“Claudico was not programmed to play poker, per se. It was given the rules of poker. Then it spent months playing more hands against itself than humans have ever played, learning to navigate the dizzying number of possible game situations, a figure that exceeds the number of atoms in the universe, said Noam Brown, a graduate student who worked on Claudico.” (Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times)
Tag Archives: poker
The choice of heads-up limit hold’em for Cepheus makes obvious sense: just two players and fixed betting amounts to keep things as simple as possible for the computer. However, one of the bot’s limitations appears to be that it did not seem to adapt against my change of style, something that could be its undoing. The most important thing in any heads-up battle is finding out your opponent’s flaws (known as leaks) and relentlessly exploiting them until they change their style to compensate. It’s the smartest and quickest way to win and means less reliance on the luck and the cards. If your opponent is too passive then you should raise and bluff more; if they’re too aggressive then become more passive with your made hand and let your opponent bluff into you.
At first, I was roundly stuffed by the computer’s non-stop aggression. Any bluffs I made failed miserably. To counteract this, I became more aggressive preflop and stopped bluffing almost entirely. Cepheus’s game did not adapt to my play and it made what I would consider several questionable plays. The program was reluctant to ever give up any sort of hand in a large pot making it easier to get lots of value from moderately weak hands. (Christopher Hall, the guardian)
When asked if he thought, in the future, if learning from what his program has discovered would be mandatory for all those wanting to compete at the top of the game, Sandholm didn’t mince words.
“I think so. It’s a bit of a nuclear weapon for poker. You don’t want to be bringing a knife to a gun fight.”
Certainly a strong statement, but Sandholm’s success with his program lends weight to the words. This year his bot won both categories of competition for heads-up no-limit at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Annual Computer Poker Competition, beating each opponent along the way with statistical significance. (Erik Fast, Card Player)
Poker bots are not new, but until recently they were not very good. Humans were better at the nuances of the game — at bluffing, for instance — and could routinely beat the machines. But artificial intelligence has come a long way in the last few years, far enough that poker bots are now good enough to win tens of thousands of dollars on major game sites, which are clamping down on them. (Gabriel Dance, NYTimes.com)