Thursday, January 15, 2015

Poker program Cepheus is unbeatable

My research group has been developing computer poker applications for many years so it was with considerable interest to see a headline in the Guardian newspaper that read "Poker program Cepheus is unbeatable, claim scientists." Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada, who have long been the leading research group in computer poker, have used "four thousand computer processors, each handling six billion hands every second. With each game Cepheus [the name of their system] played, the program built up a database of cards dealt, betting decisions and outcomes. At the end of the marathon training session, the database contained 11 terabytes of information on calls, raises and folds for every hand a player could have." It will be interesting to see if Cepheus competes in the annual Computer Poker Competition and if it shows a step change in performance. However, we will have to wait until 2016 for the next competition.

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