Carnegie Mellon University AI beats top Chinese poker players

April 10, 2017

Carnegie Mellon University professor Tuomas Sandholm talks to Kai-Fu Lee, head of Sinovation Ventures, a Chinese venture capital firm, as Lee plays poker against Lengpudashi AI (credit: Sinovation Ventures)

Artificial intelligence (AI) triumphed over human poker players again (see “Carnegie Mellon AI beats top poker pros — a first“), as a computer program developed by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) researchers beat six Chinese players by a total of $792,327 in virtual chips during a five-day, 36,000-hand exhibition that ended today (April 10, 2017) in Hainan, China.

The AI software program, called Lengpudashi (“cold poker master”) is a version of Libratus, the CMU AI that beat four top poker professionals during a 20-day, 120,000-hand Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em competition in January in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Strategic Machine Inc.*, a company founded by Tuomas Sandholm, professor of computer science and co-creator of Libratus/Lengpudashi with Noam Brown, a Ph.D. student in computer science, will take home a pot worth approximately $290,000.

Results of the tournament pitting Lengpudashi AI against four top poker professionals (credit: Sinovation Ventures)

The human players, called Team Dragons, were led by Alan Du, a Shanghai venture capitalist who won a 2016 World Series of Poker bracelet.

The exhibition was organized by Kai-Fu Lee, a CMU alumnus and former faculty member who is CEO of Sinovation Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in startups in China and the United States. He is a former executive of Apple, Microsoft and Google, and is one of the most prominent figures in China’s internet sector.

* Strategic Machine has exclusively licensed Libratus and other technologies from Sandholm’s CMU laboratory. Strategic Machine targets a broad set of applications: poker and other recreational games, business strategy, negotiation, cybersecurity, physical security, military applications, strategic pricing, finance, auctions, political campaigns, and medical treatment planning.