Who would win a game of poker between a geeky math super-genius and a veteran old-school poker world champ? True or false, the 2000 World Series of Poker was won by a long-haired computer scientist known as Jesus, who has a doctorate in artificial intelligence and game theory, and sports a cowboy hat, shades, a long beard and moustache? Somebody like, oh I don't know, this guy:
The game of poker is in a process of evolution that is taking it from the backyard of the smooth talking con artist with poker running through his veins and an uncanny ability to read opponents' hands, firmly into the domain of the people-shy soft-spoken computer scientist with an IQ off the charts. The poker enthusiast today is lucky enough to witness the changing of the guard from the former to the latter. Or is it that simple?
For those of you who are not aware of it, the best computer program is still no match for the world’s best poker players. Unlike chess (who’s world champ is a computer), and Go (who’s world champion is still human), Poker is not simply a game of cold hard logic. In the case of Go, there are just too many possible combinations for current computational power, so the brute force method that works so well for Deep Blue, is not yet propelling Go programs to the top of the heap. Given enough time, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Go programs will eventually rule the world. Poker is a different story altogether. In Poker, computer scientists are forced to invoke the branch of mathematics called game theory to incorporate what is commonly known as bluffing. But will a computer program ever beat the best human poker players in the world...?
Read "The Poker Machine" if you give a shit about any of this.