Monday, November 3, 2014

Polaris

Polaris is the Deep Blue of poker.


The patience of a monk or the fierce aggression of a tiger, changing gears in a single heartbeat. Polaris can make a pro's head spin. Bluff, trap, check-raise bluff, big lay-down -- name your poison.


Polaris is a Texas hold 'em poker playing program developed by the computer poker research group at the University of Alberta, a project that has been under way for 16 years as of 2007. Polaris is a composite program consisting of a number of bots, including Hyperborean08, the winner of the limit equilibrium series in the 2008 Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Computer Poker Competition. Polaris also contains a number of other fixed strategies, and chooses between these strategies during a match. Polaris requires little computational power at match time, so it is run on an Apple MacBook Pro laptop during competitions. Polaris plays only heads-up (two player) Limit Texas hold'em.



Limit Hold'em (LH) Heads-up Duplicate poker


On July 23–24, 2007, Polaris played against poker professionals Phil Laak and Ali Eslami at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver, B.C.  The competition consisted of four duplicate matches, with 500 hands per match. In each duplicate match, the same cards were dealt to both pairs of players, human and bot, but with the seating reversed.  After roughly 16 hours of play over two days, Polaris tied the first round, won the second and lost the last two.

Final result -- Polaris record: 1-2-1


On July 3–6, 2008, Polaris competed against six human professional poker players in the Second Man-Machine Poker Championship, held in Las Vegas at the 2008 Gaming Life Expo. Polaris defeated the human players with three wins, two losses and one tie. Each of the six sessions was a duplicate match of 500 hands against two different players, resulting in six thousand hands played.

Across all six sessions, Polaris won 195 big blinds. The version of Polaris used in the 2008 match was much stronger than the 2007 version, both in the quality of the component strategies and in its ability to learn which component strategy to use.

Final result -- Polaris record: 3-2-1

Overall Polaris's record vs. humans: 4-4-2


Polaris and Deep Blue

Comparing Polaris results with IBM chess computer Deep Blue versus reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov in two games under tournament regulations.

Result: Kasparov–Deep Blue (4–2)

Result: Deep Blue–Kasparov (3½–2½)

Overall Deep Blue record versus Kasparov (5½–6½)

Polaris (4-4-2 or 5-5) vs. Deep Blue (5½–6½)

So with that being said. We can see that Polaris had better results versus humans than Deep Blue.




Polaris's Strategies:

Polaris have a total of 5 different strategies
The Nash Equilibrium plus 4 other to use against different types of opponents.  Polaris identifies which common poker strategy a human is using and switches its own strategy to counter.

1- The first approach is to approximate a Nash equilibrium strategy which is robust against any opponent.
2- The second approach is to find an exploitive counter-strategy to an opponent. We will show that these counter-strategies are brittle: they can lose to arbitrary other opponents.

3- The third approach is a compromise of the first two, to find robust counter-strategies.
4- The four approach is to combine several of these agents into a team, and learn during a game which to use.



Why is Polaris so good?

a) Adaptation. Polaris doesn't have a "best way" to play; it has a "best way" to adapt.
b) Specialization
c) No emotion
d) Aggression





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