Poker Theory and Analytics Sloan School of Management MIT OpenCourseWare

Will points at me and says, “This guy’s been studying poker at MIT.” “Wow, that’s a great school,” the guy replies, and I shrink inward. Before I can elaborate, he explains that this is his first-ever poker tournament and that he’s been walking around for 15 minutes trying to find where he’s supposed to pick up his chips. It’s a simple game made more complicated by the infinite number of factors in play—namely, the qualities of the other humans you’re up against. It’s a nonstop mind game in which players must figure out why, or why not, competitors are betting. As the old poker saying goes, you play the players, not the cards.

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use. Bolstered by the confidence that can come only with a combination of empirical data and a little experience, I make my way to the teller window, $45 cash in hand. If the next card also shows clubs, I’m toast—he’d have five cards of the same suit, a flush.

In general, first year of MBA curriculum is all core courses (‘compulsory’) and second year is almost entirely electives. Back then more than 100 electives were offered out of which an individual student would have to study 21 or so to earn enough credits to graduate. An overview of the course requirements, expectations, software used for tournaments, advanced techniques, and some basics tools and concepts for the class are discussed in this lecture. Guest Bill Chen discusses Cepheus, explains regret minimization, Counterfactual Regret, and improvements, and the extension of computer solutions to other games including big bet and multi-player games. I showed weakness and let an opponent muscle me out of playing a good hand. I couldn’t help but feel like I had let MIT down as the dealer shoved my share of chips to the other side of the table.

Was in Bangalore just a couple of days back, and really enjoyed getting some poker in one of the card rooms and we were playing NLHE, PLO cash games. I play very infrequently …but they are 10 awesome hours. Over the past 3-4 years, I also study poker for my academic teaching and research purposes. So, there is a nice bonus of learning the new games as well…like OFC. Also follow some of the good players like SumitSapra who has been doing well…we studied together in Lucknow. Back then Dhanteras linked poker and teen-patti was quite happening.

A dealer then lays down shared community cards on the table faceup. This is called “the flop.” After a round of betting, a fourth card, “the turn,” is laid out. Players bet again, followed by a fifth card, “the river,” and then one last round of betting. Millie Dent is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, where she served as News Editor of the University newspaper. She previously worked as a research assistant for Forbes Editor, Richard Behar, on his book about Bernie Madoff and was a contributing writer for Forbes on the business behind media and entertainment. This course is offered during the Independent Activities Period , which is a special 4-week term at MIT in January.

I found that at the end of the day, my greatest interest was in financial innovation and the opportunity to come to Sloan to learn among the most dedicated academics in the world was not one I could pass up. …concepts that are very difficult to teach new traders … are fundamental concepts covered throughout this type of poker education. It’s probably not a good endorsement of my character, but casinos put me at ease.

Students who took MIT’s course for credit were asked to rack up hours in a private league created for the class by PokerStars, a major online gambling site . They were granted free access to a poker tracker that enabled them to archive and tabulate their statistics. It was odd to see such product placement in a college class—both the online league and poker tracker were heavily branded—but I’d rather not clutch pearls when I’m learning how to better separate people from their money. Class teacher and finance graduate Kevin Desmond believes that the same strategic thinking that is vital for positive returns in poker is also important in other areas of life. For example, a better understanding of risk management can help investors plan their moves. Desmond offers himself as a prime example; he plays poker at the professional level while working as an analyst for Morgan Stanley.

I spent several years playing poker professionally while studying finance as an undergraduate at Villanova University. I chose to join Morgan Stanley as a trader rather than pursue poker as a iphone xs max megapixel career. My transition into trading was very seamless as a result of my experience playing poker and interest in game theory concepts. I would like MIT students to have the same opportunity.

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