When considering games with no random events, such as Chess, programmers can “solve” the game if, from any given position, the computer can demonstrate a guaranteed path to victory.

With Poker, the game can only advance sufficiently to beat a human player over the course of many games; and by “beat”, I mean “win more money than”, not “win more games than”. There’s never a guarantee that freak odds won’t ruin your day, although as the number of hands gets higher, the math becomes more and more like certainty.

So it is that man will play machine July 4-6 during the Gaming Life Expo of the World Series of Poker. The machine is Polaris, designed by University of Alberta’s Jonathan Schaeffer and co. It’s the same group that designed Chinook, the program that is now invincible in Checkers.

The game will be Duplicate Poker.

(source, hat tip, image)