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An investigation into tournament poker strategy using evolutionary algorithms

Carter, R. G. and Levine, J. (2007) An investigation into tournament poker strategy using evolutionary algorithms. In: Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG 2007). IEEE, New York, pp. 177-124. ISBN 1424407095

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In this paper we assess the hypothesis that a strategy including information related to game-specific factors in a poker tournament performs better than one founded on hand strength knowledge alone. Specifically, we demonstrate that the use of information pertaining to opponents’ prior actions, the stage of the tournament, one’s chip stack size and seating position all contribute towards a statistically significant improvement in the number of tournaments won. Additionally, we test the hypothesis that a strategy which combines information from all the aforementioned factors performs better than one which employs only a single factor. We show that an evolutionary algorithm is successfully able to resolve conflicting signals from the specified factors, and that the resulting strategies are statistically stronger.