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Poker Pros Now Losing By Nearly 1 Million Chips Against No-Limit Hold'em Bot

Heads-Up NLH Specialist: 'Libratus Is An Absolute Animal'


A team of world-class poker pros was losing by nearly by one million chips to a poker-playing machine at a Pittsburgh casino on Thursday.

That’s about 10,000 big blinds. Every hand begins with each player having 20,000 in chips. The blinds are 50-100 with no ante.

The group of heads-up no-limit specialists battling Carnegie Mellon University’s poker bot Libratus faced their largest deficit yet in the 20-day contest. It’s scheduled to end next week.

As of Thursday morning, nearly 90,000 of the 120,000 hands had been played.

“The bot plays better every single day, each day is harder than the last,” said poker pro Jason Les, who was part of a team in 2015 that defeated an earlier version of the machine. Les was down more than 615,000 chips to the bot on Thursday, by far the most on the team.

“It feels like it’s everything,” Les said of the areas of poker in which the bot is winning.

Dong Kim was the only one who was winning against the machine.

Les said it seems that Libratus is able to adapt to an individual opponent, but that they “can’t be sure” the artificial intelligence is capable of that. “Libratus is an absolute animal,” he said.