A few years ago I wanted to take on the famous Polaris limit hold’em bot that fared so well against Phil Laak and Ali Eslami. I am going to report what happened although it only lasted 100 hands….well 102 actually as I was trying to figure out how to sit out and wasted some money by my hands automatically being folded.
After 100 hands, I was ahead at 10-20 heads up limit by $175 and had won exactly 50% of the total hands played. Of course this is a pitifully small amount of hands to compare strengths and I am not overly sure if I am playing the same program that did so well against Laak and Eslami.
One thing was certain, it was by far the strongest Bot that I have ever played and it seemed to be adjusting to my play as the session went on. I was trying all sorts of tricks and tactics to deviate my play as I knew that it would be logging my play better than I could log its. On top of that, I was just playing my normal game without taking any notes. Was this wise….no….not against something as strong as that. I should have at least been taking notes.
However, the feeling that I had after 100 hands was that the program was not superior to me. I knew that part of the reason that I had finished ahead was because I had the better run of the cards during those hundred hands but not substantially so. Taking away the fact that I had better cards but not by much, I won most of my money from value betting very marginal hands.
However I must point out that I lost a couple of significant pots and quite a few bets by me playing very quickly. I was playing almost on feel and instinct and mis-clicked a few times through sheer speed of play. One instance, I had 7-7 on a board of A-K-K-A-2 and meant to lead out on the river but checked it accidentally, Polaris checked it back and took the pot with 10-3…..ouch. This evens out the card supremacy in my opinion.
But it is very aggressive and puts you to some tough decisions at times which most other older bots don’t do. But I think that the 50% number of pots won was indicative even after only 100 hands that there had been little to choose. But I am confident at this stage that if I were to play this program in a ring game that I would get in front with average or better cards before it figured my game out and ground me down…….1-0 to THE DEAN!!!
Carl Sampson is a professional poker player that plays online at 888poker