When: MWF 3:30 - 5:00 PM, Jan 18th to Feb 3rd, 2012
Where: MIT 54 - 100 (the room has been changed, since we have over 200 people!)
Instructor: Will Ma, willma at mit dot edu
Professor: Dimitris Bertsimas, dbertsim at mit dot edu
Credits: H 3 units, can be repeated for credit

Syllabus (very rough): card counting, myths of poker, preflop ranges, polarization, bet sizing, implied odds, reverse implied odds, flop analysis, credible bluffs, thin value, folding good hands, slow-playing, river odds, ICM theory, best responding, faults of Nash Equilibrium, decisions vs. results, statistics and variance, risk management

Grading: Pass / Fail. I have set up a private home league for MIT 15.S50, on Pokerstars. To pass, you need to accumulate 10 points playing online poker tournaments in the league. There are no PSets or Exams. More details in the Lecture 1 Slides, on the right.

Daily Tournament Schedule (subject to change; doesn't include specials):
  • 6:00 PM - Daily 6-handed
  • 7:00 PM - Daily Major
  • 8:00 PM - Daily Turbo
  • 9:00 PM - Daily Deepstack
  • 10:00 PM - Daily Shortstack
  • 11:00 PM - Daily Hyper-turbo
Prizes for Top X in Points (more TBA); thanks a lot to our generous donators!


These announcements are mailed to the mitpokerclass at mit dot edu mailing list and archived below.

Monday, February 6th

  • The course is over! Thanks for a great month to all the students and supporters. If I'm around MIT next January, I'll definitely do this again.
  • Keep in touch on the facebook group!

Saturday, January 28th

  • CristianF sent instructions to the mailing list on how to use Universal Replayer to replay your hand histories.
  • This Thursday night will be your last chance to get the 10 points necessary to pass the course. If you don't already have 10 points, you need to start playing more tournaments now! Reports for those who did not get 10 points will be due Monday, February 6th.

Thursday, January 19th

  • Please use Poker Stove to help you learn! If you are a Mac User, you need to run it off Wine or something similar.

Friday, January 13th

  • The room has been changed, since we have over 200 people! The new room is MIT 54-100, in the Green Building, the tallest building on campus.
  • I updated the homepage with more class details, and uploaded 2 Youtube videos on the right-hand-side "Main Menu": one on how to setup Pokerstars, one on how to play poker using the Pokerstars interface. Online tournaments start as soon as the first class is over, so you can get a head start by setting it up before the first class!
  • I need to ask for a huge favor from the class. Does anyone own, or have free access to videotaping equipment? A lot of people emailed me asking about this, so it would be for everyone's benefit if someone could videotape the classes and put them on Youtube. You wouldn't need to man the recorder every class; I can get people to take turns. Please help me if you have any suggestions; thanks so much!

Tuesday, January 10th

  • Link to IAP Course Posting
  • A list of terminology and concepts that are good to know before the course begins has been posted in the Materials section of the homepage. Please read it over and see if it makes sense to you. If it doesn't, see the two options below.
  • MIT Pokerbots will be running their lecture on poker basics tomorrow, that will cover most of the things in the above list. Attendance is optional and only for those who need a review. The time is 5-7 PM; the location is 10-250.
  • The Pokerstars Online School is another place to go if you want a review. They'll cover all the things in the above list. You'll also be able to familiarize yourself with Pokerstars, the software that we'll be using to play online poker for fictitious money. If you register at Pokerstars, be sure to make your screenname FIRST_LAST_MIT...I will post a tutorial soon for how to get into the MIT home league.