Gabriel is one of an increasing number of computer
professionals who design poker robots, or "bots," that pose as human
gamblers but can play endlessly without tiring or losing concentration
for real money.
Though not yet good enough to beat skilled humans consistently, these
programs are seen as a threat by online casinos all based outside the
U.S. and out of the reach of American laws and the gamblers who spend
billions of dollars chasing big pots.
"There are already lots of robots playing online, and that’s definitely
unethical. They should identify themselves," said Paul Magriel, a
veteran professional poker player.
The march of the machines will be celebrated in Las Vegas next month
with the world’s first money tournament for robots and the $100,000
prize is drawing a handful of coders out of anonymity.
The emerging technology does more than raise the stakes for real people
and online casinos.