Does PokerStars Have Bots? Here are the Facts [2019]

PokerStars Bots
People often ask me if there are bots on PokerStars. And believe me I get it, there are a lot of tight players these days who seem to play a very robotic style of game.

It is definitely a legitimate concern that some of these players might be non-human bots. A poker bot by definition is a non-human poker player.

So in this article I am going to break it all down for you. Does PokerStars really have bots in 2019?

What is a Poker Bot?

Before I even begin though let's talk about what a poker bot even is. As mentioned, a poker bot is simply a non-human computer program that will play poker for you.

Essentially you program the bot (or have somebody program it for you) to follow a set of rules for what poker plays to make in every situation.

Now for very, very obvious reasons pretty much every online poker site in history has banned these programs outright. In most cases the penalties are very harsh if you are caught using one.

And the reason why is simple. Using a poker bot is simply cheating. Poker is a game that is meant to be played between human beings, not computerized programs.

So if you are caught using a poker bot, then the poker site will probably ban you for life, confiscate all your money and you will get blacklisted in the poker community as well.

And rightfully so!

Because as a poker community we do not want you. You are a parasite on this beautiful game that millions of people around the world love to play in an honest way.

PokerStars Bots 2019 - How Many Bots Are on PokerStars?

However, let's be real. We live in a world where not everybody subscribes to the same moral code. Some people out there (and not just in poker), will always look to find a way to cheat for their financial gain.

It's just kind of a fact of life. You need look no further than the stock market to see clear evidence of this all the time!

Online poker continues to be a very profitable income source for many people. For me personally I have played poker professionally for over 12 years now. And most of my hands have been played on PokerStars.

I have played millions and millions of hands of poker on PokerStars. Do I think there are bots on PokerStars though?

For me personally, I would say yes there are, but probably not very many. PokerStars has one of the best bot and collusion security prevention teams in the industry. They take this very seriously.

But of course whenever there is money involved in anything in life, people will try and cheat. So it doesn't stop people from trying to run a bot on PokerStars.

And while I believe most of them get caught (or will eventually get caught), you would have to be pretty naive to believe that the PokerStars security team catches them all.

I can say that I myself have been accused of being a bot on PokerStars many times because I tend to play the table maximum (24 tables) and I play long hours. I also don't use chat.

But I do this because online poker is my job. I am not there to chat and have fun like all the other amateurs. I am there to take your money and win!

And because of this PokerStars has watched my account very closely over the years. In fact, they would often freeze my tables and force me to solve a CAPTCHA while playing in order to prove that I was a real human being playing.

As somebody who has always played the game in an honest and fair manner, I am happy to deal with all this if it helps prevent other people from cheating.

Does PokerStars Take Bots Seriously?

So I know first hand that PokerStars does indeed take poker bots very seriously. In fact, if you are caught using a bot they will immediately ban your account for life AND confiscate your bankroll.

So the penalties are extremely harsh for those who still try and circumvent the rules by running a bot on PokerStars.

Now how would PokerStars actually know know if you are using a bot you might be asking?

Several ways. When you use PokerStars software their security team is able to detect what other running processes are in use on your computer.

Therefore, if you think you are just going to download some bot (yes, people are pathetic enough to sell these on the internet) and use it on PokerStars, you will be caught, 100%.

The other way that the PokerStars security team detects poker bots is by anomalies in your play. What I mean by this is repetitive non human actions and the total absence of tilt or fatigue mistakes.

Humans tilt when they get frustrated and they make mistakes when they are tired. A bot doesn't do these things. So this is one of the easiest ways for PokerStars to tell if you are using a bot or not.

By the way, there actually are plenty of poker software tools which are fully legal to use while playing online poker.

For the complete list of all the poker software tools that I personally use as a poker pro, click here.

PokerStars Bots and PokerStars Complaints

So how many complaints does PokerStars get about bots? Honestly, god only knows. I am sure it is a metric sh*t ton though.

Because you see here's the thing.

PokerStars is the #1 online poker site in the world by a very wide margin. And the other thing is that most people lose at poker in the end.

The thing about poker though is that everybody thinks they are good at it (most actually aren't). So therefore, since most people will inevitably lose, they need something to blame it on.

Instead of studying and improving their poker game it is much easier to blame their lack of success in poker on the site being "rigged" or the use of "bots."

There is nothing you can do about this. So the complaints about PokerStars having bots, being rigged for action and so on will never stop.

People gotta blame their bad poker play and tilt problems on something!

Final Thoughts

So does PokerStars have bots on their site in 2019?

Well, I think you would have to be pretty naive to believe there aren't at least a few. But at the end of the day, PokerStars has one of the best security teams in the business.

