Posts Tagged ‘Ali-Eslami’

Poker Bots: Come With Me if You Want to Live

by , Feb 20, 2011 | 7:32 am

tim chilcote poker bots

Tim Chilcote


Machines have always been the enemy of man, at least in movies and on television, yet somehow we never see our A.I. overlords coming until it’s too late.

Case in point, in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Doctor Miles Bennett Dyson spends a lifetime developing artificial intelligence as part of the Skynet project, only to discover that his work is more suitable for evil than for good – the price? His life. You remember the scene: Dyson detonates his own lab, and in doing so blows himself up, sacrificing himself to save us from an army of Schwarzeneggers.

With the computer Watson now a winning contestant on Jeopardy!, the man v. machine debate has been rekindled, and it would seem that we’re in danger again, if not for our lives (yet), then for pride. In a recent Slate article, “Jeopardy, Schmeopardy: Why IBM’s next target should be a machine that plays poker“, author Chris Wilson asks whether the next logical progression from Jeopardy!’s Watson is a poker playing robot, and suggests that robots have a lot to teach us about poker, and might even be — gasp! — better.

Bots sound dangerous, and it would be easy to infer that their skill is only going to grow and that their dominance of the poker world is a forgone conclusion.

Poker bots have been hot topic in online poker for years. The fervor usually stems from a fear of the unknown. Gambling robots reached a fever pitch in 2007 when Phil Laak and Ali Eslami played against the Polaris poker bot. At the time I asked myself the obvious question – is Polaris the next terminator, and if not, then what’s the point of this experiment and why should I care? I sat down that summer with computer-poker researcher Darse Billings of the University of Alberta Computer Poker Research Group to have him explain how Polaris actually worked and to see what he thought was the point of his poker robot experiment, just to put my mind at ease.


(Way) Outside the WSOP (Day 10 Evening Update)

Absolute Poker founder’s daddy wins bracelet

by , Jun 8, 2008 | 8:55 pm

Happenings this evening, while I make this part small so you can read all the good stuff below:

The $5k NL Shootout final table is down to headsup. The current chip leader winner is Phil “The Chairman” Tom. His son, Scott, was the founder of Absolute Poker, and we know how that turned out. (Readers may want to insert their own superuser jokes here). Greg “FBT” Mueller is in a close finished 2nd, while Leo Wolpert was recently eliminated in 3rd.


OK, I’m Interested in the Ladies Event Again

And Jean-Robert Bellande’s Video Blog?

by , | 8:13 pm

Teddy “The Iceman” Munroe: Watch out for this guy. Tough to play against.

Tom is was the chip leader in the $2k Omaha Hi-Lo. That’s pretty cool.

UPDATE: Tom is out. Not cool.

And that limit event he busted out of yesterday … Erick Lindgren just missed the final table, which is now set with some interesting players, including Teddy Munroe, Ali Eslami, and Vinny Vinh. (Teddy and I go way back — last year I’d be typing outside and “The Iceman” would fill me in on the $100-$200 cash action while taking a piss on the tournament tent air conditioners. “Makin’ money, baby!” he’d say before shaking himself dry and heading back to the table.)

Even the $10k 7-Stud World Championship is getting interesting … with Doyle still alive and both Bob and Maureen Feduniak with the potential to become the first ever husband-wife presumably non-collusive team at the final table. Never mind. Since typing this, all the above-mentioned have been eliminated.

I learned about this 7-Stud shape-up from the a WSOP-TV vid. And though I tend to detest any lack of imbeddability, I gotta say I like a lot of what this ESPN/WSOP/Bluff (?) crew has got going here. For example, Harmonie Krieger does a basic feature video interview set on the different jobs people come to the WSOP from. Nice enough, right? — but very real when one of the guys she talks with is Jay Columbo, who ran the legendary Mayfair and Playstation poker clubs in New York City, legally questionable status notwithstanding.

