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Mr Lau Heng Seng and Mr Daniel Chua at the bottom left with their award.

Singapore team wins IFMP” Asian Nations Pairs Challenge in Bangkok

by MS

BANGKOK - The two men team from Singapore emerged as winners in the International Federation of Match Poker “IFMP” Asian Nations Pairs Challenge held on Thursday last week (19 April 2018). The match is organised as part of the Thai Sports Festival by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Mr Lau Heng Seng and Mr Daniel Chua saw off the challenge of second placed Chinese Taipei and third placed Israel to secure Singapore’s first ever win in the team-based mind sport.

For the uninitiated, the game of poker is normally associated with gambling but the truth is far from it. While there is undeniably an element of luck from the flip of the cards in a short term of a gameplay but empirical studies have also shown skilled players who have sound mathematical knowledge of the game consistently outperform all other players in the long run.

In this event, IMFP took it further by removing completely the element of luck in its match poker variant, and teamed up with University of Alberta utilising their highly advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) poker machine “DeepStack” to compete against the national gamers.

This is the same AI program which recently made a technological breakthrough through deep machine learning and won against human professional poker players in the no-limit heads-up (two players) Texas Hold’em, the most popular poker variant played around the world today.

In the end, Singapore emerged victorious amongst the ten nations, with the highest overall combined scores against the AI machine.

The same system will be adopted in October’s IFMP Asia Nations Cup, which will also be held in Bangkok to determine the Asia finalists at the next IFMP World Poker Championships.

Final Placing and scores