The First Man-Machine
Poker Championship

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Session Three - Phil and Ali Win!

$10/$20 Limit Texas Hold'em Seat 1 Seat 2
Private Room Polaris +$635 Ali Eslami -$635
Public Room Phil Laak +$1455 Polaris -$1455
After 499* hands.

Note, one hand was thrown out due to technical difficulties.

4:13pm The final match results are in. The humans did win by a margin of $820 which is statistically significant.

Phil closeup shot when he was with the media after the third match.

4:11pm Ali is back and he says he lost less than $1000, so it sounds like the humans win!

3:56pm Due to the technical difficulties upstairs, one hand got thrown out from this match so Phil won an extra $40. Still no result from Ali's match yet though.

3:49pm Still waiting, but we found out what hand Polaris had for the bet. Turns out Polaris had top pair of jacks so Phil won the bet.

3:46pm It sounds like Ali isn't done yet due to technical details so we're not sure what the result is yet. Stay tuned for the match result.

3:45pm Phil's bankroll after 500 hands: $1415. Hand 481: Polaris makes a big full house and takes down a nice pot. Just a few more hands to go. Hand 488: Phil has KK and the betting is capped preflop. Bet-call on the flop, but an ace hits on the turn. Phil gets check-raised though and decides to lay it down. Last hand: Phil has T4 and hits a 4 on the flop. He calls down and wins the last hand.

3:36pm Phil's bankroll after 475 hands: +$1465. Phil's luck at this point seems to have cooled off a bit. Phil says he's not playing aggressive or passive -- just in the middle. On hand 464, Phil rivers his wheel draw but Polaris didn't pay him off. Two hands later, Phil went nuts with AQ suited and a spade draw, but missed. On the river, he had to ponder for awhile to decide whether to call with Ace high. In the end he folds. He says he'd give $100 "Canadian Euros" for $10 that Polaris had something. Someone in the front row takes him up on the the bet. That was hand 466 for future reference. On the last hand of the sequence, Phil rivers his gutshot, but its also the third club. Phil spends some time trying to figure out what to do and bets and gets called. Polaris just had a pair.

3:28pm Phil's bankroll after 450 hands: +$1665. Early in this sequence Phil catches Polaris on a huge bluff with 4 clubs on board. Polaris just had the 2 of clubs, but Phil happened to have the nuts. Hand 436: Phil says he's gonna go into conservative mode at this point. In the last few hands, Phil called down Polaris' aggression with low pairs but Polaris had bigger pairs. Phil says he's going to buy t-shirts for the UofA development team that says "Polaris Pays". Last hand of the sequence, Phil rivers a straight and raises the river but Polaris folded. Phil says "Nice! I got the maximum from Dr. Polaris!".

3:17pm Phil's bankroll after 425 hands: +$1800. Early in this sequence Phil gets lucky and hits trip 2s on the flop with his K2. Polaris pays off though with a King high hand. Hand 413: Phil is once again hitting cards like nuts. Flops a set and turns a full house with 33. Poor Ali ... he must be taking a beating again today. Phil goes into story mode saying how Ali was capable of riding a rush like the one he's on. Phil's talking about Ali felting people at 200/400. On hand 425, Phil flops trip kings on an AKK board. The turn is a queen and Phil tries to figure out how to get the max. He check-raises, but Polaris three-bets. The river goes bet call, and Polaris shows a full house! Finally, a hand going Polaris' way.

3:03pm Phil's bankroll after 400 hands: +$1400. Hand 383: Phil spikes a flush on the river, and gets paid off by Polaris' pair of jackes (that it got on the river). Hand 387: Phil flops trip tens and wins a medium pot. On the very next hand, Phil gets TT and flops a set, but loses Polaris on the turn. Talk about getting good cards! Hand 391: Phil hits his gutshot and gets paid off by Polaris' rivered pair of kings and busted straight draw. Ali must be hurting upstairs at this point. 100 hands to go in this session!

