The Second Man-Machine
Poker Competition

Man vs. Machine Match Announced in Las Vegas

Thursday, 12 Jun 2008

Just the name of the computer makes it sound like it should be good at poker. The Polaris 2 is one of the most sophisticated poker AI machines in the world, and it will be representing the silicon side as it takes on some of the biggest poker players in the world this July.

The 2nd Man vs. Machine Poker Championships will be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from 3rd to 6th July. The computer has been put together by the University of Alberta's Computer Poker Research Group. Representing the human poker players will be a team of professional coaches and players from online training site Stox Poker.

Lead instructor at Stox, Bryce Paradis, expects the computer to provide a very tough challenge. "Against the current AI in Polaris 2, the average poker player would be completely dominated" said Paradis. "The Polaris 2 team has made incredible improvements since the match last year. The most powerful change is that the AI will now learn from and adapt to its opponents' play as the match progresses. This year's Man vs. Machine match is going to push our team to their limit."

Last year the machine went up against Phil Laak and Ali Esmali, and was contested over four rounds each made up of 500 duplicate hands, where the same cards were dealt to both players.