The largest online poker room, PokerStars, had once put a stop to a computer bot ring bent on manipulating the online poker system and people out of their money.

On July 18, 2010 PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room, earlier announced that it had closed ten player accounts that have been labeled as being run by computer bots – instead of 10 separate individuals – making it a serious form of cheating. The bots were said to have played over eight million hands, generating $187,000 in rake and making a very comfortable profit of $57,000. While the issue had been resolved, it has brought to light a very touchy issue in online poker.

How PokerStars Was Alerted to the Issue

The problem of the 10 bot accounts may have been put to rest by the PokerStars security team after a very brief investigation, but the issue was not even brought up by PokerStars but by the poker community in general. Back on July 13, 2010 a member of the poker forum Two Plus Two reported seeing three suspicious players as they would play the same stakes, change stakes after the same number of hands, and would continue the rotations over and over.

According to, the same site that discovered a series of problems with the software on UltimateBet some time ago, contains statistical information on millions of online poker accounts in order to allow possible opponents the ability to see how other players play. The tools available on PokerTableRatings allowed a Two Plus Two user to discover on July 16th that all three accounts had unbelievable statistical connections.

What the bots would do is that once the “bot player” was in the Big Blind position and there were a series of people who called the blind, without raising, the bot in the Big Blind would either bet all-in or bet very high but not all-in. If the bot was raised while in the Big Blind position they would fold every time. The bot accounts would systematically move up and down from the $1/$2, $0.50/$1/, and the $0.25/$0.50 tables making the same plays every time.

PokerTableRatings Takes the Reigns to Discover all Ten Accounts

Once the first three accounts were discovered PokerTableRatings released a report stating that they found 10 accounts on PokerStars that shared the exact same characteristics. What is most upsetting to the poker community in general is that PokerStars did not catch this before regular players went on the investigative hunt and then passed it onto PokerTableRatings.

The regular online poker player understands that problems like computer bots can happen, but they also want to believe that the poker room has a handle on the situation, especially when the problem occurred on the largest and most wealthy poker room in the world. While this was a terrible situation, the fact that it happened will keep people more vigilant and hopefully the poker rooms will be ready to act before players have to start playing detective themselves.

Best Full Tilt Poker FTOPS XVII Events to Play

In total there are 34 very profitable events taking place during the Full Tilt Poker’s FTOPS XVII series that begins next month. For the first time ever the Full Tilt Online Poker Series of tournaments will have one major addition: Rush Poker. When Full Tilt created Rush Poker back in January 2010 the second largest online poker room created an even more exciting form of online poker and their new tournament format of Rush Poker will grace the world renown FTOPS and is sure to become a major feature of the FTOPS in the future.

Events on the FTOPS XVII Schedule that Should be Focused On

In all there are 34 events during the FTOPS XVII worth over $19 million in guaranteed money, and that’s including the $3 million FTOPS Main Event. This means that there are 4 more events than the last FTOPS, making the 12-day FTOPS jam packed full of events. For those bankroll wise players that are forced to pick and choose which events to take part in rather than buy into all 34 events for well over $10,000, there are a few events that should be focused on.

Here are the top 5 FTOPS XVII events that should be considered by the bankroll conscious player:

Event #1: $200+$16 (No Limit Hold’em) $750,000 Guaranteed

Event #9: $100+$9 (No Limit Hold’em with Rebuys) $600,000 Guaranteed

Event #11: $120+$9 (No Limit Hold’em Knockout) $800,000 Guaranteed

Event #22: $300+$22 (No Limit Hold’em Six-Max with Rebuys) $1million Guaranteed

Event #30: $100+$9 (Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys) $400,000 Guaranteed

All of the events that have been listed are each different and have their own qualities that make them good choices, but out of the 34 events these 5 hold the best cost to reward possibilities. It must be noted that the Main Event has been left out. The Main Event might have a $3 million guaranteed prize pool. At a $640 buy-in the possibility of winning the Main Event is not good as the number of players for the event will be enormous regardless of the high buy-in making it very difficult to cash let alone win.

Top Two Rush Poker Events in the FTOPS XVII Schedule

There are 6 Rush Poker events in the upcoming FTOPS and they too can have a hefty buy-in. For those player’s who wish to try their hand at the top Rush Poker events without breaking the bank here are the top two Rush Poker events during the FTOPS XVII:

Event #10: $200+$16 (No Limit Hold’em Turbo Rush) $350,000 Guaranteed

Event #33: $150+$13 (No Limit Hold’em Rush with Rebuys) $750,000 Guaranteed

Like the regular FTOPS event selections these hold the best cost-benefit ratio. For those player’s who fancy themselves Pot Limit Omaha or Omaha Hi/Lo players there are also Rush Poker events for these as well, but the guarantees won’t be as high. These events do have comparatively low guarantees as this is more than likely a byproduct of Rush Poker events in the FTOPS being just introduced so Full Tilt is unsure as to how popular they are going to be.

No matter what event a player chooses, however, the money that can be won during the FTOPS XVII is enormous. During a period in poker where other major online poker rooms are hosting their own major tournament series Full Tilt has a lot to draw players to it, even for those who are on a tight bankroll. Full Tilt is also running FTOPS satellite tournaments all the time for players who want to play in the tournament series without spending hundred on a single buy-in. For those who want to play on as many events as possible be sure to consult the full FTOPS XVII schedule or visit website to know more.

By Manali