Jonathan Schaeffer and Duplicate Poker

I was scouring the web for interesting Poker news (that’s what I do for living these days) and I bumped into a familiar name. There’s a Man vs Machine Poker Championship coming, where two human Poker pros will play against Polaris, a Poker computer program. In the end of the article I read, they interview the director of the research team and who it is — Jonathan Schaeffer!

I’ve written about him before, check my entry about his book One Jump Ahead. He is the man behind Chinook, the Checkers-playing computer. Last time I blogged about him, there was an estimate that Checkers would be solved by 2010. Well, they did in 2007.

Apparently since Schaeffer solved Checkers, he has moved on to other challenges. Poker should prove him some challenge, though beating humans in two-player Fixed-Limit Texas Hold’em is only the start of it.

Another interesting aspect of the Man vs Machine contest is the way it’s played: they’re playing Duplicate Poker, which combines Poker with Duplicate Bridge to create a game where luck has less effect in the game.

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