Poker program winning at Hold 'em

by Paul Jay, CBCNEWs.ca

Having solved checkers, University of Alberta computer programmers led by Jonathan Schaeffer are now taking top professional poker players Phil "The Unabomber" Laak and Ali Eslami at the First Man-Machine Poker Championship in Vancouver this week.

And so far the poker-playing computer program Polaris is winning.

The contest, run in conjunction with the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference running Monday and Tuesday, consists of four 500-hand duplicate matches. In each duplicate match, "the same series of cards will be dealt in two parallel Man versus Machine matches, with teammates playing the opposite hands in each game", according to University of Alberta's web page devoted to the contest.

Polaris narrowly finished ahead in the first match – which was ruled a draw – before convincingly winning the second match.
The next two matches are Tuesday at noon and 6 p.m. Vancouver time.

Check for updates here.