Jason Les has more than $1.5 million in live tournament poker earnings and is a respected online high stakes player. Les usually plays poker to earn a living, which is a lot of pressure in it’s own right, but the past two years he had even more weight on his shoulders while playing.
Why the added stress? Because Les was representing all of humanity in a contest with a poker playing, artificially intelligent ‘bot’ designed by a team of computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2016 Les and a few other players came out on top against a bot known as Claudico. In 2017 the ‘Brains vs. AI’ challenge swung in favor of the machines, with the improved Liberatus bot winning 17,000 big blinds from a team of four heads-up poker specialists that included Les. Card Player TV caught up with Les, who has deep in a tournament at the 2017 World Series of Poker, to discuss the progress that the CMU team made from year to year, and what he thinks it means for poker for there to be such a strong heads-up no-limit hold’em playing bot.