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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Is online poker in danger? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Magnus Eisengrim
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From The Edmonton Journal

U of A computer wins poker competition
Polaris II beats seven human players in online weekend marathon
Clara Ho, The Edmonton Journal
Published: 1:31 am

EDMONTON - A computer created by a group of University of Alberta programmers changed the face of poker Sunday night, when it defeated some of the best players in the world.

In the second man-versus-machine competition held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas over the weekend, Polaris II narrowly defeated seven players from the online poker training site stoxpoker.com.

"We're very excited," said Michael Bowling, head of the U of A team.

"I think there's no question that we're playing on the level of the absolute best human players in the world at the game of heads-up limit hold 'em."

The computer emerged from the weekend with a record of three wins, two losses and a draw.

Last year, in the first silicon-versus-grey matter competition in Vancouver, Polaris was narrowly defeated by two top poker players.

To prepare for Vegas, Bowling's team made modifications to the computer's ability to reason. They also altered its capacity to learn and adapt to its human opponents.

IJay Palansky, who played in the last two matches, enjoyed taking on the computer but said it made some bizarre moves that a human would never make.

Matt Hawrilenko, who played in the final match, also enjoyed himself but found Polaris II's win 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," Hawrilenko said. "They might win some of our money away."

Bowling said he recognizes there is still a lot for his team to improve on, particularly tinkering with the computer's ability to learn and adapt. But he called Polaris II's victory a "crossing point" in the poker world where computer poker programs can be considered equal to the best human players.

"It's going to take a bit of time for the poker world to digest," he said.

Bowling said his team needs to do some post-game and statistical analysis before taking on the next man-versus-machine competition, but he's looking forward to it.

In fact, he said he has seen some interest from many other world-class players, who were in Las Vegas competing in the World Series of Poker.

Palansky, for one, said he can't wait to compete again.

"Now that we've lost, I'm itching for a rematch."

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
kcg5
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Magnus, I think this is interesting, but "when it defeated some of the best players in the world. " where are the names of these people? still seems possible, certainly heads up. you cant bluff a computer, but I'm sure after playing it for a while a pattern would emerge. but I have no idea at all about any of this





this isn't directed at you it just seems inaccurate.
Nobody expects the spanish inquisition!!!!!



"History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it"- Sir Winston Churchill
Magnus Eisengrim
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I think it's not so much a matter of if, but when will humans have no chance beyond luck? When computers started playing chess, it was believed that until computers have imaginations they cannot plan with the best humans. It turns out they don't need imaginations if they can perform a whole lot of calculations and accurately evaluate end positions. Will poker be different?

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Doug Higley
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Well...when it gets down to the nuts an bolts and maybe a servo it won't conpare to a decent bra and panties.
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
rawdawg
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Psshht!

Heads Up, I'm not surprised the Machine could crunch and make the mathematically correct decisions. A table full of players, I'm not so sure. I bet one of you math fellers would know the numbers though.

Limit Poker is akin to a slow death.
One time, when I was young, I botched a sleight so bad, Vernon, Marlo & Miller rolled over in their graves. But I didn't see Elmsley, probably because he was behind the others.
LobowolfXXX
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Chess isn't a perfect analog, as it's a game of complete information; however, it's also much more complex than power. The appeal to and glorification of "planning" and "positional considerations" that is so popular among anti-computer chess players is badly misguided; positional evaluation is something human players fall back on because of an inability to calculate well. For instance, in simplified endings, human players do what computers do - "I go there, he goes there, I go there..." etc. Ultimately, chess is a finite system, and best way to play chess, if possible, is to crunch the variations. As computer "firepower" has advanced, computers are proving that.

Poker is slightly different in that the "correct" strategy depends on what your opponent will do; e.g. if you're up against someone who calls all the time, bluffing is a stupid play. However, against that opponent, you can successfully bet your moderate hands for value. The only real advantage human players will have is sitting down in a ring game, they'll recognize players and be familiar with their styles. That should be nowhere near enough of an edge to overcome perfect calculation + artificial intelligence. And, as in chess, the learning curve is so much better. In the last 25 years, the best chess players have improved maybe 5%; the best computers have gone from not standing a chance against a US National Master to beating the best players in the world.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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