AAAI Man vs. Machine Poker Challenge
The Man Versus Machine Poker Challenge will be held Monday, July 23, 12:00 PM –7:00 PM in Regency B, and Tuesday, July 24, 9:00 AM –5:00 PM, in Plaza B
AAAI will play host to the first scientific man versus machine challenge in poker. Poker is a game of skill and luck. A “short” match, even one of 10,000 hands, may not be enough to identify the better player. At AAAI, two professional poker players (Phil Laak and Ali Esmali) will play a duplicate match against two copies of the University of Alberta Polaris poker program. There will be four sessions played, each with $5,000 at stake. In a session, each human plays 500 hands against a copy of Polaris. However, the cards dealt in the first match to the human will be dealt to the computer in the second match, and vice versa. The result of session is the sum of the two humans’ scores versus the sum of the two programs’ scores. This format, inspired by the rules of duplicate bridge, significantly reduces the luck element, increasing the chances that the best team will win based on skill.
The matches will be played in front of an audience, and the human competitors will be encouraged to think out loud. The result will be entertaining, and give insights as to the state of the art in AI technology for a challenging imperfect information domain.
Jonathan Schaeffer (University of Alberta)