For a some online poker players right now, things couldn’t get any better. It appears that the game of Internet poker has made a full revival from the crushing blow it was dealt after the UIGEA took effect in 2006 and many people are cashing in on the game more than ever before. But with the game in clear sailing as of right now (barring anymore ugly poker room scandals) it appears that certain individuals need to invent reasons about why poker is in serious danger.
Some are even taking the danger thing a step further and predicting the downfall of online poker as we know it. One person in particular who is doing this is doctor Ian Fellows who is a researcher at the University of California at San Diego. Fellows seriously believes that since the poker robot named Polaris 2 defeated online professional players in a heads-up Limit match that it will soon infiltrate the world of online poker and mark the end for the game.
According to Fellows, “It wasn’t until mid-2000, an algorithm was developed, that [bots] could even come close to a competent player. But now online computer poker playing may become a thing of the past.” Going further, Fellows believes that criminals may start appearing in online games using these supposedly unbeatable computer programs to beat humans and these thoughts are stated in his new book “Fell Omen”.
Now I definitely think that it’s amazing what the people at the University of Alberta were able to do with Polaris 2 in making it good enough to beat a batch of extremely talented heads-up players. But that’s just the thing: these were heads-up Limit matches, not six-handed, not seven-handed, not full tabled games as was discussed by Polaris 2 programmer Mike Johanson when he stopped by the blog. Just because the program beat the players at heads-up doesn’t mean it is ready to take the world by storm.
Furthermore, most (if not all) of those who have tried to use poker bots in the past have been caught and have had their money confiscated along with their accounts banned. Sorry to say it Mr. Fellows but your book and ideas may be a little off-base.