The EOS premier charity poker event marks another successful milestone in the EOS-ecosystem. EOSphere is an EOS block producer, and Dice is an EOS gambling dApp platform. Together they organised and hosted this event. 230 EOS was raised, and this generous sum will be donated to Humane, a charity project built on the EOS blockchain.
Some notable names from the eos community were involved in the event; Rob Finch of Cypherglass, Luke Stokes an eosDAC launcher, and Alex Saunders from Nugget’s News. All players agreed to a buy-in of 10 EOS, half of which was donated to charity; and all the players had to be human. What? Human you ask? Yes! As well-known as some of the participants are, how could Dice be certain that all players were indeed, real people, and not ingenious poker bots?
Man vs Machine
Using software to challenge and beat the experts, has been a recurrent theme in the realm of artificial intelligence, machine learning and board games. In 1997 IBM’s Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov at chess. In 2017, the world’s best Go player was defeated by Google’s AlphaGo. In the poker arena the robots are winning! In 2016 the software program DeepStack defeated poker professionals at heads-up no limit Texas Hold’em. Just this year, Pluribus showed just how formidable AI has become by dominating a game of 6-player Texas Hold’em no limit.
Poker bots are fast becoming the scourge of online poker platforms. Many articles have already been written about the ‘Rise of the Machines’ and the effect this is having on online gambling. There are numerous manuals on the web that reveal how to create a poker bot. These bots can even be purchased online. Now as web3.0 evolves, and poker has moved onto the blockchain, just how will a dApp like Dice deal with this programmed menace?
Although it is custom for all EOS dApps to make their software open source, Dice decided against doing this. This was done in order to give themselves maximum protection against attackers and poker bots. A second measure that they put in place is the use of checksum functions. A checksum is the outcome of running an algorithm, called a cryptographic hash function, on a piece of data. When a player pushes actions on the Dice platform a checksum is generated. How does this thwart poker bots? One attack vector for poker bots, is to simply by-pass the Dice platform altogether, and to push actions directly onto Dice’s smart contract which is deployed on the blockchain. Actions that are generated this way will not produce the necessary checksum, and would thus be easily detected. It would require a phenomenal amount of brute-force from the attacking software to produce the correct checksum. This is just one of the techniques used by Dice to prevent poker bots from over-running their game!
However, not all bots are bad! Dice has their very own bot, whom they have affectionately named Isabella. Isabella can be found hard at work on the Dice Official telegram group. She first came into existence during Dice’s successful ICO. All newcomers to the Dice website could play for 1 EOS or more. Then they would tag Isabella on telegram, along with the tx hash of their EOS transfer. In return Isabella would reward them with 10000 DICE tokens.
Like all good parents, the Dice team are very protective of Isabella.
And over time, Isabella has grown in a reliable, sweet-natured little bot!
So the next time you are on Dice’s official telegram group, make sure you say hi to Isabella. Ask her for Dice statistics by typing /dice_stats. She is always happy to supply you this information.
Written by IK Nwoke. I am a smart contract/ software developer and technology writer of EOSIO blockchain and other technology issues.
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