Poker Pros Lead at Halfway Point Of "Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence"

40,000 Hands of No-Limit, Texas Hold'Em Remain To Be Played

PITTSBURGH, May 1, 2015 — (PRNewswire) — Today marks the halfway point of an 80,000-hand journey in the " Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence" poker competition. After 40,000 hands, the 'humans'— four professional poker players — have taken a lead over Carnegie Mellon University's artificial intelligence program, Claudico.  Hosted at Rivers Casino, this first-ever challenge began on Friday, April 24.  The pros — Doug Polk, Dong Kim, Bjorn Li and Jason Les — were confident that they would crush Claudico over the course of two weeks. Though the pros have prevailed overall, Claudico has won some days and maintains a lead over one player.

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a distinctive, world-class research university that blends cutting-edge programs across many disciplines including business, computer science, the arts and sciences, engineering and public policy.

"Claudico performs real-time reasoning while playing a hand and improves its strategy during the match by continuously computing," said Tuomas Sandholm, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon who has led development of Claudico. "I know many people are rooting for the humans, but I'm still hopeful that Claudico will give them a run for their money."

"This is quite possibly the highest-quality poker ever seen," Sandholm continued. "Furthermore, both Claudico and the humans are improving their game throughout the event. Both sides are already playing stronger than they were at the start. I have been extremely impressed by the pros' ability to improve and adjust their game no matter what curve balls Claudico has thrown at them." 

Fans can watch the pros live every day from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. in Levels Lounge at Rivers Casino, or tune in to the live stream on Twitch. Play will continue in two sessions of 750 - 800 hands per day, with one day set aside on Sunday, May 3, so the human players can rest. The winner and final standings of the competition will be announced on Friday, May 8.

"I give the pros a lot of credit for their stamina and good humor throughout the competition," said Rivers Casino General Manager Craig Clark. "Doug, Dong, Bjorn and Jason have been having fun along the way and whether you're watching it on property or online, they're answering questions and making sure viewers are engaged."

The competition was designed to ensure that the outcome is scientifically significant and not a result of luck. In addition to the large number of hands, the players are paired to play duplicate matches — Player A will receive the same cards as the computer receives against Player B, and vice versa. One of the human players is in isolation, to prevent any comparison of the cards. The same arrangement applies to Players C and D.

"Playing Claudico has been unlike any other game I've ever played," Polk said. "I've been taking notes along the way when it makes a move that I wasn't expecting so that I can continue to improve my strategy and make sure I walk away with a win."

The competition continues Carnegie Mellon's pioneering research in artificial intelligence, which began with the creation of the first AI program, Logic Theorist, in 1956. The top-ranked School of Computer Science includes the world's first Machine Learning Department and some of the world's leading scientists in computational game theory, market design, natural language processing, computer vision, speech translation, thought identification and collaboration among intelligent agents. More information is available at

To see the leaderboard and the latest scores, as well as the live stream, visit

About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon ( is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 13,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovation.

About Rivers Casino: Opened in 2009, Rivers Casino has been voted a 2014 "Best Place to Work" in the Pittsburgh Business Times, "Best Overall Gaming Resort" in Pennsylvania by Casino Player magazine and "Best Overall Casino" in Pennsylvania by Strictly Slots magazine. The casino features more than 2,900 slots, 83 table games, a 30-table poker room, nine distinctive restaurants and bars, a riverside amphitheater, a multipurpose event space, live music performances, free parking, and multiple promotions and giveaways daily. More than $406 million in jackpots have been awarded to players at Rivers Casino. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University
Ken Walters, CMU, 412-268-1151
Email Contact Emily Watts, For Rivers Casino, 717-507-3754
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Review Article
  • People can surpass artificial intelligence June 12, 2020
    Reviewed by 'Lea Weisz'

    I am very pleased with the fact that so far people can surpass artificial intelligence. After all, now online poker has become quite popular and can be played online, more about this can be found on This means that this type of game is still reliable, because man has an advantage over the robot.

      Was this review helpful to you?   (Report this review as inappropriate)

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