Computers Beat Humans at Poker. Next Up: Everything Else? - Facts So Romantic


Over the span of 20 days early this year, artificial intelligence encountered a major test of how well it can tackle problems in the real world. A program called Libratus took on four of the best poker players in the country, at a tournament at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They were playing a form of poker called heads-up no-limit Texas hold'em, where two players face off, often online, in a long series of hands, testing each other's strategies, refining their own, and bluffing like mad. After 120,000 hands, Libratus emerged with an overwhelming victory over all four opponents, winning $1,776,250 of simulated money and, more importantly, bragging rights as arguably the best poker player on the planet. Just halfway through the competition, Dong Kim, the human player who fared best against the machine, all but admitted defeat.