CAN THE WORLD’S TOP PROFESSIONAL POKER PLAYERS BEAT LIBRATUS, THE WORLD’S BEST COMPUTER POKER PLAYER?
Libratus is an artificial intelligence (AI) program for playing Heads-Up, No-Limit Texas Hold’em. It was developed at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science by Prof. Tuomas Sandholm and Ph.D. student Noam Brown. Libratus’s strategy is not based on the experience of expert human players, so its game play could differ markedly from the pros. It uses algorithms to analyze the rules of poker and set its own strategy, based on approximately 15 million core hours of computation at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC). Libratus will continuously sharpen its strategy during the Brains vs. AI competition, performing computations with the PSC’s Bridges computer each night while the pros get some shuteye. During games, Bridges will perform live computations to aid Libratus with its end-game play. The algorithms that created Libratus are not specific to poker. The AI’s ability to reason when faced with incomplete or misleading information have a wide range of possible applications, including business negotiation, medicine, cybersecurity, auctions and more. Carnegie Mellon is a leading center for artificial intelligence research, with pioneering breakthroughs in self-driving cars, computer vision, automated translation, market design and machine learning. CMU’s DNA can be found in the Deep Blue program that defeated a chess grandmaster in 1997, the Watson AI that beat Jeopardy! champions in 2011, and Apple’s Siri digital assistant. Prof. Sandholm’s work has also included designing and fielding tens of billions of dollars of combinatorial sourcing auctions, and his optimization software runs the nationwide kidney exchange for UNOS.
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Dong “Donger Kim” is a professional poker player who focuses on Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em. In his career, he has established himself as a top Heads-Up player by challenging himself to move up the ranks. He is known for his public Heads-Up challenge against another top Heads-Up player, Nick “TCfromUB” Frame, which Dong won by a wide margin. Dong is also recognized for participation in the 2015 CMU Brains vs AI challenge, Where Dong finished ahead of the Claudico bot. He also won the 2015 SCOOP Heads-Up tournament for the largest buy-in in online poker history; the top online Heads-Up pros participate in this event. Dong travels the world to play poker tournaments as he finds them exciting.
Jason “PremiumWhey” started playing poker professionally 10 years ago while completing his degree in Computer Science at UC Irvine. After many years of playing ring poker, he began to specialize in Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em in 2013. Hard work and dedication paid off as Jason took down opponent after opponent as he rose up the stakes and now sits among the best players in the game. Jason finished in the Top 40 at the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event. He participated in the 2015 CMU Brains vs. AI challenge to play against the Claudico bot.
Jimmy “ForTheSwaRMm” is a leading Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em specialist. He is considered one of the top three Heads-Up No-Limit sit-and-go pros and one of the top ten Heads-Up No-Limit cash game pros. He won the 2015 ACOP (Macao) Main Event, and was runner up of the 2014 WCOOP (PokerStars) Heads-Up tournament. He has also made many appearances in high-roller tournaments
of buy-ins of $100,000 and beyond. Jimmy currently lives in Las Vegas and can often be found playing the high-limit cash games at the Bellagio poker room.
Daniel “Dougiedan678” began playing poker in 2008 at the age of 18 whilst studying maths and statistics at Glasgow University in Scotland. By 2012 he had finished his studies and began solely focusing on playing Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em, which is his favorite format by far due to the highly competitive nature of the game’s elite players. Daniel quickly rose through the stakes and has been a regular fixture in the high-stakes no-limit scene for several years now, establishing himself as one the best Heads-Up No-Limit players in the world in the process. He is always poised to take on all challengers and prides himself on doing so. Very few others are willing to play all challengers at the highest stakes.
The winnings from each pair of mirrored hands are added together and considered to be one observation. If after 120,000 hands either Libratus or the humans are one standard deviation above break-even, they shall have won the competition with statistical significance.