They use a lot of sophisticated methods for bot detection and they have a clear incentive to keep them off their site as well, PokerStars is a highly profitable business!

Also, in my experience people will simply accuse you of being a bot if you play a lot and don't talk. I have personally been accused of being a bot on PokerStars countless times, which is just hilarious.

Lastly, most people lose at poker in the end. These are just the cold hard facts.

And most people also think they are pretty good at poker (which isn't true). So when they inevitably lose due to their own bad play, they will need something to blame it on.

People love to claim that PokerStars is rigged or it's overrun by bots in order to explain why they can't win at poker. The reason they don't win is actually bad play and tilt.

As a professional poker player, I spend a lot of time studying away from the tables to improve my poker game and get better at my tilt control.

If you really want to win at poker over the long run, I would suggest you focus more on the things that you actually do control at the tables such as consistently making better quality poker decisions.

Let me know in the comments below if you think there are bots on PokerStars in 2019? Do you personally have any experience with poker bots?

Pokerstars bots

The ONLY Poker Courses You Need [2019] - Voted by Pros

Best poker courses 2019
People ask me all the time what are the best poker courses. And I know it can be difficult with so many options out there these days.

Also, many poker courses are aimed at different skill levels, beginner, intermediate and advanced. As a 10+ year poker pro I have studied many poker courses over the years to improve my own skills at the poker table.

Many of my poker pro friends have also used these same poker courses to push their game to new levels and continue winning big.

So in this article I am going to give you a complete breakdown of the best poker courses for 2019.

Best Poker Courses 2019 - The NL2 Mastery Course (Beginner)

There actually aren't that many poker courses available that are aimed specifically at beginners. Most poker courses discuss advanced topics like range analysis, bluff/raising and GTO theory.

None of this is anything that a complete beginner playing NL2 online (1 cent / 2 cent blinds) or $1/$2 games in a casino needs to know.

And so this is why the best poker course for beginners is one of the few poker courses aimed directly at total beginners, The NL2 Mastery Course.

I know this poker course very well because I made it! The NL2 Mastery Course consists of 6+ hours of live play video of me personally showing you how to crush the lowest stakes games.

best poker courses blackrain79 nl2 mastery course

And the key strength of this poker course is that I (as the creator of this course) am well known as having some of the best results in online poker history in these games, tens of thousands in winnings.

So you know that you are learning from the very best. I have created the most profitable strategies in history for this game specifically (NL2), and you get to essentially look over my shoulder and watch me show you them in action.

The NL2 Mastery Course was recorded entirely on PokerStars and I play 6-max, full ring and Zoom. There are 9 videos in total, each of which is around 45 minutes.

There is also plenty of bonus material included in the course including my hugely popular Starting Hand Chart Manual. This guide tells you exactly which hands to play from every position at the poker table.

You also get life-time free access to my exclusive private poker forum where I and several other poker pros personally answer your poker questions and help you with your poker hands.

There is no other poker course ever created for how to beat the lowest stakes poker games that even compares. I have some of the best results in the history of online poker in these games and have also written 3 books on how to beat them.

I should mention that low stakes live poker players will probably also find this poker course helpful (especially if you play $1/$2 games). This poker course is also great if you play Zoom or in soft higher stakes games online like NL5.

Lastly, The NL2 Mastery Course also comes with the option to get my best selling poker book, Crushing the Microstakes, which has now helped thousands of people drastically improve their results in low stakes poker games.

The bottom line is that if you are a poker beginner still struggling to find out how to win consistently, this is the poker course for you.

To enroll in The NL2 Mastery Course right now, click here.

Best Poker Courses 2019 - The Upswing Poker Lab (Intermediate)

So what if you have cruised through the lowest stakes though, built up a bit of a bankroll, and you are playing stakes like NL10, NL25, NL50, NL100 online or $2/$5, $5/$10, $10/$20 live?

Well, luckily there are a lot more poker courses aimed at this skill level.

However, the best overall poker course aimed at somebody who has been playing for awhile and already understand the basics is The Upswing Poker Lab.

This course was created primarily by 3-time WSOP bracelet winner Doug "WCGRider" Polk. He is also a high stakes poker pro with millions in winnings both live and online.

Doug is perhaps best known for taking down the One Drop High Roller tournament for $3.7 million dollars. He is also one of the most feared online poker pros specializing in heads up.

So once again, the biggest draw of this poker course is that you know you are learning from the very best.

best poker courses upswing poker lab

The Upswing Poker Lab consists of 6 sections with dozens of videos showing you how to play optimally in every situation possible in small and mid stakes poker games.

