What kind of poker bot do you want to play against?

I was talking with my friend Sam yesterday. He works on the AI for DD Poker. He had some interesting things to say. He says their main competitor is Poker Academy, because both DD Poker and Poker Academy are designed to make you play better. (There are a bunch of “Entertainment” type of poker programs which have fancy graphics and sound, but generally terrible computer play.) He had some interesting things to say. His analysis of the Poker Academy stuff was that it played a better mathematically correct game, but there were some flaws. Fundamentally, Poker Academy doesn’t teach you to play better against people, only mathematically correct bots. DD Poker on the other hand has options that mimic real life play, like going on tilt after a bad beat and a tendency to chase draws. Of course if you are very bad, both DD Poker and Poker Academy will help your game. But DD Poker is designed to help you play better NLHE tournaments against real players.
Another thing that Sam was proud of about DD Poker is that it gives better reasoning behind the advice it gives to players. While Poker Academy can tell you to call, bet or fold, DD Poker can go one step beyond and tell you what factors it is using make its decision. Sam’s philosophy was that he would rather have even bad decisions with the logic behind them rather than just the raw advice. Because poker is so situational there is rarely an absolutely right answer. This lets the player reject advice when the situation warrants it.

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