Polk, Kim facing Ultimate “Claudico” Poker Bot

by Jeremy Olson on April 26, 2015

Some fear that robots could one day take over the world, and online poker certainly doesn’t escape these fear mongers’ vision. But a set of elite poker pros are ready to prove that it’s not yet time for the bots to rule the game.

Doug ‘WCGRider’ Polk, Dong ‘Donger’ Kim, Jason Les and Bjorn Li are all engaged in a 20k hand challenge with “Claudico,” an improved version of the award-winning poker bot “Tartanian7.” Developed by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, the Claudico bot is supposed to be the best at NL Hold’em.

According to NBC News, the computer scientists behind this poker-crushing program believe that their creation could throw the pros through a loop. “The pros may find that playing Claudico is like playing a Martian,” said Carnegie Mellon’s Tuomas Sandholm, in reference to the bot’s highly conservative style.

Polk, who’s won millions of dollars in poker, also gave his take on the competition. “I think there will be less hand-reading so to speak, and less mind games,” said Polk. “In some ways I think it will be nice as I can focus on playing a more pure game, and not have to worry about if he thinks that I think, etc.”

After the first day, Claudico was getting dominated, however, this competition is set to feature 13 days (750 hands every day) for each player. Given that this is NL Hold’em, it’s certainly possible that Claudico could make a comeback. But one also has to consider the elite competition that this bot is facing along with the complexities of mastering NL Hold’em.