Brains vs. Machine: A new AI is challenging poker pros

An Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered poker bot named Libratus developed by a computer science team at Carnegie Melon University (CMU) is currently up against a challenge versus 4 of the best professional poker players in the industry in what has been coined Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante. 

Dong “Donger Kim” Kim

The match is taking place at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and can be followed on Twitch.

The goal is to see whether a human mind is still better than a machine at a mind game like No-limit Texas Hold’em, where game hands can be calculated with probabilities and behavior can be forecast with mathematical patterns.

The challenge started on January 11 and is expected to run until January 30.

In the beginning of the challenge, it was a debacle for the human’s team comprised of Jason “PremiumWhey” Les, Dong “Donger Kim” Kim, Jimmy “ForTheSwaRm” Chou, and Daniel “dougiedan678” McAulay.  The 4 players were down US$200,000.

As Poker Youtuber Doug “WCGRider” Polk commented, “The first couple of days of this challenge were total carnage. Humans don’t have a hud or stats, they are seriously just in there playing blind. Pretty big disadvantage out of the gate. As the days go on the humans have more edge because they can analyze sample”

Sure enough, after 5 days of playing, the poker pros have narrowed that distance to US$50,000 and hopefully will soon catch and surpass the AI aka Libratus.  

Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante is a “re-match” of a challenge which ran from April 24 to May 8 in 2016 between AI Claudico vs. Doug Polk, Bjorn Li, Dong Kim, and Jason Les.  That challenge resulted in the Human team being victorious  winning virtual money worth  $732,713

Watch on Twitch: Libratus vs Jason Les

Watch live video from libratus_vs_jasonles on

More: Dong Kim vs. Libratus

More: Jimmy Chuo vs. Libratus

More: Daniel McAulay vs. Libratus

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Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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