.
JNandez tracks bots via 16 key statistics in which they overlap within a very close range.
I'm not qualified to be able to look at poker statistics and say what's suspicious, but what I can say is that if you have this many bots or this many accounts playing extremely suspiciously in terms of very, very close stats like are being shown here, winning at very similar win rates, and I assume there's a lot more data that he's looked at as well, it ain't looking so pretty.
So, the question for ACR and the CEO, Phil Nagy, who's a big name within the poker world, is will these bots get confirmed and removed? I can only imagine the answer to this is going to be yes. This, to me, is the interesting question: will players get compensated for the $116,000 that has been taken away from them? $116,000, by the way, playing these stakes, is a ton.
Imagine you're in Phil Nagy's shoes, or you're like the CEO of ACR. You know that even if you give $116,000, people still aren't going to trust your platform. So, from a purely business perspective, well, that's tough.
From a moral perspective, it's also kind of tough because the players played on the site, and you kind of expect the players to do their due diligence. I would pay it back if I were in their shoes, but I've heard so many arguments.
So, call to action for ACR players, create a list in your tracking tools to see how much money you won or lost against the bot group. Message ACR, tag/label bots, and avoid them, or study and exploit them. They are beatable. This is very interesting; the fact that they're beatable suggests they don't have particularly good bots running. I guess you probably don't need particularly good ones.
Other interesting facts: no bots were found at $5/$10 or higher. It seems like the bots were not successful at stakes higher than $1/$2, most likely not good enough, which is extremely interesting again.
Charlie Carrel's First Meeting with a Bot
I remember about 10 years ago, my first ever encounter with a bot. I was playing on PokerStars, and there were these heads-up sit-and-go's, super deep-stacked, and super slow, so it wasn't a turbo. I played against a bot, and I was playing for like a $7 heads-up, and I only had like $200 to my name. I was like, "I'm going to try this heads-up," because I didn't know what I was doing with my time.
I found that I was playing against a really bad, tight passive bot.
Its style was to play really, really tight passive. So, its style was to play not many hands, when it got a big hand, play big, when it didn't have a big hand, just fold. So, you could grind it away; it was like super, super beatable. It just took a long time, and it was probably just going to be beating the average recreational player that was going to be playing it because that's a pretty good strategy against the average recreational player.
So these things have been around for a long time, but apparently, they're getting a little bit better. There are more bots at lower stakes than $1/$2. We haven't studied the data sets. Okay, so if you've played low stakes, then you've probably also been cheated, and collusion between bots is a possibility, but it ain't their main objective.
So just to finish on this, it's really looking like we're going to need some kind of renaissance in poker, in online poker specifically. It doesn't seem to be that NLH has been getting as many bots as PLO. So if you guys want to come check out how to beat No Limit online, there are still a lot of people making a good living, by the way.
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Story Number Two
Alright, so this is the second story. Following the recent complaints, another serious accusation was made at GG Poker PL5 cash games and this is very breaking. We have a player who's reported five players at PL5 micro on GG Poker. He even managed to record in less than a minute and all the players left one after another, after usually playing 15 hours a day.
SERIOUS COMPLAINT TO BOTS AT GGPOKER CASH GAMES PLO5 WAS MADE BY A PLAYER AT TWO PLUS TWO YESTERDAY.https://t.co/fpf63n7q1Y— Lucas Baliza (@LucasBalizaPLO5) January 25, 2024
He reports 5 players who play PLO5 5 MICRO ON GGPOKER, he even manages a recording in less than a minute, all the players left the table one after the… pic.twitter.com/W28r207gxT
People just aren't being subtle, which is kind of scary.
So they'll go in and come out and go, and this is probably what we were seeing, although it was for the app games before.
On my previous video, I showed footage of loads and loads of phones connected to each other, and obviously, it was a bot ring that was playing these app games and probably making a small win rate in these app games. I assume that's what's going on here as well. If you live in the Philippines, for instance, where if you can make $50 a day, you're crushing in the Philippines. You know, you're annihilating; you're rich in the Philippines, making $50 a day.
If you can just make $50, and I'm sure these bots can make a lot more than that, then financially, there's a lot of incentive to just try and subtly get away with, or not even subtly, just get away with it on the micro stakes. This seems to be what we're running into. The scary thing is, well, if we're noticing the unsubtle ones, what about the people that are very intelligent and getting away with cheating at the high stakes and being more subtle about it, having better AI, having better bots that are doing, or maybe a person with artificial intelligence telling them how to play? There are just so many ways to cheat, and I really don't see how we're going to get around this as a poker community unless we have some really intense changes.
I just feel like it's really important that as players, we don't get scared.
Like, for instance, GGPoker; they were very kind enough to invite me to Game of Gold Season 1.
Now, there is a non-negligible chance that I don't get invited to Season 2 because I'm calling out GGPoker for having bots, and that's really bad PR for them.
But I think it's so important that as players, we don't think about that kind of stuff. We don't think about a potential paycheck or exposure on a TV show because if we're aligning ourselves to be puppets of these corporate machines, as a community, we're never going to get better. So I hope you can appreciate that, you know, this doesn't come free. There's always a price for speaking about these kinds of things.