Facebook AI Defeats Top Poker Pros in Texas Hold ‘Em Showdown

Poker Star Chris _Jesus_ Ferguson
Steve Grayson /Getty

Facebook’s poker-playing artificial intelligence Pluribus has successfully beaten a dozen world-class Texas hold ’em players including Christ “Jesus” Ferguson in a recent match.

The Verge reports that a poker-playing artificial intelligence designed by researchers from Facebook’s A.I. lab and Carnegie Mellon University has successfully beaten some of the world’s best poker players in multiple games of six-person no-limit Texas Hold’em poker. The games took place over 12 days and saw 10,000 hands played, with the A.I. facing off against 12 pros in two different settings.

In one setting, the A.I. played with five human players; in another setting five versions of the A.I. played alongside one human player. Data from the games reveals that Pluribus won on average $5 per hand with hourly winnings of around $1,000. Researchers called these figures a “decisive margin of victory.”

Noam Brown, a research scientist at Facebook A.I. Research and co-creator of Pluribus, commented on the A.I.’s performance stating: “It’s safe to say we’re at a superhuman level and that’s not going to change.” Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, one of the 12 pros enlisted to play against the A.I. and a six-time World Series of Poker champion, commented on the A.I. stating: “Pluribus is a very hard opponent to play against. It’s really hard to pin him down on any kind of hand.”

In a paper published in Science the researchers behind the A.I. state that this win is a significant step forward. The abstract of the paper reads:

In recent years there have been great strides in artificial intelligence (AI), with games often serving as challenge problems, benchmarks, and milestones for progress. Poker has served for decades as such a challenge problem. Past successes in such benchmarks, including poker, have been limited to two-player games. However, poker in particular is traditionally played with more than two players.

Multiplayer games present fundamental additional issues beyond those in two-player games, and multiplayer poker is a recognized AI milestone. In this paper we present Pluribus, an AI that we show is stronger than top human professionals in six-player no-limit Texas hold’em poker, the most popular form of poker played by humans.

Read  the full paper in Science here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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