The First Man-Machine
Poker Championship

Live Updates Blog

Note: The information on this page may be incomplete or contain errors. My apologies for any misquotes or incorrect hand history information.

Session Two - Polaris Wins!

$10/$20 Limit Texas Hold'em Seat 1 Seat 2
Private Room Polaris +$2495 Ali Eslami -$2495
Public Room Phil Laak +$1570 Polaris -$1570
After 499* hands.

Note: 1 hand was thrown out. Late in this match Phil folded K9 by mistake so it was decided to throw this hand out out of respect for the players.

10:09 pm I apologize, I made a big mistake and very nearly lost the entire blog. The last two updates were lost. I'm sorry. But the result is still the same: Polaris beat out Phil and Ali in match 2!

9:45 pm Phil's bankroll after 450 hands: $1660. Hand 432. Polaris makes Phil fold bottom pair of twos on the river when it executes a check-raise. My impression over this match is that even with Phil winning, he really isn't sure what action to take. Lots of hovering over call/fold or call/raise just because he's uncertain where the bot is. On hand 437, Phil makes a higher two pair against Polaris' two pair. Two hands later he has pocket aces, but loses to Polaris' trip threes on the river! On hand 444, Phil rivers a gutshot straight. Ouch. On hand 446, Phil rivers a flush, but there is TT44 on the board. The bot puts in a third river bet and shows Phil a full house!

9:38 pm Phil's bankroll after 425 hands: +$1530. "Polaris is on a streak right now." Polaris wins a few hands and Phil thinks it's on a streak? I don't know about that. Phil says "I think the previous bot was much stronger and that I can beat this bot. Or maybe it's because I'm getting stronger cards". Maybe! Phil caps the preflop with AK but misses and bets the flop and turn but can't shake Polaris. Polaris wins with a middle pair of eights.

9:32 pm Phil's bankroll after 400 hands: +$1605. Halfway through this sequence, Phil slipped a little. I apologize for my poor updates, the fast speed and the tiredness of your poor blogger makes for poor updates. Sorry about that! Hand 391: Phil turns trip threes and wins a pretty nice pot off of Polaris. Hand 394: Polaris finally gets a big hand, a straight, that Phil pays off with top pair.

Michael Bowling being interviewed by BBC radio.

9:25 pm Phil's bankroll after 375 hands: +$1755. Phil's sped up rate of play has made it tough for me to keep up. I updated some pictures over this section and Phil continues to win a little more at a time.

9:19 pm Phil's bankroll after 350 hands: +$1560. Phil: "King high is like the nuts in this guy's mind". Hand 341: Phil hits trip jacks on the flop and makes a small pot. Gosh, Phil just can't seem to miss. Phil is up a bit over this sequence, but not a lot of hands I can really pick out as hilights. Phil has been forced to speed his play up since there's a limited amount of time we've got the room.

Phil focuses on his play.

9:11 pm Phil's bankroll after 325 hands: +$1450. Phil says it's so satisfying beating this thing. With Q9 suited, Phil bets the whole way and Polaris calls him down with king high to win! A hand later, Phil holds KQ suited and flops top pair and a flush draw. He makes a value bet on the river when the board pairs, and Polaris calls with pair of kings but a worse kicker. Phil takes the pot. On hand 315, Phil makes an inspired value bet on the river with second bottom pair of threes, and somehow gets called with bottom pair of deuces! Wow. Phil goes nuts that he pulled off that play. Hand 324: Phil flops top two pair queens and tens but Polaris folds on the river giving Phil a medium-sized pot.

Phil's girlfriend, and famous actress, Jennifer Tilly cheers on Phil

8:57 pm Phil's bankroll after 300 hands: $1455. Phil hits top set of queens on hand 279. Man is he hitting cards! Polaris three bets him, but folds to the turn bet. Phil's bankroll seems to have steadied out, but the remaining question still is: how far in the hole is Ali? On hand 300, phil flops an open ended straight draw and makes his straight on the turn for a large win.