Phil makes a full house against Polaris' trip 8s

2:58pm Phil's bankroll after 375 hands: +$810. Early in this sequence, Phil makes a full house and gets paid off the whole way with Polaris' ace high. A few hands later, Phil rivers the nut flush -- and actually thought he might be beat. I'm a little confused: the board was paired, but there was only a few full houses that were even possible to beat him. He bet and got called and took down the pot. On hand 360: Phil flops top and bottom pair with Q8 and turns another full house. He's starting to hit everything in sight again. The river betting is capped and Polaris shows trip eights. Big pot for Phil there. A few hands later, Phil turns a spade flush and the river is the fourth spade. Phil checked and called with the 2nd nut flush and won against Polaris' lower flush. Wow, I'm surprised he didn't try and make more with that hand.

2:46pm Phil's bankroll after 350 hands: +$510. Early hand in this sequence: Phil flops a full house with his 45o, but Polaris folds to the cap bet on the flop! Nice fold. Hand 333: Phil gets pocket kings and three bets the preflop. He gets a bet in on the flop, and check-raises the turn but Polaris folds to his river bet. Phil's starting to hit some cards. A later hand he flops trip queens. Polaris isn't getting involved though -- it must not be getting much in the way of cards to call. Late in the sequence, Phil won another pot with second pair. Hand 350: Phil calls down with 66 and beats up Polaris' bottom pair.

The crowd enjoying the action.

2:38pm Phil's bankroll after 325 hands: +$350. Hand 314: Phil trip 9s on the turn and gets Polaris to pay him off with queen high. Hand 321: Phil flops a huge draw: straight and flush draw. He hits both the flush and the straight on the turn and gets paid off one bet each round to the river. Polaris shows the low straight.

2:33pm Phil's bankroll after 300 hands: +$250. Early on in this sequence Phil calls a Polaris bet with queen high with a two pair board. He rivers an ace but that gave Polaris a pair of aces with A6. Later on, Phil flops a pair of sevens, but runs into Polaris' flopped trip 9s.

2:32pm We're back underway now.

During the break, Phil was immediately captured for an interview.

2:16pm We're taking a bit of a break. The upstairs room is apparently having some technical difficulties, so we're gonna take a short break.

2:07pm Phil's bankroll after 275 hands: +$325 Early in this sequence Phil flops trip aces with AJ, but thinks he's beat when he sees Polaris' aggression. Fortunately for him, he hits a jack on the river to make a full house. Phil took down a big pot beating out Polaris' AK. He says "Ali's gonna hate that". Late in the sequence, Phil flops top pair and the nut flush draw and collects a nice pot.

The media has been swarming the event.

2:00pm Phil's bankroll after 250 hands: +$30. First hand of the sequence, Phil made a runner runner straight to take down a $200 pot against Polaris' top pair, top kicker. A hand later, Phil deliberated over a hand for a real long time where he had top pair no kicker but got raised on the river. Eventually he decided to fold. Hand 241: Phil value bets his pair of jacks against Polaris who calls with an outkicked pair of jacks. Last hand of the sequence, Polaris value bets his ace with two pair on board and gets paid off by Phil's king high.

1:48pm Phil's bankroll after 225 hands: -$10. Early in the sequence Phil steals a pot with ten high, and says "You had queen high but I beat you because I'm so sick." At this point Phil decides to back down a bit and play "careful". On hand 218, Phil raised the preflop with 92 of clubs. He flopped a pair of deuces and turned a flush draw, but didn't hit. The river went check-check, but Polaris showed a monster two pair going for the check-raise. Phil dodged a bullet there.

Polaris makes a monster hand to take down a big pot against Phil.

1:41pm Phil's bankroll after 200 hands: -$95. On hand 185 the bankrolls are exactly even. Phil picked up a few big hands but Polaris didn't have anything and folded preflop to Phil's 88, AQ and KQ. Later on Phil calls with a low pair of fives to find that he beat Polaris' ace high. On hand 190, Phil gets caught in his aggressive behaviour when he turns top pair of aces with AJ, but loses to Polaris' two pair aces and fives.

Phil on stage. The photographers are from the New York Times and a local newspaper.

1:35pm Phil's bankroll after 175 hands: -$135. Not many action hands at the start of this sequence. Polaris picks up a few small pots. On hand 166, Phil decided that it's time to pick up the aggression. He says he'll start playing aggressively for the next 15 hands and see how the bot responds. Over the few hands the bot seems to respond in kind: Phil says "this didn't really work out". On hand 171, Phil flops an ace high flush draw, but the bot folded to his raise. Phil wonders if the bot is adapting "instantly".

