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Cagliostro
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From MSN News.com:

AI program beats pros in six-player poker -- a first

Artificial intelligence programs have bested humans in checkers, chess, Go and two-player poker, but multi-player poker was always believed to be a bigger ask. Mission: accomplished.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, working with Facebook's AI initiative, announced Thursday that their program defeated a group of top pros in six-player no-limit Texas hold 'em.

The program, Pluribus, and its big wins were described in the US journal Science.

"Pluribus achieved superhuman performance at multi-player poker, which is a recognized milestone in artificial intelligence and in game theory," said Tuomas Sandholm, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon.

Sandholm worked with Noam Brown, who is working at Facebook AI while completing his doctorate at the Pittsburgh-based university.

"Thus far, superhuman AI milestones in strategic reasoning have been limited to two-party competition," Sandholm said in a statement released by the school.

According to the creators of Pluribus, the technology could be used to solve a "wide variety of real-world problems" that, like in poker, involve actors who bluff, or hide key information.

The program first defeated two major poker champions, Darren Elias and Chris Ferguson, who each played 5,000 hands against it.

Pluribus then took on 13 pros in a separate experiment, five at a time. In a total of 10,000 hands, the program "emerged victorious," researchers said.

First, the program practiced against itself, learning little by little how to use poker moves to best advantage. Surprises cropped up.

"Its major strength is its ability to use mixed strategies," said Elias.

"That's the same thing that humans try to do. It's a matter of execution for humans -- to do this in a perfectly random way and to do so consistently. Most people just can't."

One surprise was that Pluribus used "donk betting" -- ending one round with a call and starting the next with a bet -- far more than would the pros, who traditionally see the move as a weak one.

Brown even ventured so far as to say that some of the program's strategies "might even change the way pros play the game."
tommy
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Thank you kindly Cag that is very interesting.
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byronblaq1
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Very interesting read Cag. I’d love to read the full study.

B.
tommy
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If they can clean up in all the online poker games in the world with this super bot then why have they revealed it?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Jul 15, 2019, tommy wrote:

If they can clean up in all the online poker games in the world with this super bot then why have they revealed it?


Possibly because they cannot use the bot in online games, or in most online games.

In the US, we can only play on the WSOP site and that site is only available in three states. We cannot play in offshore poker games in the US.

The WSOP software is very sensitive to any extraneous programs attached to their site and you will get shut down if they detect any outside electronic interference.

I am not knowledgeable enough with the type technology that may be use to attach to the WSOP software undetected, or to any other site, but I think they make such attachment almost impossible.

But then again, I am not big on this type technology.
byronblaq1
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I’d find it difficult to utilise this effectively outside of this experiment for now.

Interestingly, it shows the possibilities of future systems/security though and it’s approach may be studied to better improve gameplay though.

B.
Last Laugh
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The researchers at Carnegie Mellon have taken pains to keep the bot out of the hands of anyone who would abuse it.

Also, while most online poker sites have some degree of bot security, they are still rampant.

And it's not exactly true that you US players can't play on offshore sites. There are a number of sites that do accept US players, at least from most states. It's a legal gray area but it definitely happens. Much of it uses crypto currency to get money on and off the sites as it's banking part that's illegal.

Certainly none of the larger international sites accept US players (Pokerstars, etc).
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Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Jul 18, 2019, Last Laugh wrote:

And it's not exactly true that you US players can't play on offshore sites. There are a number of sites that do accept US players, at least from most states. It's a legal gray area but it definitely happens. Much of it uses crypto currency to get money on and off the sites as it's [the] banking part that's illegal.

Certainly none of the larger international sites accept US players (Pokerstars, etc).


Well, let's put it this way. To the best of my knowledge it is illegal for US players to gamble on offshore poker sites, which is probably why the larger international sites do not accept them. Poker gambling sites are regulated in the US, and poker site gambling is only legal in three states using the WSOP platform.

I would also think that using crypto currencies for deposits and withdrawals (in light of the bankruptcies and machinations that have occurred with some of those currencies), coupled with dealing with a small offshore poker site that is trying to get around US law might be a little perilous in and of itself. Winning at poker is hard enough without creating additional ways to lose one's money.

The same situation exists with trading the Forex market. It is illegal for US citizens to trade with a non-US based Forex broker. When a small non-US based Forex broker starts accepting US customers, they shortly stop doing so after the US government takes steps to stop them from doing so.

Why do business and deposit money with people who are breaking US law. Smile
Cagliostro
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I did a little further research regarding off-shore poker sites that deal with US players.

On a Google search, I came up with 12 sites that accept US residents, all off-shore. Inasmuch as I don't play serious poker online, while these sites are regulated in off-shore jurisdictions (for what that is worth), it appears the individual states in the US actually have jurisdiction over gambling engaged in by their residents, even online gambling.

The only 100% legal regulated site in the US is the WSOP site which is available only to US residents of New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. That of course excludes the majority of players in the US.

I would think there are possible problems with depositing funds in some of these sites, and more importantly, withdrawing funds. They are apparently operating in a grey area, and the use of bitcoins for deposits and withdrawals, and the possible delay in receiving deposited US funds...if one receives them at all, is something each player will have to determine for himself.

Fortunately, I don't have to play online and if I did, the WSOP site seems to satisfy with the least potential problems.

