Poker Academy Donates $13,000 of Texas Hold’em Software to Lehigh University for Continued Research and Development in Artificial Intelligence

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Poker Academy, a leading software developer of poker products, has donated $13,000 in software to Lehigh University for students in computer science and engineering to use in artificial intelligence (AI) research projects.

Poker Academy, a leading software developer of poker products, has donated $13,000 in software to Lehigh University for students in computer science and engineering to use in artificial intelligence (AI) research projects.

Hector Munoz-Avila, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, said the donated software will be used in “Artificial Intelligence: Game Programming,” a course offered last fall for the first time that will be taught again next fall.

The goal of the students using the donated software in the new class, which Munoz-Avila teaches, will be to make better, more challenging computer games that adapt to a player’s behavior, style and level of skill.

“Only a few games currently employ adaptive artificial intelligence, which is also called machine learning,” said Munoz-Avila, who has a grant from the Naval Research Laboratory to study game programming. “Most are ‘hard-coded’ to operate at a fixed level or levels.

“Adaptive AI is code that allows computer software to adapt over time to a players’ skill levels and even to improvements they make,” said Munoz-Avila. “A chess game equipped with adaptive AI will ‘dumb down’ in a few moves against an inexperienced player, but play tougher against a grandmaster.”

“We are pleased to be part of this on-going research and development initiative of artificial gaming intelligence,” said Kurt Lange, president of Poker Academy ( “The AI gaming platform for our poker product, which was developed over more than 10 years, has computer opponents that actually think like humans. Since the game gets better as the player improves, the game is always challenging and thus a very effective learning tool. We look forward to seeing what the CSE students come up with.”

The students in Munoz-Avila’s game-programming class study and develop algorithms, which are methods of encoding programs that tell computers how to solve problems. The students will use their algorithms to study the software robots, or bots, that are created to replace human beings in poker, hearts and other online games.

Other goals of the students will be to determine how “smart” computers can be made and whether AI gives unfair advantages to the bots or machines against which humans play computer games.

Munoz-Avila said that Jarret Raim, a graduate student in computer science, found the Poker Academy online, looked at its API (application program interface, a way in which programs communicate), and found it could “talk” to other programs, making it a good fit for the Lehigh game programming course.

“Our interest is that this game has a very nice API that we can interface with our machine learning programs,” said Munoz-Avila.

About Poker Academy

Poker Academy is a leading software developer of poker products. The company develops the world’s most advanced Texas Hold’em poker learning tool, Poker Academy Pro, utilizing world renowned artificial intelligence developed over 10 years, designed to help users learn, adapt and improve their poker skills. Poker Academy Pro includes No Limit, Limit and Tournament play along with many feature-rich components. Poker Academy is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, and has U.S. office in Minnetonka, MN. For more details, please visit

About Lehigh University

Lehigh University, a nationally ranked teaching and research institution, offers distinctive interdisciplinary and hands-on programs, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, in colleges of arts and sciences, business and economics, education, and engineering and applied science. Lehigh is small enough for faculty to give students personal attention in classrooms and labs and large enough to maintain internationally recognized research centers and institutes in traditional disciplines and emerging fields. Lehigh is located in Bethlehem, Pa., less than 75 miles from New York City and Philadelphia. For more details, please visit

Media Contacts:

Poker Academy

Anthony Giombetti


Lehigh University

Kurt Pfitzer



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