Beware the Pokerbot - The Poker Player That Can't Be Beaten

Texas Hold 'Em Pokerbot

This post originally appeared on the geekchicago.com blog and is being re-printed here with permission.

Technology is infiltrating life in ways we may not even expect. One of those areas is the poker arena.

Technology may have just found a way to "solve" poker. What does that mean? Consider a simple game like tic-tac-toe. If player A does one move, then with the goal of winning in mind, player B has an optimal move, guaranteed to put him on a path to victory (or in this game, at least a "draw".) It is a "solved" game.

Poker is way more complicated than that, though... right?

Yes, and no. It seems that this new "pokerbot" artificial intelligence that provides the "brains" over 200 Texas Hold 'Em Heads Up machines across the US basically always comes out on top.  The pokerbot uses knowledge that it has from billions of staged rounds of poker, fed through neural networks (essentially a complex decision making formula), resulting in an unpredictable but virtually unbeatable poker player.

In fact, it took the developers 2 years to dumb down the system enough so that players wouldn't walk away. Even so, its estimated that only 100 around the world will be able to beat it on a regular basis.

...you and I are probably not one of those 100. But it's worth a try, right?

We reached out to Dave Thornton, the CEO of Skill in Games, a company dedicated to separating out the luck component from the game of poker to measure a player's relative skill quotient to understand whether or not the game has truly been solved.  When asked, "is the game of poker solved", he had this to say:

Yes in the sense that [Artificial Intelligence engines] exist which can profitably play heads-up limit hold'em against tough opponents.  No in the more formal sense - as far as I know, we haven't fully enumerated a game theory optimal strategy for heads-up limit hold'em.  

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The New Season of Windy City Poker Championship On the Air Now

Windy City Poker Championship Heads Up Lineup Spring 2013

Windy City Poker Championship returns with its fourth season on Sunday nights in June and July at 7pm and 8pm.

The first two episodes of the season showcase the spring heads up eight man tournament, including Rick Rahim, Nick Jivkov, Pawel Andrzejewski, and Ryan Leng.

The second half of episode two features the $3000 buy-in single table tournament featuring WPT Boot Camp instructor Nick Brancato, 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Chris Moneymaker, WLS and Sun-Times' Richard Roeper, ABC7's Ron Magers, Circuit Event Champion Aaron Massey, and additional pros and amateurs. 

Tune in every Sunday night to Comcast SportsNet (what channel number is that?) to catch the latest episode, hosted by Jason Finn and produced by Kirk Fallah.
Alternately, episodes can be found online at WindyCityPokerChampionship.com. 

ISCD Poker & Casino Night - April 27

ISCD BadgeOn Saturday, April 27, 2013, the American Friends of the Israel Sport Center for the Disabled and the B’nai B’rith Sports Lodge will be holding its 7th Annual Poker Tournament and Casino Night at the Mart Plaza in Chicago, IL.

Event Date : Saturday, April 27,2013
Event Time : 6pm to Midnight
Event Location: Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL. 350 W Mart Center Dr Chicago, Illinois 60654

ISCD Badge

Interested in Becoming a Sponsor?

For additional details CLICK HERE or
contact Stu Nitzkin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 773.875.2425    

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Howard Lederer Settles Out Of Court

Howard Lederer Settles Out of CourtFrom PokerNews,com 12/18/12

According to a Stipulation and Order of Settlement filed on Tuesday, former Full Tilt Poker board member Howard Lederer has settled his civil case with the Southern District New York.

Lederer was one of four Full Tilt Poker board of directors named in a September 2011 Amended Civil Complaint in which the Government sought the forfeiture of $42.5 million paid by the company to Lederer. The U.S. Attorney's Office alleged that Full Tilt Poker operated as a "massive Ponzi scheme," and claimed that the board defrauded the players out of more than $330 million.

In September of this year, Lederer and the other board members were named in a Second Amended Civil Complaint, introducing new forfeiture charges including the purchase of assets with “illegal proceeds.” The Second Amended Complaint gave a detailed account of Lederer’s expenditures from the end of 2006 up until September 2011, and provided records indicating that Lederer used illegal funds for retirement funds, mortgage payments, property taxes and to purchase numerous vehicles...

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