Theorists and scholars can tell you that poker is considered one of the greatest games ever invented, right up there with chess and backgammon. Poker's peculiar combination of skill, luck and psychology makes it a very tough game system for machines to crack.
So it will be interesting to see what goes down this week in Pittsburgh when four of the world's top poker pros square off against an advanced artificial intelligence built from the ground up to win at poker.
The 20-day tournament, dubbed Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante, kicks off today at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pa. It's a rematch of sorts, following the inaugural 2015 contest, and will once again pit man against machine in the extreme poker variant knows as Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em.
Let's break that down a bit: Texas Hold 'Em has been the most popular form of poker, by far, since the televised poker craze of a few years back. "No-Limit" indicates that players can make any size bet at any time. And "Heads-Up" means there are only two players at the table - virtual, in this case - going head-to-head for all the chips.