CMU Supercomputer Beats World’s Best Poker Players In Rematch

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Nearly two years have passed since four of the world’s best poker players took on Carnegie Mellon University’s computer, Claudio, at Rivers Casino.

Two weeks later, the humans finished on top.

A rematch began on Jan. 11. Four professionals played 120,000 hands against an updated computer named Libratus. Players admitted that a computer was destined to win… eventually.

That inevitable moment arrived 20 days later.

Libratus accomplished what Claudio could not. This time, the computer held all the aces. The players were shellacked by $1.7 million imaginary dollars.

The humans did split $200,000 real dollars, with leader Dong Kim winning $75,000. Kim admits it’s a nice consolation prize.

“Toward the end of it, it was more acceptance that we were going to lose, and it was more of an individual thing at that point, where I was just going to try to do my best and try to win as much money as possible for myself,” he said.

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The artificial intelligence was designed by CMU professor Tuomas Sandholm and grad student Noam Brown.

“As the pros find holes in the AI’s strategy,” Sandholm says, “the AI will see which holes they’ve been able to exploit, prioritize them, and overnight, the supercomputer automatically fixed those holes.”

Those capabilities can be applied to matters ranging from disease prevention to cyber security. Winning a poker match is just the beginning.

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