The promised match between a University of Alberta poker program and seven human poker coaches from StoxPoker.com took place this week at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas...and the humans lost.
The University has a strong background in developing poker programs as part of its development of artificial intelligence for computer applications. Poker apparently contains most of the challenge elements ideal for developments of this nature.
The man versus machine competition was held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and saw Alberta U's Polaris II post a record of three wins, two losses and a draw against the human poker players in heads-up matches.
The first man vs. machine competition in Vancouver last year saw predecessor Polaris I narrowly defeated by Phil Laak and Tony Esfandiari, two top poker professionals. To prepare this year’s event, the Alberta scientists made modifications to the computer's ability to reason and also altered its capacity to learn and adapt to its human opponents.
IJay Palansky played in two of the matches and commented that that Polaris II made some bizarre moves that a human would never make. Matt Hawrilenko, who played in the final match, agreed but stated that Polaris II's win was scary for the future of head-to-head poker.
"For those of us who make our incomes largely from playing heads-up games, whether computers are ready to beat us or not, they're certainly ready to beat some of our opponents," said Hawrilenko.
Source: InfoPowa News