Man vs Machine Poker Challenge Announced
By Staff
After narrowly losing out during last year’s inaugural Man Versus Machine Poker Championship, a redesigned Polaris artificial intelligence (AI) computer programme will again be taking on some of the best players in the world.

The sophisticated Polaris 2 was developed by researchers from the University of Alberta’s Computer Poker Research Group and will compete against professionals Nick Grudzien, IJay Palansky and Matt Hawrilenko at the second annual Man Versus Machine Poker Championship during the 2008 Gaming Life Expo at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino from July 3 to 6.

“The Polaris 2 team has made incredible improvements since the match last year,” said Bryce Paradis, a coach at online poker training site

“The most powerful change is that the AI will now learn from and adapt to its opponents' play as the match progresses. This year's Man Versus Machine match is going to push our team to their limit.'

Last year, Polaris 1 played professionals Phil Laak and Ali Eslami in Vancouver, Canada, with the series ending on a final score of two wins, one loss and one statistical tie for the humans. Each round consisted of a 500 duplicate hand matches where the same series of cards was dealt to both players with each one playing opposite hands in the game while the computer took the other side. At the end of the match the total number of chips won or lost by each team determined the winner. In an effort to reduce the element of random luck to a minimum, organisers have announced that the same format will be used this year.

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