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A Competitive Texas Hold’em Poker Player via Automated Abstraction and Real-time Equilibrium Computation

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journal contribution
posted on 01.11.1998, 00:00 authored by Andrew Gilpin, Tuomas W Sandholm

We present a game theory-based heads-up Texas Hold’em poker player, GS1. To overcome the computational obstacles stemming from Texas Hold’em’s gigantic game tree, the player employs our automated abstraction techniques to reduce the complexity of the strategy computations. Texas
Hold’em consists of four betting rounds. Our player solves a large linear program (offline) to compute strategies for the abstracted first and second rounds. After the second betting round, our player updates the probability of each possible hand based on the observed betting actions in the first
two rounds as well as the revealed cards. Using these updated probabilities, our player computes in real-time an equilibrium approximation for the last two abstracted rounds. We demonstrate that our player, which incorporates very
little poker-specific knowledge, is competitive with leading poker-playing programs which incorporate extensive domain knowledge, as well as with advanced human players.




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