Surely at one time or another everyone has witnessed a group of bourgeois canines playing anthropomorphic poker on one or the other of Cassius Coolidge’s series of paintings. But the man’s whimsical imagination wasn’t quite as far removed from reality as one might like to think. Perhaps you believe that chips and chimps do not go well together and that it sounds like something out of a Douglas Adams book, but if you ever played online against someone who had a great-ape photo for his icon, don’t be so sure it was just the excellent players irritating sense of online humor – you just may have lost a few thousand or more to an actual primate. If you thought using a stick to crack a walnut or a skull was the best an ape could do, in this early twenty-first century, when the world is on the verge of a Technological Singularity (think what an “intelligence explosion” can do to PC and online games), you, man or woman, had better think again.
Primate Programming Inc has established that great apes (sharing 97% of their DNA with us) make efficient IT specialists. Individuals are employed by PPI, undergo training and offer their services to PPI clients for peanuts. A later PPI discovery was that the same employees, for purposes of pastime or secondary sources of income, are capable of being taught to play online poker, evincing particular talent for no-limit Texas Hold’em.
If you still think this is a joke, please search “primate programming inc” on google. .
They favor no-limit poker, PPI informs us, because of their proclivity for playful (or half-playful) displays of aggression. In other words, the apes are naturally great at aggressive bluffing. In no-limit games, a player has the possibility to bet all they have at any time – this requires risky, aggressive play and the ability to bluff.
The anonymity of online games helps. There is no way to identify a player as non-human and human players confess losing thousands of dollars (to players later officially identified) when someone who played the early rounds with near to nothing and consistently displayed weak cards would suddenly “bet big”, have everyone call, and then – probably chattering with glee and typing with his/her toes – reveal aces.
The primate-players’ initial employment as computer programmers is not coincidental. It seems, according to PPI, that they independently develop programs which aide them during games. The nature of these programs has not yet been revealed. One thing is sure: “DrDestructo” and “ThePikerMan” could have a full-time professional (online) poker career, if only they wanted to. Outside the laboratory/office, they may neglect their training and prefer the old game of hurtling themselves at the bars of zoo cages and then grin their monkey grin at the startled adults and children. Still, as long as they are paid and fed regular, with bonuses, and are allowed to mate, David Sklansky and Ed Miller may need to update their No-limit Hold’em books in the nearest future.
For the past several years, Norm McAuliffe, a Yale biology Phd and the scientist heading the research team behind the discovery of programmer apes, has been investing money and effort into a Primate Poker Inc, “hiring” profitable ape-players to play for money in rotating shifts, 24 hours a day. He has been quoted as saying: “I’m completely committed to this business model. It is reasonable to say I am “all in”.”