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Uploaded on Oct 5, 2007
On July 23rd and 24th, the first man-machine poker championship was held at AAAI 2007 in Vancouver, Canada. This match pitted poker professionals Phil Laak and Ali Eslami against Polaris -- a poker playing computer program designed by researchers at the University of Alberta.
The match's unique structure attempted to reduce luck by running duplicate matches. In this format, Ali and Phil formed a team against a team of two computer programs. Teammates played the same series of hands, but from opposite sides of the cards. In this way, both teams got to experience the "good side" and the "bad side" of the cards.
The match was extremely close, with the humans eking out a victory in the final of four 500 hand sessions. The humans finished with a 2-1-1 record, but they felt that Polaris gave them a huge challenge.
This is a video from Ali's side of the first match. Ali makes several insightful and humorous comments.