Rise of the Machines: Libratus, the Heir of Poker

Computers are evolving every other day; they learn more games, they get to know new tricks and slowly but surely they are making their way to domination over the few games in which they have not yet proven to be superior in. One of those is the no-limit Hold’em poker. A very interesting event to honor this frightening advancement in technology was organized in which four extremely successful professionals in the poker business will be facing off against the so-called Libratus, a computer that is hell bent on collecting all of their chips. The game will involve 120, 000 hands over the course of 20 days. Prize money is set at 200, 000 dollars. Jimmy Chou, Jason Les, Daniel McAulay and Dong Kim are the chosen ones. The event’s name is “Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante.” The four humans will be split into pairs. One player out of each pair will receive exactly the same cards as Libratus. The test will eventually show who will end up in a better position after starting off at the same level.

here is still a long way to go for researchers and programmers to create a machine that would overpower the human mind in terms of poker. Scientists managed to crack the winning formula for the limit-type Hold’em a while back. However, when it comes down to the no-limit version, the task at hand becomes much more difficult. The last attempt at mastering no-limit Hold’em resulted in a satisfying failure. Just one of four professionals was defeated by the created challenger. Libratus has arrived now to set the score straight and it will benefit from its more powerful stats, its more advanced algorithms and even from a more comfortable set of rules in this upcoming match: more hands will be played. The designers have made sure that mistakes such as obvious bluffs won’t be happening again.

Regardless of the outcome, both designers and players agree that the eventual outcome will be the same-computers will eventually take over. Technologies grow more and more advanced and it is not really a matter of skill, it’s just a matter of time and predicting the final result is a matter of logic. There are some amazing players out there but none of them can calculate the way a machine does. It might sound unlikely or inappropriate for some but the battle for the throne of poker between humans and computers is of great use for the future advancements in robotics. The cleverer computer become, the more things human kind will be able to accomplish in the future. Hopefully, however, we will never live in a world where advanced artificial intelligence robots enter a real or online casino and test their superior skills against normal humans-that would indeed be a dark day for passionate gamblers around the globe.