First Annual Poker Bots Only Tournament: No Humans AllowedJune 4, 2010 9:27 am
Indiana University has taken the unusual step of organising a ‘poker bots’ only tournament, due to kick off in August.
Usually the bane of the poker world, the poker robots will now be be given the opportunity to take part in their own competition, where the only unfair advantage a ‘bot’ will have over the rest of the opposition will be the sophistication of their programing. As event planner Eric Jiang explains:
“We have every contestant write an artificial intelligence for playing poker. Once they write it, all these poker bots will play in a tournament. That’s pretty much the big picture of how it works.”
The tournament is organised for undergraduates only, and the limit hold’em variant picked as the game of choice because of the relative ease in which the rules of the game can be learnt, compared to say chess. However, the real test will come from being able to program a bot that was adaptable and programmed with strategies capable of defeating the opposition given the same time frame.
Jiang said he was hopeful that the results from the competition would “have great consequences” and that the event would encourage computer science students to broaden their endeavours outside of their classroom studies.
“It’s really important for them to have their own interests and motivations to work on,” said Jiang. “I hope this can provide something fun, encourage them to think creatively. Maybe win a little fame and fortune, I guess.”
The possible fame will certainly prove more of a draw than any immediate fortune from winning the first annual ‘Poker Programming Contest.’ The prizes are set at $200 for first place and $100 for second place, with all details and an explanation for the meager pay-outs posted to the Indianapokerbot.com. announcement board. It states:
“Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have had to lower the prize amounts for this contest.”
Good luck to all the contestants and we look forward to hearing the results and analysis of the competition later on in the year.