Poker pro says the future is strong for Poker Bots
Jason Les is a high-stakes poker pro who normally plays cash games where he has a very high rate of success. But recently he had his first breakout performance at this year’s World Series of Poker event. He managed to reach the final table in two events this summer, a runner-up finish in a $3000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout and a third place in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship.
His lucky streak comes just weeks after he and three fellow heads-up no-limit Hold’em specialists beat the world’s current top poker bot in a two-week long battle which took place in Pittsburgh. Although the people who created the bot said it was a “statistical tie” and Les himself agrees that it wasn’t a complete victory, this contest did show that computers still have a long way to go before they can square up against the prowess of the best poker players in the world.
All of the experts said that the main issued the bot, nicknamed Cladico, had was that he couldn’t adjust his gameplay. Its main goal was to play its Nash equilibrium strategy and hope that the live players would be unable to beat it. This meant they didn’t have to worry about the machine noticing something they kept doing and adjusting to beat their plays. So obviously their style got really crazy and they started doing weird bet sizes to find out what type of plays would confuse it most.
Even though technology is making huge strides, poker bots still need to develop appropriate algorithms that can map the choices that other players make and respond accordingly. Until then top poker players can still confuse a poker bot any day of the week and come out on top.