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Gecko, Our Default Bot

The Gecko story

We once had an old-school-member called Gecko from the Netherlands. Gecko had no experience in the IT-business, but he was a really dedicated guy; a hard worker and fast learner. Gecko worked round the clock, contributed 500 posts per month to the forum, reported bugs Sunday morning 4 am.Over the course of the next three years he rewrote his bot at least 20 times from scratch, each time structuring it a bit better and making it stronger. Hard work pays off and so Gecko finally got a winning bot that made him a little fortune. Gecko traded his well-earned botting-money for six renovated teeths, a twelf-man internet-advertising-company in Pakistan and freedom from the Dutch police.
One day Gecko decided to visit his employees in Pakistan. He took his $200-car (bought from all the money the Dutch police left him), found the way through the snowy mountains of Austria and sunny Greece, missed Pakistan by some miles but discovered Thailand where he now lives in happiness.
Gecko finally quit botting; but as a true gentleman he generously donated his pokerbot to the OpenHoldem community.

Its playing style

Lots of people used the Gecko-bot as a base for their own poker-logic.Everybody praised its coding-style and its good play. Gecko plays no-limit big-stack in a tight-aggressive (or maybe semi-loose-aggressive) way. It uses PokerTracker to adapt to its opponents, stealing more against tight blind-posters, value-betting harder against calling-stations, being more cautious if a passive player gives action and more. For example Gecko is prepared to play for full stacks with mid-pair against hyper-maniacs. The Gecko-bot is by far the best bot available to the public we have ever seen (demo-bots) or heard of (commercials). It tries to squeeze the slightest edge in an aggressive manner; so be prepared for some funny swings, hopefully more often in the right direction.

Does Gecko play tournaments?

To be honest: not really. Gecko is designed to play manly bigstack and squeeze the slightest edge in an aggressive manner. But in tournaments chip-EV and money-EV usually differ (except for winner-takes-it-all); tournaments usually get played for survival and they often end with a shortstacked push-fold-phase. Nothing Gecko is really designed for. The Gecko-bot probably needs a little tweak on top of it that tempers its aggression here and there a little bit and cares about ICM.

Using the Gecko-bot

The Gecko-bot is now fully integrated and OpenHoldems default-bot. It sits in the background and waits for situations where your bot-logic does not specify an action. Then Gecko steps in. You can use Gecko in several ways:
  • play pure Gecko. Whenever your bot-logic is empty or not loaded or you click “New” then Gecko will care about everything and play all games from the beginning to the end. In other words: forget to load your bot-logic and increase your winnings.
  • tweak Gecko. If Gecko satisfies you only 99% or if you want to adapt it to other game-types like tournaments, then you can easily tweak it. Don’t worry: you don’t have to change anything in Geckos code and possibly ruin it. All you have to do: create a new file with the exceptional situations that you want to play differently and leave the rest unspecified. Then OpenHoldem will play your bot-logic and Gecko will care about all the rest. We call this type of bot-logic a Gecko-tweak.
  • use Gecko as a starting-point.for your own complete bot. Even if you want to create a bot completely from scratch Gecko will be useful. You can start your bot-logic as a Gecko-tweak and as long as your logic is incomplete Gecko will care about the forgotten situations. So you can for example test your half-made bot as if it was already finished.
  • don’t use Gecko at all. If you are one of the fortunate old-school-members who already have a complete and better bot, then you don’t have to worry that Gecko ruins anything. You can safely delete the Gecko-file from the botlogic folder or just terminate all evaluations with
    WHEN Others
       WHEN Others Fold FORCE