Poker Players vs. Computers

First computers mastered chess. Recently it was “Jeopardy!” Now computers are getting much better at poker. The New York Times recently reported on the efforts of online gambling websites to crack down against poker bots.

“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.

“The best poker bots in the world include those from the University of Alberta Computer Poker Research Group, which is nearly 20 years old. Professor Michael Bowling, who has led the group since 2005, says the breakthrough came in 2003, when researchers decided to change their approach, shifting away from the methodology used to build chess bots.

“In 2006, the inaugural Annual Computer Poker Competition created more interest in poker-playing computers and established a friendly rivalry between the University of Alberta and Professor Tuomas W. Sandholm’s poker research group at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Today, Professor Sandholm said, poker bots ‘can rival good players, but not the best — yet.'” Read more.

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