And then, perhaps most shocking to me, I enjoyed Jean-Robert Bellande’s “Surviving the WSOP” — where the young, aspiring Eskimo Clark chronicles his ups and downs at the World Series while his video-podcast editors comment Pop-up Video-style — follow along as he hustles high-rollers for buy-ins.

Even learned something from Phil Ivey’s less exciting V-log … and that is that he’s playing so many big-field, low-buy-in donkfests because he has a lot of side action pending on whether or not he’ll win a bracelet this year. We’ll see if we can’t find out more about this.

Speaking of donkfests, the Ladies Event has already lost 2/3 of its starting field, and of those still remaining, at least three of them are Pokerati MySpace friends: Lacey Jones, Kathy Liebert, and Mandy Baker are looking strong and pretty much representing the spectrum of all that is good about women. Go girls! I mean chicks … er babes .. uh bitches?

UPDATE: Lacey is nursing a short stack. Poker Roadie Amanda Leatherman has come on strong, however, and picked up the aggressive pace. Michele Lewis, Tiffany Michele, and PokerNews editrix Haley Hintze are all out.

In the meantime, primarily because it is awesomely embeddable, check out the debut episode of The Degenerate Report, from Neverwin Poker:

(Way) Outside the WSOP (Day 10)

by , | 6:55 am

What’s happening at the WSOP while I go looking to buy some vurry expensive watches :

(Way) Outside the WSOP (Day 9)

by , Jun 7, 2008 | 6:30 am

Previewing Day 9, reviewing Day 8 at the WSOP, as I wonder why the EUROPEAN Poker Tour allows worldwide airing of final tables live, while the WORLD Series of Poker decides to restrict airing of final tables to a select few in the United States.

The second Saturday of the Series gets underway at noon with event #13 ($2,500 NL Holdem). Being a NL tournament held on the weekend, expect another large field to lay their money down. At 5pm, the latest round of $10,000 buyin World Championships takes place, this time it’s 7 Card Stud. Expect a small but elite field to try their hand at winning a bracelet.

Earlier today:

Woo-hoo! I Win!

Oops, I mean Tom out in 12th

by , Jun 6, 2008 | 3:45 am

Tom Schneider goes semi-deep (halfway through the paying field) and wins $36,096 — net $26k. Congrats a lot/Sorry bud. But way to get back into the game. Ali Eslami followed soon after for the same amount. They’re playing down to 8 — number of players, not a.m. Remaining contenders include, in order of current chip count:

Matt Glantz
James Mackey
Tom Dwan
Gus Hansen
Michael DeMichele
Sam Farha
Jeff Madsen
David Oppenheim
Eli Elezra
Anthony Rivera

The remaining payouts they’re fighting for:
1 $483,688
2 $297,792
3 $184,992
4 $139,872
5 $108,288
6 $85,728
7 $67,680
8 $54,144
9 $45,120
10 $45,120

Just curious … does anyone here think they should start reporting payouts in net terms, with at least the buy-in subtracted?

I Like Big Bots

by , Jul 23, 2007 | 3:46 pm

A technologically significant poker match is going down right now in Canada — Phil Laak and Ali Eslami vs. Polaris, a supposedly bad-ass poker bot — for $50,000. Here’s an article with more specifics. (Thanks, Venita, for the link!)

This is a scientifically controlled experiment, being played in “duplicate poker” format. Further explanation of this concept here. To learn more and follow the action live, you can do so here.

That’s what Sommer the Batface is doing:

also, don’t imagine you’re following that bot-live-blog, but Ali is absolutely running over the computer in the first 75 hands, thanks to an insane run of cards. He’s up $350 (in limit). Will be fasincating to see if the bot can extract more or less money from Laak with the same cards Ali has gotten so far.

Very cool and interesting. I could see people lining up to try their luck/skill against Polaris. For example, while Laak and Eslami are clearly good players, I wonder how RaiNKhaN would do … you know, since he has been mistaken for a bot and all.