Michael Bowling and his team have developed a poker software program that has been programmed to beat the best players in the world. The program was launched earlier this week in Canada under the code name of Cepheus.
Scientists were tasked with the job of developing a poker program that would be able to beat the best poker players in the world and be able to process algorithms that allows it to choose the best scenario at all times. Cepheus was created by the University of Alberta Computer Poker Research Group.
The program was developed after Cepheus spent over 60 days studying and playing over a billion billion Texas hold’em hands so that Cepheus could be prepared for just about every game plan and scenario that could occur at a poker table. In order to study and retain data of over 1 billion billion poker hands, Cepheus has now played officially more hands of Texas hold’em in the history of the game.
In order to accomplish such a mammoth task, Cepheus had to use 4 thousand computer processors where each processor had the ability to process up to 6 billion hands each second. Cepheus will use the data collected during these 60 days to build a systematic process on how cards are dealt and played, betting decisions made and final outcomes. On completion of the 60 day training program, Cepheus had accumulated over 11 terabytes of information outlining the different raises and folds a player might have and all possible calls a player might make.
Neil Burch one of the developers from Alberta Computer Poker Research Group believes that Cepheus might lose once or twice if it gets dealt a poor hand but it is virtually impossible for Cepheus to lose when playing against someone over a period of time. In a statement, Burch said
Cepheus starts off with a strategy that’s quite terrible. But every time it plays a hand it comes up with a better strategy. For every single possible situation you could get into, it has a description for how you should play. Cepheus loses to no one over a long enough time. You just have to play enough hands so that luck goes away
Canadian researchers are extremely happy with Cepheus and the final results of the program. They confirmed that they will not leak any information about the intelligence or algorithms that Cepheus is using because this information could be used by against online casinos to win large sums of money.