Its a common phenomenon in most walks of life then when something is difficult, people will put more effort into finding a way to cut corners. Since the game first exploded in the early 2000s, players have been trying to find a shortcut.
For every hardworking grinder happy to hone their bluffs, there have been at least two more who'd rather let someone else do the graft.
So when the opportunity arose for some bright sparks to create a form of artificial intelligence that could profitably "solve" poker, there was no shortage of take-ups. So what exactly are poker bots, and how do they work?
Essentially, bots are computer programs that have been designed to play the game against human opponents or other pieces of software.
Once activated, a poker bot will play a game that is underpinned by certain mathematical concepts with a view to making profitable long-term decisions.
The primary factor for defining a bot is whether or not the computer program can interface with a poker client without the assistance of a human operator (i.e. If so, it is treated as a bot regardless of how well it plays poker or how much money it is capable of making per 100 hands.
As poker is a game of incomplete information, it is impossible even for a computer to deduce the final outcome of any given hand.
Instead, poker bots must rely on systems based on various theorems. So, can a bot beat regular players, and is it worth the hassle?
As with most things in poker, the answer is "it depends".
While bots are capable of turning a profit in the long term, they are just as susceptible to the laws of variance as us regular Joes and they are also incapable of making sophisticated adjustments to their game when a player begins to exploit them.
While systems like neural networking do allow some bots to "learn" new strategies based on how other players are reacting to them, the truth is even the most advanced bot essentially plays in a pre-defined manner.
Once identified, it can easily be outmanoeuvred by a good opponent.