The benchmark server is only accessible to competitors from the previous year's competition. If you entered an agent to the competition then you can get access.
The Annual Computer Poker Competition has run since 2006. Historically the competition takes place each summer at the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence or at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence when it happens in North America (since AAAI is not run). The event attracts competitors, both academics and hobbyists alike, from countries around the world.
There are many altruistic reasons for researching artificial intelligence in the context of poker. Two such reasons are:
At its heart, the Annual Computer Poker Competition aims to benefit artificial intelligence by promoting, aiding, and evaluating research in the challenging problems presented by the wide variety of poker games. By having an annual competition, we hope to provide ongoing encouragement to improve existing methods and develop new ideas and algorithms for tackling even more challenging variants of poker.
Although we expect competitors to focus on winning, the main focus of the competition is on developing a further understanding of how poker research can benefit artificial intelligence. In order to do this, we believe the competition should be as open as possible, so that the results reveal not only who won, but why they won.