"In regular poker, to force betting, each person puts in an ante," Palansky said. "We've changed some tournaments where one person essentially pays everyone's ante at once. So, when you are in a particular spot at the table, you pay everyone's ante and the rest of the time you don't pay any ante at all. If the ante is a chip value of 100, that person may put in 900 for all nine players.
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.
The biggest deal in the poker calendar kicks off tomorrow, but only humans will be allowed to sit in on the final table of the World Series of Poker's main event. This Las Vegas knock-out tournament whittled 7,319 entrants down to nine back in July, and after a four-month wait to build media interest in the mainly no-name internet-honed players, this merry band can now get down to playing for the $8.9m (£5.5m) top prize. But has poker bot development reached a level where a bot could be in with a shout for this prize? The short answer is not yet, unless it got lucky. In the short term, luck can override skill, but over time a good player will take a lesser opponent to the cleaners.)
A DOZEN men wearing dark green T-shirts and wide grins whoop, shake hands and high-five, while another group in navy blue baseball caps do their best to look magnanimous in defeat in front of several dozen onlookers. In most respects this was a low-key event, but the scene, at a nondescript booth of a Las Vegas convention centre in July this year, may to be a pivotal moment for the development of artificial intelligence. That's because at the Gaming Life Expo at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, a computer program called Polaris became the first to beat a team of world-class poker players, each of whom had previously won more than $1 million. Some may see the victory as the latest dismal step in silicon's march towards superiority over humans. Others will view it as an exciting move forward in artificial intelligence – a foretaste of the sophisticated tasks computers should be able to perform for us in years to come.
The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas in 2000 attracted a record 500 players. Over four days, contestants were gradually eliminated until just two men were left to face off in poker's flagship game, Texas Hold'Em. The more experienced player was a living legend named T.J. Cloutier, a 62-year-old Texan road gambler who was regarded by many as the best in the world. His opponent was a 37-year-old computer scientist from California named Chris Ferguson who had only been playing World Series games since 1996, never finishing higher than fourth place. Ferguson might have been a relative newcomer, but he was hard to miss. He had earned the nickname "Jesus" because he hid his face behind a long beard and hair that cascaded over his shoulders, buttressed by wraparound mirror shades and a big cowboy hat. Ferguson never spoke during a game, determined not to show any sign of human emotion; he didn't pay much attention to other players' nervous tics either, preferring to draw all his information from the cards. In Las Vegas that week he had destroyed the field and came to the table with 10 times as many chips as his opponent. More…Cloutier, a former football pro with huge shoulders, paws that dwarfed his cards, and a dominant presence at the table, had seen it all before.
One of the proving grounds for artificial intelligence is games. Classic games have a fixed set of rules, and these make it easier for researchers to develop new techniques and algorithms that enable computers to play (and hopefully win) various games. Tic-tac-toe, checkers, and chess are all games where researchers have developed software that is capable of winning or drawing when paired off against the best human players in the world. Last weekend, researchers at the University of Alberta added another classic game to this list: poker. In a series of matches that took place over the Fourth of July weekend in Las Vegas, the researchers' Polaris poker program won against a group of top-ranked online poker players.
As a keen poker player I love the thrill and excitement of playing against my opponents and beating their hand. I recently spent 2 weeks in Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) but when I'm not in the casino I'm playing online. What I love about the casino is not just the environment but you know who you are playing, and you certainly know they are real, but when online pokerbots can come in to play, which asks the questions can they be beaten? 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). There are different levels of pokerbots, many bots in smaller online casinos have software issues and can be manipulated and beaten (as long as you spot it is a bot before it wins) however there are stories that emerge, mainly in America, of very strong bots and'bot-rings' that have beaten and "won" a lot of money from top professional poker players.
The 47th annual World Series of Poker starts Tuesday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. Among the 69 events is the tournament's Main Event, which begins July 9. It runs through July 18, when a final table of no-limit Texas Hold'Em players emerges. The final nine competitors will return to play at the Main Event championship Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. Pennsylvania poker pro Joe McKeehen won the gold bracelet last year, and a 7.68 million top prize.