UAlberta Prof Takes On Texas Hold 'em, And Wins - with a Robot!

As an achievement this is cool. And I'm sure that there are practical payoffs (so to speak), but I wish I had a clearer idea of what they were. How does this apply to medical research (as claimed) for example? Any thoughts?

Imagine someone playing 200 games of poker an hour for 12 hours a day against the same poker robot without missing a day for 70 years. That person couldn’t tell the difference between a perfect bot or an imperfect one, said Michael Bowling, a professor of computer science at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, because there is always an element of chance in the hands. With the new program, a person’s winnings would be exactly what would be expected in playing against a perfect bot.

To a game theorist, that means the problem has been solved, and marks the largest game of its kind to be solved by an algorithm.