Human "Brains" Currently up $148k on AI "Claudico" in NLHE Heads-Up Challenge

Doug Polk playing a hand against Claudico in yesterday's match

First blood in the two week, 80,000 NLHE hand challenge between four high stakes NLHE poker professionals and an AI computer developed at Carnegie Mellon University has gone to the "Brains", the name given to the team of pro players.

The challenge sees each player but in two 750 hand sessions a day against "Claudico" - the AI computer at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pensylvania and day one was a resounding success for "Brains", with three of the four players making tidy profits, resulting in an overall day 1 advantage of $148,704.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest winner of the day was arguably the world's number one heads-up NLHE player, Doug "WCGRider" Polk, who ended his day with a $115,911 profit. Polk's good friend and fellow elite pro Dong "Donger Kim" Kim also made a good start, taking $71.7k from his first 3,000 hands against Claudico. The third pro to take a profit into day 2 was Bjorn Li who ended the day up $32.5k. The only human player currently in arrears in computer science graduate and poker pro Jason "cheet" Les, who is down $71.4k.

The matches are being streamed live on twitch with both players and programmers interacting throughout the match. To reduce variance the same hands dealt to player A vs Claudico in match 1 will be dealt to Claudico against player B in match 2 and vice versa in the other matches. Therefore those watching will get to see both the pro and Claudico playing the same hands but against different opponents.

So far, Doug Polk has only rated the AI bot "4 or 5 out of 10" when asked to compare its skills against the top players playing in his regular games.

It remains to be seen if Claudico can claw this back, but its certainly far too early to write anything off.

We'll keep you updated on further developments.



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