Poker AI Scores Another Victory against Professional Players

It seems that we cannot escape the AI future. After the success of Libratus poker AI against professional poker players, we have another success story on our hands. Yes, once more a poker AI was successful at beating its competition of some of the best poker players in the world at an event held in China. However, this time it was a poker AI Lengpudashi.

This AI, in particular, was developed at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania by two brilliant minds, Tuomas Sandholm and Noam Brown. Tuomas is a computer science professor, and his colleague Noam is a PhD student. This duo is behind one of the most sophisticated AI poker programs.

As you can imagine, creating this type of AI is not an easy task. Sure, in the past smart people have played with AI programs that managed to beat the top players at games like chess and Go. However, poker is a completely different beast.

You see, in chess, you can calculate every outcome, and there is nothing hidden from you. On the other hand, poker is a game with so-called imperfect information. Players face against other players that are hiding information (cards) from each other.

That means that AI can’t just calculate the most optimal play. It needs to learn how to bluff, lie, and adjust its plays accordingly. And Lengpudashi did just that. It bluffed his way out and won $290,000 against top poker players. To put it into perspective, one of the players that were up against this AI was a Chinese poker player Yue Du. He won the World Series of Poker $5k no-limit Texas Hold’em in 2016.

With the recent news that PokerStars is looking for AI engineers, I am afraid that we will see more and more situations like this one. So, what are your opinions about this? Are you even a little bit concerned about these recent AI trends? I can imagine that it’s only a matter of time before we see poker AIs playing in one of the popular online poker rooms. But then again, maybe I am just paranoid. I guess we will have to wait and see.