Humans 1, Bots 0

Humans 1, Bots 0

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Scientists may have claimed to have 'solved' limit hold'em but it appears that the computers have some way to go before they can top poker's top no limit hold'em minds.

Pros Doug Polk, Dong Kim, Bjorn Li and Jason Les took on a state of the art poker computer created by a team of developers at Carnegie Mellon University known as Claudico this past fortnight. The quartet played 20,000 hands apiece against the bot and when the virtual chips were tallied up, they were $731,200 or 7,300 big blinds to the good.

Despite the loss, the Carnegie Mellon team rated the contest a 'statistical tie' as the poker players' margin of victory was 'not quite large enough to attain statistical significance'.

"We knew Claudico was the strongest computer poker program in the world, but we had no idea before this competition how it would fare against four Top 10 poker players," said Tuomas Sandholm, the CMU professor of computer science who directed development of Claudico. "It would have been no shame for Claudico to lose to a set of such talented pros, so even pulling off a statistical tie with them is a tremendous achievement."

Doug Polk was impressed but not that impressed by his virtual opponent. “There are spots where it plays well and others where I just don't understand it,” he said.

“Betting $19,000 to win a $700 pot just isn't something that a person would do. But Claudico is a supremely cool player. Losing a large bet might rattle a person, changing the way subsequent hands are played. But Claudico never showed signs of being fazed.”

Sandholm has high hopes for the future success of the project. "Beating humans isn't really our goal; it's just a milestone along the way. What we want to do is create an artificial intelligence that can help humans negotiate or make decisions in situations where they can't know all of the facts.”

Tags: Technology, Doug Polk, Dong Kim, Bjorn Li, Jason Les