Elite Poker Pros to Battle Advanced Poker AI in Epic Rematch

Published on 4 January 2017 by Pokerlistings 1008
Four of the best heads-up No-Limit Hold'em players in the world are the human race's last line of defense against a super-sophisticated artificial intelligence bent on poker domination. Artificial intelligences have already crushed humans at important games including chess and Jeopardy and now they've got their sites set on heads-up No-Limit Texas Hold'em, a game many humans naively believed was beyond the AI's capacity. Dong Kim, Jason Les, Jimmy Chou and Andy McAulay will take on Carnegie Mellon University's new and improved AI, named Libratus. $200,000 is on the line, and perhaps the future of the entire human race, or at least the part of the human race that doesn't want to lose to computers at poker. Man and machine will battle over 20 days and 120,000 hands for a share of $200,000. The artificial intelligence, nicknamed Libratus, was developed by Tuomas Sandholm and a team of CMU computer scientists. It's the same team that created Claudico, the poker-playing AI that lost to four poker pros in 2015. In the first match Doug Polk, Jason Les, Dong Kim and Bjorn Li beat Claudico by a small margin, roughly one half of one percent of the total amount bet. Sandholm considers the first match a “statistical tie” and after 20 additional months of development, he thinks his new AI will do better. The project comes with real-world implications with concerns on the rise about poker bots playing in real-money online poker games. For more poker news updates check PokerListings.com.

In 2015 four elite poker pros defeated the most developed poker artificial intelligence in the world and now the computer is back for a rematch.

Starting next week, poker pros Jason Les, Dong Kim, Daniel McAuley and Jimmy Chou will battle the bot, nicknamed Libratus, over 20 consecutive days with $200,000 up for grabs.

Libratus was developed by a team of computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, the same team that created Claudico, the AI that competed in the first match in 2015.

The humans came out on top the first time but won by a margin of less than one half of one percent of the total amount bet.

Tuomas Sandholm, the computer science professor at CMU in charge of the project called it a “Statistical tie” but considered it a significant accomplishment for his AI.

This time the match will consist of 120,000 hands of heads-up No-Limit Hold'em, 50 per cent more hands than in 2015.

With a bigger sample size, researchers hope to get a clearer picture of who has the upper hand.

Californian poker pro Jason Les played in the first match and he said he's excited to see how the AI has developed.

“I thought Claudico was tough to play; knowing the resources and the ideas that Dr. Sandholm and his team have had available in the 20 months since the first contest, I assume this AI will be even more challenging.”

The development of an AI as sophisticated as Libratus has serious implications.

Computers have dominated humans in other games including chess and even Jeopardy but poker has always posed a big challenge.

And compared to other fixed-limit forms of poker, No-Limit Hold'em, even heads-up, is generally thought to be too complicated to be beaten by a bot.

With concerns on the rise about artificial intelligence software being used in real-money online poker games, the development of a bot that can successfully beat humans in No-Limit Hold'em has many in the poker world worried.

For more poker news updates, head to PokerListings.com.