1:27pm Short break right now, Phil is taking a quick trip to the restroom.

1:21pm Phil's bankroll after 150 hands: $200. On hand 129, Phil flopped a pair of nines, but a dangerous 8 made a one card straight on board. He bets after some deliberation but Polaris called. The river gave him trip nines, but couldn't get another call from Polaris on the river. Hand 144: Phil has AA and gets some action on a K95 flop with two spades. He deliberates for awhile wondering whether to call or raise. The turn brings a 7 of spades and the river comes a 9, but Polaris check-raises. Phil thought for a long time on the river debating between fold or call and elects to call. Polaris showed 68 for the straight!

Polaris rivers a straight against Phil.

Phil makes a full house and takes down the pot.

1:09pm Phil's bankroll after 125 hands: +$245. On hand 104, Phil hits top pair of aces. The board pairs fives, and a third spade comes on the river. Polaris check raises the river! Phil deliberates for quite awhile and decides to fold. Phil made a really good call with Q7o holding just queen high. Polaris was bluffing the river with a ten high! On hand 117, Phil had 45 and hit a pair of fours. The turn and river brought two more 3s to make Phil a full house. Polaris called Phil's river bet with a king high. A few hands later, Phil has pocket jacks and attempts to check-raise the flop, but Polaris doesn't oblige with a bet. The turn makes the board read 8KK8 and Phil bets. The river brought a 9 and Polaris called another bet -- and Phil correctly read Polaris having Ace high! (That's a couple times he's correctly identified Polaris' hand.

The spiffy brochure/program people get when they come in.

12:56pm Phil's bankroll after 100 hands: +$110. Early in this sequence, Phil flops a set of sevens and gets to make a raise on every round, but Polaris folds to the river raise. Big pot for Phil. On hand 84, Phil flops a monster draw with Q8 of clubs and the board showing Tc 9d 4c. The flop is capped and Phil bet the turn but got raised. Unfortunately for him, he missed his draw and had to fold on the river. On the last hand of the sequence, Phil spikes a flush to beat Polaris' top pair of aces.

A view of the gathered audience.

12:46pm Phil's bankroll after 75 hands: +$240. On hand 58, Phil bet the whole way with top pair of kings and a nine kicker. Polaris called him down and showed a pair of kings with an eight kicker. On hand 67, Phil did some analysis on the river saying he'd fold to a raise. Polaris didn't raise, but still won the hand with a pair of tens. Holding a measly 32o, Phil folds saying "You're the best kid, take the money". I wonder what Polaris thinks about being called a kid. Late in the sequence Phil held QQ and got raised by Polaris on the river when the board paired fours. Phil called and Polaris showed its bluff with king high.

12:34pm Phil's bankroll after 50 hands: -$15. On hand 34, Phil flops a set of queens and gets paid off to the river. Polaris shows just ace high.

A view from behind Phil and what he gets to see.

12:26pm Phil's bankroll after 25 hands: -$155. Early in this match, Polaris seems to be getting the short end of the cards. He's gotten several straight and flush draws but none of them hit by the river and he was forced to fold to river bets. On hand 12, Phil finally wins a hand where he had top pair of jacks and Polaris bluffed into a flush card with an underpair of threes. Phil seems pretty timid early on here -- not a lot of raising going on. On hand 17, Phil rivered trip nines and got a call from Polaris' holding jack high. Two hands later, Phil tries to check-raise the river holding top pair of jacks with a busted straight draw, but Polaris didn't bet out with his pair.

12:16pm Phil gets 72o on the first hand and folds preflop to Polaris' raise.

Jonathan Schaeffer introducing the players.

12:12pm Jonathan is giving the introductory talk so we'll be under way shortly.

Phil and Ali being interviewed before the match.

11:38am Okay, your resident blogger is back. The room is quiet at the moment. The UofA team is deciding what bot they should field in the next session. There's some match strategy that goes into making this decision, so that's what is going on right now. Ali showed up a little while ago to ask some questions. Phil and Ali received the logs and some of our analysis (DIVAT) to evaluate their game for today. The problem with poker is that it is so noisy that it is difficult to really understand where you're at. Since we want the humans to be at their best, we gave them the logs and analysis so they could be as prepared as possible for the match. The match should run on time in about 20 minutes.