No this won’t be one of those cutesy/annoying cat videos from YouTube. It is about deviant slot machine behavior. Again, no! This isn’t about Sparky36. It is about a far more exciting personality type — an 87-year-old grandmother.
To avoid my typos and blunders let me quote them from another source of typos and blunders: ARS Technica
“The reels have rolled your way! Bonus Award – $41797550.16.”
That’s what the Miss Kitty penny slot machine told 87-year-old Illinois grandmother Pauline McKee who was in Iowa during a family reunion in 2011. McKee and daughter thought they hit the big time—a $41.8 million payday. The two quickly demanded the mega payout from the Isle Hotel Casino in Waterloo.
But the casino refused to pay, concluding it was a computer glitch and that a sign on the game says “MALFUNCTION VOIDS ALL PAYS AND PLAYS.” She sued, and took her case all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court. The state’s high court sided with the casino Friday, ruling that the woman’s heart-pounding payout was worth just $1.85.
The seven-member high court unanimously ruled (PDF) that the user-agreement, available on the touch screen, said the maximum payout was $10,000 and that “bonus” awards were not allowed.
As the saying goes in legal jargon—a contract is a contract—the court ruled.
“Any message appearing on the screen indicating the patron would receive a $41 million bonus was a gratuitous promise and the casino’s failure to pay it could not be challenged as a breach of contract,” Justice Edward Mansfield wrote for the court.
The court added: “McKee did not read the rules of the game or look at the paytable before playing the Miss Kitty game.”
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission sent the machine—built by Aristocrat Technologies—for a forensics examination, which concluded a computer glitch was responsible for the faulty notice of a jackpot.
Adding insult to McKee’s injury, Aristocrat Technologies in 2010 issued a bulletin to casinos that it had detected the “bonus” glitch as a “rare occurrence,” and that casinos should disable that part of the system “as a preventative action.” The casino did not do that.
Stephen Jordan reports at the National Monitor that four of the world’s greatest poker players are going into battle against a computer program that researchers are calling Claudico in the “Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence” competition at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Claudico, the first machine program to play heads-up no-limit Texas Hold’em against top human players, will play nearly 20,000 hands with each human poker player over the next two weeks. “Poker is now a benchmark for artificial intelligence research, just as chess once was. It’s a game of exceeding complexity that requires a machine to make decisions based on incomplete and often misleading information, thanks to bluffing, slow play and other decoys,” says Tuomas Sandholm, developer of the program. “And to win, the machine has to out-smart its human opponents.” In total, that will be 1,500 hands played per day until May 8, with just one day off to allow the real-life players to rest. An earlier version of the software called Tartanian 7 (PDF) was successful in winning the heads-up, no-limit Texas Hold’em category against other computers in July, but Sandholm says that does not necessarily mean it will be able to defeat a human in the complex game. “I think it’s a 50-50 proposition,” says Sandholm. “My strategy will change more so than when playing against human players,” says competitor Doug Polk, widely considered the world’s best player, with total live tournament earnings of more than $3.6 million. “I think there will be less hand reading so to speak, and less mind games. In some ways I think it will be nice as I can focus on playing a more pure game, and not have to worry about if he thinks that I think, etc.”