The world poker [robot] championship organized by the American Association
of Artificial Intelligence in Boston has been won by the University
Competing bots battled it out in a contest that included a two-tournament arrangement of one-on-one Texas Hold'em. The bot best able to take money from the average player was part of a bankroll competition, and there was a section that adjudged the best program for getting the edge on more experienced and expert player levels.
"Poker is a game that involves skill, chance, and many forms of uncertainty," Alberta's Professor Jonathan Schaeffer said. "It is a great problem for Artificial Intelligence, and we stand to learn a lot from competitions like this."
Schaeffer had good reason to be pleased - the University of Alberta computer program won every match it played and amassed the most virtual money of any other competitor to win the competition.
"We've been writing good poker programs for many years," said Darse Billings, the lead designer for the Alberta team, "But we weren't overly confident, because there is still a lot of room for improvement."
"Poker is a nice well-defined problem for studying some truly fundamental issues, like how to handle deliberate misinformation and how to make intelligent guesses based on partial knowledge," Billings said. "Good solutions in this domain could have an impact in many other computer applications."