In recent years, poker has emerged as an important, visible challenge problem for the field of AI. Just as the development of world-class chess-playing programs was considered an important milestone in the development of intelligent computing, poker is increasingly being seen in the same way. An important differentiating feature of poker is the presence of imperfect information: players do not know what cards the other players have. Hence, traditional AI game-playing techniques do not apply and novel methods are required.
The AAAI Computer Poker Competition, now in its third year, showcases state-of-the-art intelligent programs for playing poker. This is the premiere venue for demonstrating poker-playing software systems, as exemplified by the previous years’ competitions. The 2007 competition featured 43 poker-playing programs submitted from 7 countries.
The poker variant considered in the 2008 competition will be Texas Hold’em poker. The competition will build on the success of the previous years’ two-player (heads-up) competitions, with both limit and no-limit betting structures. New this year will be a multiplayer competition. We expect this addition to significantly spur the development of new techniques since presently the most successful solution techniques for two-player games do not apply to multiplayer games.
If you have any questions or comments about the AAAI Computer Poker Competition, we encourage you to address them to the Competition Chair, Andrew Gilpin (firstname.lastname@example.org), or to participate in the competition’s online discussion forum. David Parkes (email@example.com) will be serving in the role of Arbiter to verify the fairness of the competition.
All of the software needed for the competition is open-source, and the source code, rules of the competition, and other information may be found at the competition website.