Match Day 2

Alright, so I've got to get myself caught up here. The second match day was nuts, and a ton of stuff happened so let me see what I can remember. I got up fairly early excited about the match. We did so well on day one, that we kind of expected to win! Alas, that was not to be. I got in early enough to start setting up. Are room was moved to another one so that the one we were in first could be used for the keynote talks (which I haven't been able to attend). So we needed to make sure the new room suited our purposes. The hotel did an excellent job of setting it up though so there wasn't a huge amount of stuff to do. The first match got under way and Phil played a pretty decent game, but I don't think he played perfectly. Unfortunately for us, Ali did better than Polaris did and the humans took down the 3rd match. (for exact details check out the match blog I slaved over). After the loss we of course wanted to know what happened. It turns out that the bot we fielded had a bug in it that killed its learning abilities and so it got stuck playing a less effective bot. Ouch, that hurt.

The final match was looming, and we had to decide what bot to put in the seat. It took a long time to debate what to play, but we decided to try and play a safe bot -- the equilibrium bot that broke even in match 1. Unfortunately for us, Ali was just too brilliant and new how to take the bot down in the last match. We were disappointed, but we're looking for a rematch and are hungry for revenge. Both Ali and Phil heaped praise on the bot though saying that it was the most intense match of their lives and that they had to play the best poker they had ever played just to do what they did. Here's a youtube video I posted (thanks to Nolan for thinking quick and grabbing the camcorder for this section):

Awesome. Phil and Ali were so great. I can't wait to meet up with them again at the rematch! After the match, after the media finished their interviews and we packed up stuff in the room, and after we got autographs from the players (and signed programs for the players as well), the people who were too tired went to bed and everyone else went in seek of food, drink, and fun. All the people who decided to stay out ended up at an awesome restaurant called Bin 941. The food there was absolutely incredible. I spent a lot of time chatting with Ali and his girlfriend Ana. They're both so smart and really easy to get along with. I hope I was able to interest them even a tiny portion of how much they interested me. I loved getting the inside perspective on what it's like to be a professional high stakes poker player. I'm not seriously thinking about pursuing that, but it's nice to have a chance to hear about it from an insider.

Anyways, I stumbled back to our apartment condo half drunk and extremely happy with how the day had gone even though we lost the match. It was an extremely enjoyable experience and I would love to do it again. Even though I was exhausted. I got back and stumbled into bed around 3:45am ... only to have to get up in the morning to attend a round table poker meeting with other researchers who wrote poker bots for the AAAI bot competition. But that was another day.