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Poker Bots - Can NL Holdem Be "Solved"?

Posted by: James Carter. - Sun, 2016-03-20 03:38

Poker Bots - Can NL Holdem Be "Solved"?

Poker bots have made lots of headlines lately and they have always been a point of concern for online poker players as well as for online poker sites. The arrival of the perfect poker bot, the one that has the game "solved" was always considered a matter of "when" rather than "if". Indeed, over the last few years, quite a bit of progress has been made towards that goal, and some game variants have indeed been "solved". This is obviously not particularly good news for poker players and online poker operators, as a future where bots completely take over doesn't look like a rosy one for anyone. Another problem is that the building of such poker-bots, considered a massive undertaking only possible through some form of institutional funding, has become much cheaper and much more accessible for the everyday person.
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The latest edition of the Annual Computer Poker Competition was won by a bot called Baby Tartanian 8, which was indeed created through massive resources and contribution from the San Diego Super Computer, which fine-tuned its antics. The bots that finished 2nd and 3rd though were created through much more meager means, by two individuals on budgets lower than $10k.
According to Noam Brown, the creator of Baby Tartanian 8 though, despite all the recent progress and the "solving" of Limit Holdem, the NL version of the game isn't likely to be "solved" anytime soon, maybe never. The fact that players can elect to bet any amount they wish (within the confines of their stack obviously) makes the calculations infinitely more complicated than in the case of Limit Holdem.
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