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I guess the real threat isn't a "bot" but something in the way of a program that interprets the data on the screen real-time and whose output instructs the player of the "optimal" play, given the circumstances. How the hell would you deter that as a site operator?

No, I think your earlier example of a swarm of just-above-break-even bots would be much more difficult to combat. Even if they can be detected, the anti-detection countermeasures can evolve, turning it into an arms race. Anything you can model in your bot detection algorithm, the bot-maker can model too.

Reaction times ought to be one of the easiest things to fake. All it would take is a bunch of monitoring of large numbers of games to create a nice model of real player reaction times, which in all likelihood are normally distributed anyway.

Not normally distributed, as negative reaction times are unlikely. You could use log-normal, but I believe that a mixture of exponential and gamma tends to be used by reaction time researchers (search ExpGamma).

negative reaction times are unlikely

Oh, right. I was thinking along the lines of 100m dash, where people often do have negative reaction times (which we penalize as false starts).

In poker we don't have much of an incentive to react instantly to any play.

Pretty sure I've read a long time back on 2p2 that large consistant winners on certain sites have been asked to submit camera footage of their play with a clear view of screens and inputs. So this is probably something that companies like Pokerstars have been dealing with for years already.

It would be pretty easy to hide something signalling you on what to play from cameras.

True, but ultimately if they're unsure they'll just ban you from the platform anyway. Consistent, winning players aren't really where they make their money, and they're free to ban anyone they like. (I realize technically they take a cut from all players, but more money gets sloshed around for them to skim off of if winning players aren't removing it from the system.)

That was what I was thinking, the bot augmenting a human's playing ability rather than playing itself.

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