Doug Polk takes you from the very basics of what hands to play, when to re-raise, to how to analyze flop textures and make high level reads against regulars and outplay them.

He also teaches you:
  • Flop, turn and river bet sizing
  • Tilt control
  • How to react to preflop 3-bets
  • Postflop bluffing strategies
  • Hand reading
  • Understanding ranges
  • The basics of GTO poker math
  • Bankroll management
And much more.

best poker courses upswing poker lab

Each video lesson is typically between 20-40 minutes and there is a ton of course material provided for each module after you are finished studying the video.

One of the strengths of The Upswing Poker Lab is that it also comes with a hand chart viewer which provides you with access to 259 hand charts telling you exactly which hands to play in pretty much any situation imaginable in a small or mid stakes poker game.

best poker courses upswing poker lab hand charts

These poker hand charts can be downloaded using the Upswing poker app by the way so you can view them right on your smartphone (both iOS and Android).

Lastly, the Upswing Poker Lab includes a "Play and Explains" section where Doug takes you through some of his biggest tournament and cash game hands.

This is includes televised poker hands that Doug played as well as extremely high stakes online poker tournaments like the WCOOP 100k final table.

best poker courses upswing poker lab

Overall The Upswing Poker Lab is the best poker course ever created in my opinion for an intermediate level poker player.

I could really only scratch the surface of how much high level poker theory and instruction is included in this course here.

In fact, I would actually argue that The Upswing Poker Lab is the best poker course ever created for ANY poker skill level.

That is why this is consistently my #1 most recommended poker course for 2019 for anyone who has learned the basics and wants to take their game to a world class level.

To enroll in The Upswing Poker Lab right now, click here.

Best Poker Courses 2019 - The Daniel Negreanu MasterClass (Intermediate)

Next on the list is The Daniel Negreanu MasterClass. Daniel Negreanu really needs no introduction in the world of poker. He is one of the winningest poker tournament players in history with over $40 million dollars in earnings.

Daniel is probably the most famous poker player on earth and he has inspired and influenced countless people to learn the game of poker.

So last year when he came out with a new MasterClass teaching all his poker strategy secrets, I was immediately all over it.

The Daniel Negreanu MasterClass is comprised of 38 video lessons covering every topic imaginable for small and mid stakes poker games including:
  • Poker math and game theory
  • Bet sizing tricks to confuse your opponents
  • How to read their poker hand
  • The art of table talk
  • Picking up physical tells
  • Advanced tournament strategy
And tons more.

The Daniel Negreanu MasterClass also comes with a comprehensive 122 page course manual which takes you through every concept Daniel teaches you in even more detail.

Another strength of this poker training program is that Daniel personally walks you through some of the most famous televised poker hands in history that he played against other famous poker pros like Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan.

Daniel's insights into the live tells that he picks up, how he uses table talk to his advantage, and how to read somebody's poker hand is some of the best content I have ever seen on this.

Lastly, in this poker course you have unprecedented access to KidPoker himself. The "office hours" section of the course allows you to ask your poker questions personally to Daniel himself.

Overall, I think that anyone who has gotten beyond the basics in poker and is struggling to win consistently in small or mid stakes games will learn a lot from this course.

Now no, it is not quite as comprehensive as The Upswing Poker Lab, but in other ways (such as live poker theory, picking up physical tells and so on), it is actually better.

Best poker courses daniel negreanu masterclass

The other thing is that you know you are learning how to win at poker from one of the very best poker players in history.

Daniel Negreanu's credentials in this game need no introduction. He has won more money at the poker tables than nearly any human being in history.

That's why anyone looking to take their poker game to an elite level in 2019 should check out this new MasterClass poker course.

To enroll in the Daniel Negreanu MasterClass right now, click here.

Best Poker Courses 2019 - The Phil Ivey MasterClass (Intermediate)

Another brand new poker course that was just released is the Phil Ivey MasterClass.

With over $45 million dollars in winnings (online and live combined), Phil Ivey has more publicly documented winnings that any poker player in history.

This is also part of the reason why Ivey has already been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame despite the fact that his poker career is far from over.

Since Phil Ivey has never revealed any of his poker knowledge before, this is arguably the most exciting new poker course release for 2019.

Best poker courses phil ivey masterclass

In the Phil Ivey MasterClass he teaches you:
  • What hands to play in all situations
  • How to read someone's hand in both online poker and live poker
  • Elite poker bluffing strategy
  • Deep stacked poker strategy (best ever info on this in my opinion, great if you play Zoom)
  • The mental game of poker, how Ivey puts people on tilt
  • Optimal bet sizing for both tournaments and cash games
And tons more.

