Team Human Struggling Against AI Poker Machine

On January 11th, the “Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante” competition got underway at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, with four top Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em specialist taking on a computer program called Libratus over a contest lasting 20 days and 120,000 hands.
The AI program was developed by Carnegie Mellon University, and the first time such a competition took place, the humans came out on top against a CMU computer program called Claudico. This time around, however, everything is still very much in the air with Libratus leading by $231,329 with 34,340 hands, or around 25% of the match completed.
At stake in this marathon contest is a $200,000 jackpot prize for the winners, not to mention the rights for humankind to still claim poker dominance over the machines. Representing humanity are Jason Les, Dong Kim, Jimmy Chou and Dan McAulay, who despite their considerable skills, were unable to prevent Libratus getting off to a quick start.
By the end of Day 1, Libratus pulled off to a $74,000 lead, which it then managed to double on Day 2. By Day 3 its lead increased to $193,000, but a rally by Team Human saw the advantage reduced to $151,000 on Day 5, and eventually just $51,000 on Day 6.
Day 7 was one Team Human would rather forget, though, as Libratus brought on the pain to close out the session ahead by a whopping $231,329. As a result, Team Human has now been put under a great deal of pressure by a machine that started the contest as a 5:1 underdog, but one person who has always maintained that Libratus would finish ahead was ZK Research analyst Zeus Kerravala. As he explains:
“For humans, poker is a combination of skill, intuition and emotion. With the A.I., it’s based on learned information and data…Over a long period of time, I would expect the A.I. to win. The longer the game goes on, the more data the A.I. has and the scales tip in its favor.”

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