Man vs. Machine Poker Tournament This January

January 10, 2017 / by: Gray Peterson

After holding the first man-versus-machine poker tournament in 2015, the organizers who are computer scientist from Pennsylvania’s Carnegie Mellon University will be at it again with Brain Versus Artificial Intelligent tournament dubbed as Upping the Ante Event.

The 20-day event which is expected to commence from January 11th at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh will see renowned professional poker players Jimmy Chou, Jason Les, Daniel McAulay and Dong Kim battle the Libratus computer program in competitive 120,000 hands of heads-up no –limit Texas Hold’em.

Although the participants of this event will share a $200,000 prize, the Carnegie Mellon University Scientist have stated that their primary goal is to set a new benchmark in the field of artificial intelligence. Computer Science Professor, Tuomas Sandholm from Carnegie Mellon University said that having an artificial intelligence beat a top human player has been used as an important measure of progress in the field for some time now. He said that artificial intelligence emerged victorious in some contest such as the 1997 chess, 2009 with Jeopardy and just last year with the board game Go. The professor, however, acknowledged that poker poses a great challenge than the previous games played since it calls for the computer to make sophisticated decisions based on a series of incomplete information when competing with bluffs, slow play, and other strategies.

In the last Carnegie Mellon University’s man-versus-machine competition, the computer program Christened Claudico managed to collect chips that were fewer than those of three of the four players in the tournament. But according to the computer scientists, the 80,000 hands which were provided proved to be inadequate to determine who was superior between human and computer based on statistical significance. Due to this reason, Sandholm, and his team has increased the number of hands for this year’s event by 50%.

One of the poker players based in Costa Mesa, California expressed his excitement for being one of the participants in the latest artificial intelligence versus human contest stating that he thought that Claudico was tougher to play. He further added that considering that Sandholm and his team have taken over 20 months since the last event to source ideas and perfected their program, it is explicitly sure that this upcoming contest will be more challenging than the last one.

The highly anticipated event is expected to give a qualitative value of the new artificial intelligence, determining whether significant changes have been made in this field since the last 20 months. Despite attaining the fourth position in the previous competition, the computer scientist from Carnegie Mellon University have expressed their confidence that the latest artificial intelligence will beat human players hands down, especially now that they have increased the number of hands in the game from 80,000 to 120,000.

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