The Phil Ivey MasterClass is aimed at beginners on through to small stakes and mid stakes poker players, both live and online, cash games and tournaments.

If you are struggling to turn a profit in these games this is a unique opportunity to learn from one of the all-time greats and the winningest poker player in history.
Best poker courses phil ivey masterclass

Like the Daniel Negreanu MasterClass this poker course is mostly video content (downloadable for both iOS or Android) with Phil Ivey teaching you directly how to crush small and mid stakes poker games.

There is also a large course book that comes with this poker course as well as "Office Hours" where you can ask Phil Ivey your poker questions directly.

Lastly, Phil Ivey reviews many of his most famous million dollar bluffs in in this poker course and tells you exactly what he was thinking at each stage of the hand.

This includes famous poker hands against the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Tom Dwan and Doug Polk.

And yes this also includes (for the first time ever) Ivey's famous 5-bet all-in flop bluff with Queen high against Paul Jackson, which is the greatest bluff in poker history in my opinion.

Best poker courses phil ivey masterclass

To finally get inside the mind of Ivey a little bit when he is making some of these insane bluffs was probably my personal favorite part of this poker course.

Bottom line: If you are new to poker or struggling to get past breakeven in low to mid stakes tournaments or cash games, this is one of the absolute best poker courses to learn from in 2019.

To enroll in the Phil Ivey MasterClass right now, click here.

Best Poker Courses 2019 - Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo (Advanced)

The final poker course on this list (which is only recommended for advanced mid or high stakes poker players and pros) is Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo.

This poker course, as the title suggests, is primarily about tournament poker. It also includes some of the most advanced GTO based poker theory in the world today.

Nick Petrangelo is the lead instructor and he is one of the best poker tournament pros in the world with $23 million in lifetime earnings and several WSOP bracelets.

best poker courses winning poker tournaments with nick petrangelo

So once again, one of the biggest strengths of this poker course is that you know you are learning from the very best in the world.

Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo teaches you how to consistently beat other pros. Making use of PioSolver software Nick breaks down his strategy in every situation versus strong regulars.

He also breaks it down based on various flop textures:
  • Paired boards
  • Wet Boards 
  • Ace high boards
  • Monotone boards
  • Dynamic boards

Based on sophisticated GTO theory and software Nick discusses how he plays against all opponents in every situation imaginable in a poker tournament.

best poker courses winning poker tournaments nick petrangelo

So crucially, he also breaks down his strategy depending on stack size and the stage of the tournament as well: early, middle, bubble and final table.

There is also a Preflop Mastersheet included with this poker course which basically attempts to "solve" poker tournament preflop theory.

Essentially this is a full on cheat sheet for what hands play and when to re-raise in every situation possible (and with every stack size) in a poker tournament.

best poker courses winning poker tournaments nick petrangelo

Basically you enter the poker tournament situation into the program as shown above (i.e. vs 3Bet on the button with 30bb stacks) and it gives you the most mathematically profitable decision based on GTO theory and PioSolver software.

I have never seen anything like this included in any poker course before and it is basically a game-changer for poker tournament preflop strategy.

I can really only scratch the surface here. There are dozens of video lessons and hours and hours of course material for you to study.

Nick also walks you through the hands that he personally played against other pros in some of the biggest poker tournaments in the world like the World Series of Poker.

The bottom line is that this is the most high level poker course ever created for poker tournaments and possibly the game of poker as a whole.

Once again I want to stress that the level of instruction in this course is extremely high and sometimes even goes over my head as a poker pro.

I would only suggest this poker course for mid or high stakes poker players looking to take their game to an elite world class level.

To enroll in Winning Poker Tournaments With Nick Petrangelo right now, click here.

Final Thoughts

So what is the best poker course in 2019? Well, it depends heavily on where your current poker skill level is at. There are poker courses for total beginners right on through to high stakes pros.

Crucially I think the most important thing in deciding which poker course is best for you is to make sure that you are learning from the very best.

That is why every single poker course listed in this article is taught by people who also have some of the best poker results in history for the games they are teaching.

Now it should be mentioned that no poker course on earth is going to magically allow you to replicate their results.

In order to truly improve your poker results you are going to have to study these poker courses, take notes, and most importantly, start implementing what you learn at the poker tables right away.

However, I hope that this list of the best poker courses for 2019 helped you find out which training program is best for you.

If you want to know more about how I became a poker pro and 3-time best selling poker author, make sure you download a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.


Let me know in the comments below what you think the best poker course is. Have you tried any of the poker courses above?

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you I may earn a commission if you choose to enroll in that poker course.

Best poker courses for 2019