🎰 Poker Theory and Analytics | Sloan School of Management | MIT OpenCourseWare

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A Texas Hold'em game from a player's point of view. (Courtesy of Peter Hopper on Flickr. License CC BY-NC.) Instructor(s). Kevin Desmond.


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Uhh the caption under the first course description picture says "Poker chips, playing cards, and dice needed to play Texas Hold'em.".


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Uhh the caption under the first course description picture says "Poker chips, playing cards, and dice needed to play Texas Hold'em.".


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Taught by MIT grad student Will Ma, the course "covers the poker concepts, math concepts, and general concepts needed to play the game of.


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Poker Theory and Analytics is a graduate-level MIT course taught by Kevin Desmond, a former pro player and Morgan Stanley analyst. The school offers the​.


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Uhh the caption under the first course description picture says "Poker chips, playing cards, and dice needed to play Texas Hold'em.".


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A Texas Hold'em game from a player's point of view. (Courtesy of Peter Hopper on Flickr. License CC BY-NC.) Instructor(s). Kevin Desmond.


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Poker Theory and Analytics is a graduate-level MIT course taught by Kevin Desmond, a former pro player and Morgan Stanley analyst. The school offers the​.


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Taught by MIT grad student Will Ma, the course "covers the poker concepts, math concepts, and general concepts needed to play the game of.


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Poker Theory and Analytics is a graduate-level MIT course taught by Kevin Desmond, a former pro player and Morgan Stanley analyst. The school offers the​.


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But at the time, Emily thanked Steven for her meal and then didn't say anything to Matt. You might as well just save a lot of time by playing this fun game every single time. But situations like this happen all the time in poker. So he puts in two credit cards. Never anything. And she just checked the turn and checked the river instead of trying to get Patrick to put more money in because she was so certain Patrick had pocket kings. And then what happened was, so she had pocket jacks here, which is a really, really good hand. I once had to pay around 1, USD. She looked at Patrick and Antonius and had a feeling that he had pocket kings for some strange reason. So you know why split the bill? So here's another hypothetical situation. It was a pretty big table. And then we pull out the credit cards one at a time. Description: Will Ma gives an overview of the general topics and structure of the course, and begins the course by covering the basics of poker reasoning and play. So a risky gamble is a gamble where it takes a long time to converge at your expectation. And you look into your opponents eyes and you say, OK, I can tell your cards must be pocket kings or whatever. So this gets to level two reasoning. So I think it's a totally reasonable thing to do as a reasonable person to thank Steven who actually had to pull out his wallet. So I want everybody to think in terms of what's the maximum you could of made and analyzing what's the best decision you could possibly have made in every situation. She's flopped top set. I'm going to start with a story. So basically when we say a gamble is very risky I'm not mathematically defining anything here. And then Matt was upset about it and told the entire poker community. Your hand must beat this other hand. So they play credit card roulette. So what happens is poker players, they're going to split the bill by instead of everyone paying their own bill, which is annoying. Yeah, I think I'm pretty lucky. And over your lifetime, the amount you pay in credit card roulette is roughly going to be what you would have paid from splitting. Level one my hand versus your hand. As poker players, we would like to think that three things eventually get you. So all randomness eventually averages out to it's expected value. So let's see the example of this. Just mathematically speaking, out of all the possible combinations of cards you have, to put your opponent specifically on pocket kings in this example is basically unfounded. So I'm not going to go through the whole hand. So it's a pretty fun game. So we want to think about in terms of on average what your decision would have whether you would have made money in expectation or on average. It's like a game you play at the end of a guy going to restaurants. And sometimes the waiter or waitress doesn't want to split the bill per person. It's a game of skill for sure. But sometimes this results in some funny stories with non poker players. And that brings Emily, who's a close friend whom he also has a romantic interest in. So with that being said, now let's talk about some ways to reason about poker hands. But by this I mean, you can see what your cards are. The following content is provided under a Creative Commons license. And on average Matt is going to be paying for Emily because Matt's going to be paying the one third of the time that Emily would be paying. And then Matt, being a very lucky guy, pulls out both of his credit cards before Steven's. So Stephen puts in one credit card. But this is actually a real hand I played in Macau five, six years ago. And then Steven pays for himself. So level two reasoning is my hand versus your range of hands, versus your probability distribution of hands. So we get to the river and I had ace 10 in this situation.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} And sometimes it's hard because if the result is exactly correlated with the decision then you can just go back and look at the result and know whether you made a good decision or not. But overall I'm pretty good at this game. So this is something that happened to some poker players. So now the question is, who should Emily thank. You might have to Venmo people after the exact amount. And we like making this exciting. So let's say you get off at the wrong bus stop because you were distracted. And you played your hand exactly against your opponent's specific hand because you have a soul read on them. He's like the second credit card is for Steven-- is for Emily. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}Download the video from iTunes U or the Internet Archive. And if your credit card is pulled out then you're safe. That's what this is saying. Who here has heard of credit card roulette? If you're a Jennifer Tilly hand-- I'm sorry if I'm making fun of her-- but basically she put her opponent on a specific hand. And then you immediately, you're no longer upset and you marvel at your riches. So Emily should be thanking Matt because, on average, Matt put in the card for Emily. Does anyone want to say to thank Steven? But I just want to throw out some intuitive concepts. Patrick flopped a pair of tens with a gutshot straight draw. So it's very important to analyze your decisions without being biased by the actual outcome that occurred. So poker pro Matt, he goes to dinner with poker pro Steven. And I'm going to show you how to reason about this hand using level two exploitative reasoning. It's a full house. So this is sort of an absurd story. So let's get started. But the point is, no matter how risky it is, eventually it will get you. So who would you thank if you were in Emily's shoes? And another name for this is exploitative play. So in this class we want everyone to think in terms of the expected results and not actual results. So roughly there's three levels of reasoning of poker hands. And then you were upset yourself you analyze how to not be distracted in the future and get off at the right bus stop. The biggest one I lost was in Hong Kong. So we'll watch an episode of Poker After Dark here. You have to keep track. So roughly, the law of large numbers says, over your lifetime, the amount you end up paying for credit card roulette is the same as you would have paid from splitting the bill. So poker players get around this by just picking one person at random to pay the bill. But that's why learning poker can sometimes be very, very hard because you don't have immediate feedback. So before I get into any poker I want to talk about the mentality I want everyone to try to have when analyzing poker in this class. And Steven ends up paying for all three of them. So I call it the decision mentality. And the last person in has to pay for the whole table. So let's look at a different hand. That's how I found out about this story. So you really want to be obsessed with this self-improvement, analyzing your decisions. So there's a saying that death, taxes are the two things that eventually get you. So what we do is we ask everyone to put in their credit cards. You're not sure whether the decision you made is what caused you to make that money or you just got lucky. So what does eventually mean?