Darse Billings, Neil Burch, Aaron Davidson, Robert Holte, Jonathan Schaeffer, Terence Schauenberg, and Duane Szafron
This paper is the winner of the IJCAI / AAAI 2003 Distinguished Paper Award.
This document is currently available in postscript and pdf.
There is also an overview of PsOpti to help understand the benefits and limitations of a game theory solution for 2-player Texas Hold'em. (This is an excerpt of a reply to a science writer for the German newsmagazine DER SPIEGEL).
The computation of the first complete approximations of game-theoretic optimal strategies for full-scale poker is addressed. Several abstraction techniques are combined to represent the game of 2-player Texas Hold'em, having size O(10^18), using closely related models each having size O(10^7). Despite the reduction in size by a factor of 100 billion, the resulting models retain the key properties and structure of the real game. Linear programming solutions to the abstracted game are used to create substantially improved poker-playing programs, able to defeat strong human players and be competitive against world-class opponents.