8:50 pm Phil's bankroll after 275 hands: +$1525. Jennifer Tilly is now in the audience. I'm not too sure when she came in, but she made herself known when she yelled out "raise" to Phil, but he didn't raise only to find out that she was correct: he should've raised! Phil is saying that the live audience is influencing him to not do certain things that he thinks would be bad. Interesting. Later on, Phil gets the flop capped with trip 3s. He turns a full house, but at that point Polaris folds.

Some of the crowd enjoy the match.

8:39 pm Phil's bankroll after 250 hands: +$1360. Hand 234: Phil thought for awhile with a pair of fours, but ended up folding. No idea what Polaris had there. A hand later "King high! That's so sick!". Phil says he just can't bluff the bot. Phil's posture at this point in the match is slumped with his hand over his forehead. Looks like the bot's constant aggression is making him slowdown quite a bit. Still, Phil is out in front which makes everyone wonder how Ali is doing. At the end of the sequence Phil debated awhile on his river play but eventually folds saying "that's a Polaris call but a Phil fold".

8:30 pm Phil's bankroll after 225 hands: $1310. "Phil is noticing the trend of good cards: "God I'm hitting like an animal!" This last sequence has been pretty even. Phil agonizes over a hand where he faces a bet on the river when a third diamond comes out on the river (hand 220). At the end of the sequence, Phil folded 4 hands in a row on the turn giving Polaris a few chips.

A really good closeup of Phil.

8:25 pm Phil's bankroll after 200 hands: +$1410. Phil gets pocket aces two hands in a row, and wins big pots in both of them. He's really hitting everything in sight! Phil's talking about how gambling and alcoholism stimulate similar parts of the brain. He made a mistake while telling his story, folding for no bet. Whoops! "So much for telling stories" he quips. Late in this sequence Phil flops two pair and wins a huge pot against Polaris' top pair and good kicker. Man is Phil ever getting good cards. I know I keep harping on that, but it's crazy!

8:10 pm Phil's bankroll after 175 hands: +$1015. Phil on Polaris' staying power."It's like a cockroach that you can't snuff out!" Phil swears that he thinks there is a server tell when sometimes it takes awhile to bet. There isn't ... Phil had lost a couple hundred dollars, but has gained it back later in the same sequence. On hand 170, Phil has K2 of spades, and turns a spade draw. When Polaris checks into him, he says "well now I'm ahead" ... but when he bets, Polaris completes a check-raise. The river goes check-check. Polaris shows top pair of queens and takes the pot.

Darse Billings staring down Phil. Even though Darse isn't actually playing.

8:01 pm Phil's bankroll after 150 hands: +$1075. Phil made an interesting comment: "I think clearer when I'm ahead". He sure is ahead at this point. My thoughts again turn to how Ali is doing in that hotel room. Midway through this sequence, Phil gets a cell phone call. Sounds like Phil's girlfriend Jennifer Tilly. I don't know if she'll stop by or not, but it'd be cool if she did. This sequence partway through has been pretty even with the two sides trading medium sized pots. Later on Phil holds J3o but decides to fold it preflop for "spiritual reasons". I don't know what those might be. Hand 139 - Phil folds to Polaris' raise on the river saying that if he's being outplayed good for it. We'll have to check if it was a bluff. Two hands later Phil says "I could just steal this" on a AA8 board, but smothers a swear when Polaris raises him. Phil folds that hand. Phil's pace has been pretty slow, so we're probably gonna be here for awhile.

Phil wins a big pot with quad queens.

