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Poker Pros Take On Updated AI For A $290,000 Purse

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Poker Pros Take On Updated AI For A $290,000 Purse

Some months back Libratus, Carnegie Mellon University’s poker playing AI, beat four poker pros in a no-limits hold-em match. Now, the AI is back but with a new name and this time its for real money.

Last time, Libratus was able to defeat the poker pros by about 1.7 million in chips after the set 120,000-hand match and poker pros split a $200,000 participation fee.

Now, the new opponent, Lengpudashi, which means cold poker master, will play opponents in China for a winner-take-all cash purse of $290,000.

The match will take place April 6-10 in Hainan with 36,000 hands to be played. The human team, nicknamed Team Dragons, is led by 2016 WSOP bracelet winner Alan Du. “I am very excited to take this new kind of AI technology to China,” said CMU professor of computer science and co-creator of Lengpudashi, Tuomas Sandholm “I want to explore various commercial opportunities for this in poker and a host of other application areas.”

According to Sandholm, the limited amount of hands could play against the machine but he is not concerned as this is intended to be an exhibition.

An earlier version of Libratus had already lost in 2015 when it faced off against a team that included Doug Polk, considered one of the best heads-up players in the game.

Computer AI are getting increasingly better at one-on-one poker and last year another bot called DeepStack beat 10 out of 11 poker players. It is now up to Alan Du to take on Lengpudashi and secure the win for the human team.


Hailing from Wisconsin but arriving in Las Vegas in 1995, I'm better known at various US online poker rooms under the pen name "OreoBob" and "SoyFlush". I'm an avid poker player and editor-at-large who has contributed as a freelance writer for diverse national and international iGaming publications since 2004.