2006 Rules

The 2006 AAAI Computer Poker Competition will have two heads-up limit Texas Hold'em competitions, the bankroll competition, in order to determine who can take the most money from the average player, and the traditional competition, in order to determine who can get the slight edge on the best players.

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The Objective of Poker

Poker is about winning money. Unlike in other sports like soccer where it is bad form to ``run up the score'', poker is as much about taking a lot of money away from ordinary players as it is about taking a little money away from great players. With this in mind, the AAAI Computer Poker Tournament will have two competitions, the bankroll competition, in order to determine who can take the most money from the average player, and the traditional competition, in order to determine who can get the slight edge on the best players. Also, human poker is played for very few hands and has a high variance, and the difficulty of learning the weaknesses of an opponent stem from this fact. Therefore, we have made the decision to have any particular match be short, but we repeat the matches (with memory resets) several times to obtain more statistically significant results.

Heads-up Limit Texas Hold'em

Details of the event rules are listed below. Please see the links for further details of this particular variant.

Game Heads-up Limit Texas Hold'em
Competition Format Round-robin series of heads-up duplicate matches
Hands per Match 1000
Stack Sizes Infinite
Bet Sizes 10/20
Blind Sizes 5/10
Blind Structure Reverse blinds, no ascending blinds
Showdown Mucking No
Illegal Actions  

Winner Determination

Separately evaluated Bankroll Competition and Traditional Competition.

Note: In the traditional competition, the series will be longer than in the bankroll competition. Since each series results in a player being eliminated from the tournament, it is important to reduce variance further than in the bankroll competition, where the result of a series is totalled with the results of several other series. The length of the series will depend upon the number of submitted programs and the available resources.

Arbitration

Michael Littman (Rutgers University) has agreed to be the arbiter for the competition and handle any issues that arise. We forsee three possible needs for arbitration: collusion, abuse of the network, or some drastic hardware failure.

Handling Competitors Concerns

Each bot will have a team leader: the set of all team leaders and the arbiter (Michael Littman) will form the decision making body. If any of the competitors have a concern about collusion, then they should present their concerns to the arbiter. The arbiter will then anonymize their concerns and present them to the decision making body as a whole. Then, the decision making body will comment upon the concern, and the arbiter will make a final decision.

Consequences

If a sufficiently serious infraction has occurred, the arbiter will disqualify the bot. If a bot is disqualified, it cannot win and its matches will not be counted in the bankrolls of the other players.

Card Generation

Our Arbiter, Michael Littman, has agreed to generate the cards for the competition.