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HOME > NEWS > Online Gaming News > Phil Laak Beats Poker Robot

Phil Laak Beats Poker Robot

20 July 2005

LAS VEGAS – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Chess is a game with perfect information. Poker is uncertain, incomplete and emotionally-driven. Nobody knew how this Man vs. Machine battle would go down in the history books.

"In 1997, IBM's Deep Blue Supercomputer played a well-fought match with reigning World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov. The machine won. In what some writers called "Deep Bluff," Poker Champion Phil Laak went head-to-head with the world's best Poker Robot on July 15, 2005 and emerged victorious.

"Sponsored by GoldenPalace.com, the World Poker Robot Championship brought together six of the world's best programmers to compete for $100,000. The winner, appropriately named Poker Probot, took down the winner-takes-all prize and won the right to challenge one of poker's best players in a battle of human versus machine. The winning robot, built by Hilton "Pocket Rockets" Givens, went on to beat the University of Alberta's robot in an exhibition match.

"It was Phil Laak's turn to face the machine on Sunday, July 15, 2005 at Binion's Horseshoe Casino after six robots battled for three days to determine the Best Poker Robot in the world.

"Laak battled the winning robot in a three-hour Limit game. While holding even for most of the first half of the competition, Laak realized that the machine was "playing too aggressive" and changed his playing style to capitalize "on 'his' weakness" to win the match. Cheered on by an audience chanting, "Humans, Humans," Laak eventually won the three-hour battle which saw over 300 hands. He closed the books on the Best Poker Robot with a game- winning pair of aces, beating his competitive computer counterpart, who had a pair of kings.

"After letting out a loud victory cry, Laak accepted numerous congratulations from the audience, a warm hug from his already famous, WSOP- bracelet winning girlfriend, actress Jennifer Tilly, and a $100 side bet that he made with the bot's programmer.

""March of the Machines" - Los Angeles Times

"The Los Angeles Times referred to the competition as: "The March of the Machines." The question was: Could a human stop them? Phil Laak won the match by "learning the patterns of the computer" and "applying fierce concentration" because machines don't get tired. Players and fans alike were drawn to the match with Poker Pro Greg Raymer stopping by the match to wish good luck.

""Until now, Poker Robot competitions have existed in the underground," said Darren Shuster, Co-Manager for the event, "and we're making it a truly global competition for Poker and gaming enthusiasts to enjoy at the venue in Las Vegas, on TV or via the Internet."

"What's next? College tours, upcoming event in Atlantic City, related TV program, Poker Robot teams and much more. Stay plugged in.


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