21 November 2003

Will computers soon be able to beat humans at Poker?

"Using new abstraction techniques, we have produced viable "pseudo-optimal" strategies for the game of 2-player Texas Hold'em. The resulting poker-playing programs have demonstrated a tremendous improvement in performance. Whereas the previous best poker programs were easily beaten by any competent human player, the new programs are capable of defeating very strong players and can hold their own against world-class opposition."

Billings et al,
Approximating Game-Theoretic Optimal Strategies for Full-scale Poker (PDF)

I spent some time today on True poker as they claim to have the online environment closest to reality. And Whilst I personally find their 3D graphics absolutely hideous, there are a number of nice features on the site. The one which I think is really interesting is the ability to see when your opponents look at their cards. In my experience, the only virtual tell! Nice one.
Other than that, the rooms have a reasonable amount of players. I got the feeling the level was rather average, nothing impressive. Because of the 3D environment, it takes a little bit of time to get used to (or is it just a polite way to say it is confusing!?). I doubt I will open an account, but as a play money environment, I'd recommend it just for the experience.

Allow me to step slightly out of Poker for a moment. The Department for culture, media and sport (DCMS) (in the UK) has released its draft gambling bill, continuing what I believe to be a remarkable work to create a modern and safe gambling industry in the UK. Ate Online reports: Jowell: Industry should ‘make haste slowly’
You will also find the full draft bill, and official press releases from the DCMS here

20 November 2003

My latest post about the new partypoker host started a hot discussion about poker and "adult" material. Well let's admit it. Poker is a predominently male game. And a good proportion of males let their third leg dictate their reactions! Whether you think this is right or wrong doesn't change the FACTS. That's why I believe the Partypoker choice of host is clever.
And let me add, it is not an original thought: Have a look at the latest cover from cardplayer:

And how about those Victor Chandler white labels, FHM Poker and Red Hot TV poker?
Oh and look at the "partnerships and associations" at True Poker: Maxim Online and Askmen.com!
See any common thread?

19 November 2003

Not content with being the largest online poker room in the world, the Party Poker team continuously pushes its position through very clever marketing programs. This time they have secured the support of Shana Hiatt.
Shana Hiatt to be the partypoker spokesperson

BBC NEWS | UK | 'My job? I play poker online'
Do I need to add anything more?

I like the Meetup concept. And I like poker. I was therefore very excited to go to my first Poker meetup yesterday evening, in this rather "trendy" bar. Well so much for the excitement and buzz of poker: NOT A BLOODY SOUL TURNED UP!
Should have stayed at home and play online.

3 days into blogging mode, and I haven't yet started to write about playing online poker. That's simply because I haven't been playing any poker at all for a good 5 days now. Ya see, I've been working. I know you will find that hard to believe, but there is a good reason: It's poker related work....

Yet another non professional poker player makes it - $1 Million dollar
Cowboy wins Pot in Foxwoods Poker event

18 November 2003

This is not quite a Chris Moneymaker story, but in its small way, a nice example of how amateurs are starting to make their ways into winning real cash through the game. OK, I'll be next to make the headline...:-)
Lucky charm wins poker player £35,000

Can poker beat football in the heart of the american audiences? This is the bet (well, almost) of NBC. Is Poker becoming serious, or what?

17 November 2003

My friend Daryl, poker player and developper extraordinaire is launching his online poker community. Not a bad effort, check it out here: www.pokerbunny.com :: Online Poker Resource - Poker Calendar - Poker Community

Poker's hot, hot, hot.

An excellent overview of the growing popularity of poker in the US. How Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the Travel channel World poker Tour and the now legendary Chris Moneymaker are fuelling this explosive industry! And it's "barely the tip of the iceberg"

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