CMU Poker Bot To Take On Chinese Players In Exhibition Match

There is yet another contest in the works that will pit an Artificial Intelligence (AI) program against human poker players but this time it will be held in China.

A variant of Libratus, the poker bot developed by Carnegie Mellon University will play six of China’s top poker players for a prize of $290,000 between April 6 and 10. The 36,000-hand match will feature the bot Lengpudashi which translates to cold poker master and will be held in a software park in Haikou City situated on the island of Hainan, China.

The human poker players will be referred to as Team Dragons and will be led by Alan (Yue) Du, an amateur poker player who took the first place in the $5,000 buy-in, no-limit Hold’em event in the 2016 World Series of Poker. He is also a Shanghai-based venture capitalist.

Created by Tuomas Sandholm, professor of computer science at CMU and Noam Brown, a Ph.D. student, the poker bot Lengpudashi uses AI to beat human players at poker.

Carnegie Mellon University

In a statement, Tuomas Sandholm said,

I am very excited to take this new kind of AI technology to China. I want to explore various commercial opportunities for this in poker and a host of other application areas ranging from recreational games to business strategy to strategic pricing to cybersecurity and medicine

Sandholm emphasized that the match in China was not a scientific experiment like the previous competition featuring Libratus, Brains vs. AI. The Brains vs. AI competition held in January this year was a 20-day affair featuring 120,000 hands against professional players who were experts at Heads-up, No-Limit Texas Hold’em.

The high number of hands ensured that the final outcome would be statistically significant. The competition saw Libratus comprehensively beating the human players, leading by a cumulative $1,766,250 in virtual chips in the end. In the proposed exhibition match, the two opponents will play for 10 hours per day, with the human players playing two hands at a time. The Lengpudashi bot will operate from the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center’s Bridges computer as in the earlier competition.

The Lengpudashi vs. Team Dragons exhibition has been organized by a CMU alumnus Kai-Fu Lee, who heads an early-stage venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures. Kai-Fu Lee is a prominent figure in China’s internet sector and has earlier worked in Google, Microsoft and Apple. The game will be streamed live through nearly 30 broadcast partners and streaming video is expected to reach 30 million viewers in China over the five-day event.