The Second Man-Machine
Poker Competition

2nd Man versus Machine Poker Championship Coming Early July

Wed, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 12:00am

Will a collection of some the biggest winning players in online poker history be able to beat Polaris 2- the most sophisticated poker Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine in the world? The second Man vs. Machine Poker Championship will determine the victor. The match will be held during the 2008 Gaming Life Expo at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas July 3-6.

Polaris 2 was created by the University of Alberta's Computer Poker Research Group ( and is the culmination of several years and thousands of man-hours of development.

The human players are professional poker coaches or contributors to the hugely popular online poker training site Each of the human players in the match has won millions playing for the highest stakes against some of the best poker players in the world.

According to Bryce Paradis, lead coach at and winner of almost $3M at online poker in 2007, "Against the current AI in Polaris 2, the average poker player would be completely dominated. 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 Polaris 1 competed with professionals Phil "The Unabomber" Laak and Ali Eslami in Vancouver, Canada. The series ended on a tight finish, with a final score of two wins, one loss, and one statistical tie for the human team of Phil and Ali. Each round consisted of a 500 duplicate hand match, wherein the same series of cards was dealt to both players, with each one playing opposite hands in the game with the AI taking the other side. At the end of the match the total number of chips won or lost by each team determined the winner. In an effort to reduce the element of random luck to a minimum, the same format will be used again this year.

The initial members of the team are professionals Nick Grudzien, IJay Palansky, as well as Stoxpoker contributor Matt Hawrilenko, all of whom can boast well over $1M in lifetime cash-game limit hold'em winnings. Additional participants will be announced in the coming weeks. will host news on The Man vs. Machine Poker Championship, including match results and some match simulcasts.