AI vs Brains II - Libratus Makes Strong Start vs Humans

Last year's "AI vs Brains" match-up between 4 elite heads-up NLHE pros and Carnegie Mellon University's AI bot "Claudico" ended in a comfortable win for the "Brains", a team comprising Doug "WCGRider" Polk, Dong "Donger Kim" Kim, Jason "PremiumWhey" Les and Bjorn "asianflushie" Li. 2016's match versus "Libratus", a new and improved bot sees Les and Kim return with newcomers Jimmy "ForTheSwaRMm" Chou and Daniel "dougiedan678" McAulay - and so far it's been a great start for AI.

At the end of the third day's play at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh "Brains" found themselves down a little over $135k, although with less than 20% of the match complete and with 20k buy-ins that certainly isn't an insurmountable total for the pros to claw back if they can get to grips with Libratus.

However, the pros have certainly found it tough going and readily acknowledged the skills of the bot. Jason Les, who has played in both AI vs Brains matches said, “I felt like Libratus is playing a lot better than Claudico did in the previous challenge. Preflop, it is using a widely mixed strategy (of small bets, calls, and over-bets). This is something it would be extremely difficult/impossible for a human to balance correctly in their mind but Libratus appears to be doing it well so far.”

According to the team at CMU who developed Llibratus uses algorithms to analyze the rules of poker and set its own strategy, based on approximately 15 million core hours of computation at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC)and is continuously sharpening its strategy during the Brains vs. AI competition, performing computations with the PSC’s Bridges computer each night.

With day 4 almost over it looks like it's going to be another winning day for Libratus with Jimmy Chou suffering a near $80k loss in his final session, although Jason Les did win c.$23k in his completed session. McAulay and Kim are yet to finish although between them they look to be breaking almost even.

Although it's early days yet, things are certainly looking good for Carnegie Mellon's latest AI offering. CMU have long since been at the forefront of AI and contributed to such historic AI landmarks as "Deep Blue", the machine which beat Garry Kasparov, the reigning world Chess champion in 1997, and the Watson AI that beat Jeopardy! champions in 2011



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