Brains vs AI II - Crushed Pros Take Questions on Reddit

The second installment of the "Brains vs AI" heads-up poker challenge at the RIvers Casino in Pittsburgh is finally due to reach its conclusion on Monday after a gruelling three weeks of play between the four NL heads-up pros and Carnegie Mellon University's latest heads-up bot, Libratus, with the AI machine currently trouncing the humans by close to $1.4m playing at $100/$200.

After clawing their way back to almost even after the first week of play, the pros felt confident that they could be a match for Libratus. However, from that moment on the supercomputer powered Libratus turned up the heat and began to crush the team for hundreds of thousands of dollars almost daily. The only one of the team proving a challenge for Libratus seems to be Dong "Donger Kim" Kim who has remained pretty much on even terms with the bot since the end of the first week.

Yesterday Kim and team mate Jason "PremiumWhey" Les answered a few questions about the challenge for a Reddit Q&A. I've linked the entire Q&A below, but here are a few of my favourite questions/answers from the session;

Q) DaveShoelace: How do you think the outcome of this match will affect the future of poker?

A) Jason: The fact is the AI exists, and it's extremely tough whether we win or lose. Even if we were to just barely win, it would have been an AI that could beat essentially everyone. This is going to be a problem for internet poker as time goes on.

Q) Marshy92: How excited are you guys to go crush some regular human opponents after trying to grind it out against Skynet? More seriously: how has your strategy improved from facing an opponent like Libratus? Are you gonna start overbetting more frequently you think?

A) Jason: Once you face Libratus, there's nothing worse any human could ever do to you. Every human is going to seem like a walk in the park.

Jason + Dong: We are definitely going to start overbetting more frequently. It takes a lot of studying to figure out the right way to do it though. The moment you're somewhat imbalanced there (bluffing too much, or bluffing too little) then you're making a huge mistake.

Q) JoeyMafia: Do you ever tank on every action to let the computer feel some of it's own medicine?

A) Dong: Sometimes I have the nuts and bot jams on me and I go get a coffee so I can come back to a good situation. For the most part though, I come back to a really shitty situation.

Q) LolPharisees: I play midstakes 6 max, should I just quit poker in light of this? Can I not just assume that I should expect 3 bot assisted Russians per table within 6-8 months?

A) DONG: good thing for you, its much more complex to solve a ring game. Not only is there actions, betsizes cards etc, but now you have to deal with multiple players. I would march forward

Q) forava7: Have you picked up or noticed any patterns/habits? Does this AI remind you of certain player(s)?

A) Jason: I would say a lot of the basis of the AI's style reminds me of how Doug Polk plays. But overall I would say the style is unique. Libratus mixes it's strategy across all sorts of actions and bet sizes so picking up reads on its ranges is very difficult. We have statistics on the frequencies it does different things, but it's near impossible to come up with anything too concrete.

You can find the entire Q&A from Reddit here

And talking of Doug Polk, he has been with the pros in Pittsburgh for the last few days and had a few questions to pose to all the guys (Jason, Dong, Daniel Macaulay and Jimmy Chou) for a YouTube video he's recently posted online. Check it out below:


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