It apparently wasn't easy, but a pair of top human poker players managed to narrowly beat a brash young artificial intelligence program yesterday in a poker match scientists had touted as a "milestone" comparable to Garry Kasparov's 1997 bout with the IBM's chess-playing Deep Blue. According to the AFP, the four-round match stretched on until 11pm, with poker players Phil Laak and Ali Eslami ultimately edging out the program, dubbed Polaris, by 570 points. Eslami seems to have been particularly impressed by his competitor, saying that he found playing against Polaris more exhausting than any previous game in his career, adding that "it's already so good it will be tough to beat in future." No word on a rematch just yet, but don't be surprised if you run into Polaris the next time you play a little online poker -- it's gotta recoup its losses somehow.

[Photo courtesy of AP]

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Humans fend off AI challenge in "milestone" poker match