The current most popular variant of poker, played in casinos and seen on television, is no-limit Texas hold'em. This game and a smaller variant, limit Texas hold'em, have been used as a testbed for artificial intelligence research since 1997. Since 2006, the Annual Computer Poker Competition has allowed researchers, programmers, and poker players to play their poker programs against each other, allowing us to find out which artificial intelligence techniques work best in practice. The competition has resulted in significant advances in fields such as computational game theory, and resulted in algorithms that can find optimal strategies for games six orders of magnitude larger than was possible using earlier techniques.
It's there you'll find the professors who solved the game of checkers, beat a top human player in the game of Go and used cutting-edge artificial intelligence to outsmart a handful of professional poker players for the very first time. He's a pioneer in a branch of artificial intelligence research known as reinforcement learning -- the computer science equivalent of treat-training a dog, except in this case the dog is an algorithm that's been incentivized to behave in a certain way. U of A computing science professors and artificial intelligence researchers (left to right) Richard Sutton, Michael Bowling and Patrick Pilarski are working with Google's DeepMind to open the AI company's first research lab outside the U.K., in Edmonton. Last week, Google's AI subsidiary DeepMind announced it was opening its first international office in Edmonton, where Sutton -- alongside professors Michael Bowling and Patrick Pilarski -- will work part-time.
Over the past three weeks, an AI poker bot called Libratus has played thousands of games of heads-up, no-limit Texas hold'em against a cadre of top professional players at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Poker requires reasoning and intelligence that has proven difficult for machines to imitate. Artificial intelligence has never beaten top players at a game so lacking in information as no-limit Texas hold'em. Still, given the progress machine learning is currently making, and the fact that other AI poker bots are also being developed, that seemingly impossible challenge may not remain impossible for long.
Participants in this year's edition of the poker extravaganza will see two changes: no firm "shot clock" and the return of the tradition of crowning the tournament's main event champion in July. Buy-ins for the 74-event tournament, which runs through July 22 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, range from $333 to $111,111.
Quite simply a pokerbot is a computer program designed by an individual to play against opponents online, meaning a game can be played without the person being present (and because of this they are massively frowned upon in the poker world). The bots rely on big data to create their strategy; in 2013 Forbes stated that there are three big data strategies to be learnt from poker playing bots. These bots are continuously playing and by continuously playing they are continuously learning. The bots are clever but they can't decipher one player from the next, meaning it can't remember your playing style and therefore can't find out your weakness but the real players can do this, we can learn from our opponents and use their weaknesses against them, by playing people we have previously played we have an advantage of knowing their style.
The measure by Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) would allow Internet poker websites to be operated by Native American tribes that operate casinos in partnerships with card clubs. The Assembly Governmental Organization Committee approved the bill on an 18-0 vote, sending it to another panel for fiscal analysis, even though it is not yet supported by a group of six Native American tribes that operate casinos. Those tribes are neutral, but warned they may oppose the bill unless more is done to exclude Internet companies that have operated in the past without legal authority. The bill is backed by another coalition that includes the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Commerce Casino and Bicycle Casino.