Unfortunately I don't know enough about the subject of off-shore online gambling sites for US residents to comment definitively. Perhaps someone who knows more about this, or has experience playing on these sites, will offer some feedback.
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What is illegal in one place may be perfectly legal in another place. However, I know of no casino in any place where using a computer to beat poker games is legal. Somebody in a London casino though not long ago used a computer to beat roulette and the courts said it was legal as I recall. So who knows? Is it small enough to fit in a shoe like a blackjack computer?
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JasonEngland
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Quote:
On Jul 21, 2019, tommy wrote:
What is illegal in one place may be perfectly legal in another place. However, I know of no casino in any place where using a computer to beat poker games is legal. Somebody in a London casino though not long ago used a computer to beat roulette and the courts said it was legal as I recall. So who knows? Is it small enough to fit in a shoe like a blackjack computer?


If you're referring to the Ritz team that beat the game of roulette, they were not using a computer.

Jason
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Right, yes the Ritz. I thought that they were accused of using a laser, phone and a computer but had argued that they had not interfered with a game and therefore it was lawful. Much like card counting does not interfere with the game. Punters in the racing game anyhow commonly use computers to try and beat the bookies and it is perfectly lawful.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Jul 21, 2019, JasonEngland wrote:

If you're referring to the Ritz team that beat the game of roulette, they were not using a computer.
Jason


According to the article quoted by landmark @ Http://roulettedoc.com/article-ritz-casi......scam.htm

Quote:
The technique used by the gang used the principle of "sector targeting". The player/computer determines the moment and place where the ball is released and the point when is passes after a couple of spins. These figures are used to calculate the "decaying orbit" of the ball and to predict where the ball is likely to land. No player can calculate this without a help of an electronical device. True, in the early eighties, a book by Scott Lang revealed how to predict the slot at a roulette table with a help of a digital stopwatch, after that stopwatches are banned in all the casinos.


While I am no longer on the cutting edge of gaffs used to beat casinos, and have no direct or detailed knowledge regarding the play in question, it seems from a cursory point of view this would qualify as using a computer, directly or indirectly, to beat roulette. At minimum, it would at least be akin to using a stop watch which evidently has been banned from casinos in England.

It is interesting to note however, that smart phones can now do much of what desktop and laptop computers can do and in some respects are much more versatile.

But once again, my statement is not definitive as I no longer keep up on the details of casino advantage plays as I once did, so I am sure Jason knows much more about this particular ploy than I at this point in time. Perhaps he has additional information which enabled him to make his statement as quoted above.
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Every newspaper article states that they used "laser scanners" and software on their cell phones. They are all wrong.

First of all, I don't know about you, but even 15 years later, my cell phone doesn't have a laser scanner (and it certainly didn't in 2004!). In 2004 you had to push a button 3 times just to text the letter "C" to someone.

Police arrested them a few hours after one of the big plays. A search of their phones found...nothing. Nothing there, nothing deleted (forensics can tell you if something was deleted a few hours ago) and nothing resembling a laser "anything." Video surveillance doesn't indicate anyone using any sort of hidden device either. I've worn a roulette computer in a casino - I know what it looks like when someone is using one. They weren't.

Michael Barnett was the gaming security consultant FOR THE RITZ in this case and he went on record and said that there was no indication that the crew used ANY electronics of any kind.

They beat that wheel with visual prediction, not electronics. Perfectly legal.

And that's why they were released without charge and paid.

Jason
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Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Jul 22, 2019, JasonEngland wrote:

They beat that wheel with visual prediction, not electronics. Perfectly legal.

Jason


Your are probably correct. Newspapers can be notoriously wrong on their reporting and it can be done visually but an assist can be helpful. How about the stop watch on the phone. Most smartphones have one?

Just a thought.
landmark
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Thanks for the info, Jason.
tommy
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It does not matter how they did it. What matters is that they were accused of using a computer to help them beat the game and that the case was dropped because that was not illegal under the gaming act. That is what is relevant to the issue of whether or not one can use a computer to beat games legally in that way.
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JasonEngland
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Quote:
On Jul 22, 2019, tommy wrote:
... the case was dropped because that was not illegal under the gaming act.


Also not true.

Here are Michael Barnett's words on the subject:

"I examined all the evidence, including several mobile phones, held at Scotland Yard by the Specialist & Economic Crime Directorate.

I spoke with the arresting officers, members of the Club Squad.

I spoke with gaming staff that were present on the nights in question.

I spoke with the surveillance team who monitored and analyzed the action.

I watched surveillance video tape footage of the action.

I listened to recorded audio of the action.

I examined the running sheets of all bets made.

There was no evidence whatsoever of device use.

The Ritz Club is small and exclusive; any suggestion that players could get away with filming a roulette wheel are not only ludicrous, it is also an insult to the professionalism of the Ritz Club staff.

Claims that no charges were pursued because device use is not an illegal act are totally without foundation.

I am not claiming that device use IS an illegal act; I am stating that, in this case, it was not an issue.

There is strong evidence that conditions on the nights in question were conducive to prediction techniques.

The betting patterns, execution and timing of wagers was professional and in line with known prediction techniques."


Jason
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FYI all, these days, under the 2005 Gambling Act and the 2006 Fraud Act,it is indeed illegal to use a prediction device in a UK casino, but prohibition of such devices has to be in the rules of the casino in question. Use of covert cameras to gain an advantage over a game is also illegal.

Jack
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