Desiging a poker bot

by PokerAnon ~ August 15th, 2010. Filed under: Instructional posts, Philosophy and approach.

Well, I’m not really designing a poker bot, per se. But it’s an approach that I’m planning to use for a while.

A respected (by others besides myself) poker friend of mine once suggested establishing a goal for your poker sessions, such as, focus on opportunities to float. Then you would keep an eye out for those specific situations as they evolve and spend a little more time on evaluating them. For example you may even start with preflop; there’s a raise in front. Is this player type likely to be easy or difficult to float if we get to the flop/turn? Then you can still reject the situation based on your cards, position, or opponents behind (maybe someone behind likes to squeeze so if you just call preflop you might be creating a squeezing opportunity for him).

Anyway, it’s a focus. Much like a soccer coach might say “use this scrimmage to focus on passing with your left foot”, you play your session with a focus on your target. For my target I am still concerned about my emotional reaction to poker situations. I’ve written from many different perspectives about not caring about short term results, about emotional bankroll, about Zen attitudes, about “me” versus my poker persona but I still note my heart rate increasing when I get AA, I still find myself calling min-raises with nothing and no real plan simply because I find min-raises annoying, I still find myself paying off bad players when it’s fairly obvious that they actually have something this time.

This is where the “poker bot” comes in. Rather than just tell myself to keep at an even keel I’m planning to ask myself, “What would I want the poker bot to do?”

If I were designing a poker bot, what should the programming choose at this moment, given the cards, stats, position, and using everything that I know about poker? How would I want the poker bot to act?

This is something similar to recording a video as you play for the purposes of instructing a beginner (which I’ve done and found the process instructional for myself). So if you imagine that your play is being recorded, and you will give the video to a programmer to use to write a book for a beginner, or to program a bot, or for a beginner to learn from, what do you want to happen? What do you want the bot to do, over and over again in this situation? Or, what do you want your student to do, over and over again, in this situation?

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