The Brains vs. AI poker tournament being put on by Carnegie Mellon University kicked off today. It pits four humans pros against an AI trained to play Heads Up (1 vs. 1) No-Limit Texas Hold’em poker. The system runs on supercomputers, the humans on caffeine. No matter what, the human pros get to take home $200,000, divided up among the quartet based on their performance. But if the AI, named Liberatus, outplays them, it will earn a place in the history books.
You can watch the entire event live on Twitch. The stream for each human pro is distinct, and you can find them all on the website of the Rivers Casino, which is hosting the games. Results of the daily sessions will be posted each evening, so check in then to see who’s ahead. This is the second tournament put on by CMU. Back in 2015 the humans triumphed over the course of 80,000 hands. But the bots have improved drastically since then.
A separate academic team has been working on the same problem, and declared in a paper published last week that its system, DeepStack, can now consistently beat expert-level players. The goal of this tournament, however, is to see if a computer can beat four of the very best players in one of poker’s most popular variants.