7:52 pm Phil's bankroll after 125 hands: +$1110. So far, the action is reminding me just how much variance there is in poker. Phil continues to steamroll the bot -- but the luck of the cards definitely is on his side. On hand 113, Phil had QQ and flops a set of queens. the turn brings in a third spade which Polaris raised Phil's bet on. Phil rivered a fourth queen and agonized for a long time whether to attempt a check-raise. He decided to try it, and it works and Polaris reraises. It's capped and Polaris shows the second nut flush. Phil sure is getting some big hands and getting them paid off. I'm really curious what Ali thinks of his situation. On hand 116, Phil flops top pair of queens, but Polaris is quite aggressive on the flop. Phil smooth calls the flop in attempt to fool the bot. Phil felt he was beat though so he called the river and lost to Polaris' two pair. Good play on his part. Late in the sequence, Phil gets dealt pocket queens again! Gosh is he hitting cards.

Phil Focusing on the action.

7:27 pm Phil's bankroll after 100 hands: $900. On hand 79, Phil thought he had Polaris well beat with Q8 and two pair. But Polaris actually had a full house and took down a $200 pot. That's the first hand that's really gone Polaris' way so far in this session. Phil remarks about the fast response of Polaris' actions. "It's instanteous -- it's so ... annoying!". On hand 89, Phil has J5 and attempts a move on Polaris. He checkraises the A77 flop and bets the A turn, but Polaris sticks it out and Phil gives up and folds to Polaris' river bet. On hand 93, Phil flops a straight and and says "that is a very good feeling". But the turn and river make a straight on the board better than his straight and they chop the pot. "That is so annoying", says Phil. Phil still has had the majority of the good cards. Late in the sequence, Phil turned a gutshot straight and beat out Polaris' top pair of aces.

7:09 pm Phil's bankroll after 75 hands: +$760. It kind of looks like Phil is getting the better hands at this point. Not a lot of specific hands to mention, but Phil is playing extremely aggressive preflop, many time putting in a third bet. Phil has been winning bigger pots and giving up little pots to Polaris. On hand 70, Phil flopped a straight, and the flop betting was capped, but Polaris gave it up on the turn. Phil is on a role at the moment -- the cards are certainly looking slanted in Phils direction! His repeated line is "Punish him!", and "it's a sick machine".

A large crowd out there!

6:54pm Phil's bankroll after 50 hands: +$260. Phil is taking his time with his decisions. The atmosphere here is awesome. There must be close to 120 people in the room checking out the action. There's quite a few people here from the AAAI opening reception. This is very awesome! Anyways, poker action and quotes. Phil is a quotable machine. He holds 42suited and says he holds 40% of a straight flush. On hand 41, Phil holds A4 suited and talks himself into a call on the river where he doesn't have a pair. Turns out Polaris was bluffing with its busted staight draw. Phil exclaims "one victory for mankind!". On hand 44, Phil has AQ which gets to the river where he spikes an ace. Phil deliberates for a really long time wondering whether he should try and raise Polaris' river bet or not. There are two kings on board, and Polaris bet out the whole way. Polaris shows a pair of tens when Phil chooses to just call. On hand 50, Polaris caps the preflop betting with Phil holding ATo. He calls down the river playing just his ace and two pair on the board and Polaris shows KQo.

Phil focusing on the action.

6:34 pm Phil's bankroll after 25 hands: +$30. There's been some distraction for me early on here so I missed the first few hands. On hand 9, Phil flopped trip tens, and slowplayed to the river. Polaris called his river bet with queen high. Phil said its "So sick...". Phil says he's a little frazzled at Polaris' play from the first match. On hand 14, Phil had Q7o and flopped two pair. There was a lot of raising, but the river came another queen giving Phil a full house. It was capped on the river again and Polaris showed a Q9 and Phil took down the pot. Phil keeps making comments like "God it loves to raise", and "Polaris is sick". It makes a bot programmer feel proud! Another choice quote: "Every six months you'll see Polaris just fold."

6:19pm We're under way now. On hand number one, Phil has AJs in the first hand, and guesses correctly that Polaris holds K9!

6:14pm Jonathan is now giving the introduction. We'll be underway shortly.

6:03 pm We're just starting to get setup. It might be a few minutes before we get going.