"Coach Doug" Tries & Fails to Help Out in the "Brains vs AI" Challenge

Well, the "Brains vs AI" Challenge is finally over, and it was a resounding victory for Libratus, Carnegie Mellon Universities AI heads-up NLHE bot who beat the human quarter of Dong "Donger Kim" Kim, Jason "PremiumWhey" Les, Daniel "dougiedan678" Macaulay, and Jimmy "ForTheSwaRMm" Chou by a staggering $1,766,250 playing at $100/$200.

Every player on the team lost with Jason Les losing the most ($880k), and his mirror Dong Kim losing the least ($85.6k). According to the team the bot played an mixed, almost perfectly balanced strategy, making it incredibly hard to play against. They also noted how that throughout the challenge they spotted minor leaks which they tried to take advantage of, but that Libratus would adapt and fix the leaks extremely quickly, getting better and better each day.

Of course, the challenge was not set at optimal conditions for the humans to have the best chance of winning. Most good human players would take a break or a time-out if they started to lose, tilt, or were too tired to play their A game - but the "Brains" were contractually obliged to finish the 120,000 hand challenge in three weeks, and as such were playing 12 hr days at the casino before heading back to the hotel for a couple of hours study, 7 days a week.

Nevertheless, the point of the experiment wasn't so much about the margin of victory or what factors influenced the human performance, but to ascertain whether AI was capable of producing a bot which could challenge (or beat) the best human minds in the business. It's fair to say that even if the humans were able to play at optimal conditions that they would still have found Libratus an incredibly difficult bot to beat. Given that the four players are arguably among the top 10-15 heads-up NL players in the world, this means CMU have created a bot which could beat almost any player on the planet - A significant step up from their previous attempt "Claudico" which the humas beat handsomely, and which, they say, had a number of obvious weaknesses.

In a last ditch attempt to "save humanity" Doug "WCGRider" Polk flew in to Pittsburgh to try to rally the troops with some first class coaching and strategy. Luckily for us the cameras were on hand to document Polk's stirling efforts to shake things up a bit during the final week.

"Coach Doug" has got to be the best YouTube video yet from Doug - check out this 8m 44sec of comedy gold!


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