Daniel Negreanu is one of (if not the best) poker player in the world today. He has set all kinds of records in the poker community, but today he tells us how he did it. To kick things off, Brian and Daniel discuss their old spat from Tilt and how their relationship has changed since then (5:00), when Daniel decided to become a professional poker player (17:00), and how he observes people to pick up information (27:00). Also, the two talk about how Daniel's definition of success has changed over the years (32:00), what he's interested in outside the poker table (45:00), and how the Rocky movies help get him ready to make a run at the WSOP Final Table every year (54:00).
I was one of those who said it could never be done: that a computer wouldn't ever manage to beat the best at the game of poker. I was romantic and wide-eyed at 18, when my heroes were the cowboys from Texas who ruled the felt. They were uneducated and coarse, yet chock full of the human qualities needed to excel at poker. With nicknames like Amarillo Slim and Texas Dolly, these larger-than-life characters had fearlessness, aptitude, and a deep understanding of what makes people tick. The higher the stakes, the better they played.
Last week a team of poker players in China were resoundingly defeated by "Lengpudashi". Meaning "cold poker master", Lengpudashi is the new, even more improved version of the Libratus AI (Artificial Intelligence) programme that I wrote about back in January. Not surprisingly, this latest AI victory has been big news: people have worried for years that robots equipped with AI will take over human jobs. Now not even poker is safe. Though computer programmes long ago proved their superiority in the classic skill game of chess, until now the bluffing and intuitive elements of poker – its very human elements – had made it hard for a machine to master.
Bay Staters will soon be able to play poker in-state again, when MGM Springfield opens its doors to poker players by the end of the year. "We have listened to our poker players and also our previous dealers that want this back as an option at our casino, and we want to provide it to them," said MGM Springfield Compliance Director Daniel Miller during a Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting Thursday morning. The commission noted last month that it had seen a tenfold increase in complaints, many of them over the lack of poker options in the state, which had been taken away during the pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus. While Encore Casino, the only other option for poker in the state, has so far not announced any plans to bring back the game, MGM Springfield will be doing so "in Q4 of this year," Miller said. But, he added, likely at a reduced capacity with only 10 to 12 tables available instead of the usual 28.
Artificial intelligence (AI) programs have bested humans in checkers, chess, go and two-player poker, but multiplayer poker was always believed to be a bigger ask. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, working with Facebook's AI initiative, on Thursday announced that their program defeated a group of top professionals in six-player no-limit Texas Hold'em. The program, Pluribus, and its big wins were described in the US journal Science. "Pluribus achieved superhuman performance at multiplayer poker, which is a recognized milestone in artificial intelligence and in game theory," Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Tuomas Sandholm said. Sandholm worked with Noam Brown, who is working at Facebook AI while completing his doctorate at the Pittsburgh-based university.