When: MWF 3:30 - 5:00 PM, Jan 14th to Feb 1st, 2013 (holiday on Jan 21st)
Where: ROOM CHANGE due to too many people! 10-250 during week 1, 32-123 during week 2, E62-276 during week 3.
Instructor: Will Ma, willma at mit dot edu
Professor: Dimitris Bertsimas, dbertsim at mit dot edu
Credits: 3 H units, can be repeated for credit

Syllabus (very rough): preflop ranges, bet sizing, implied odds, flop texture, polarization, counting outs, credible bluffs, thin value bets, slow-playing, ICM theory, probability and expectation, Law of Large Numbers, Nash Equilibrium, variance and risk, myths of poker, poker lifestyle

Grading: Pass / Fail. I have set up a private home league for MIT 15.S50, on Pokerstars. To pass, you need to attend at least 6 out of 8 lectures and accumulate 10 points playing online poker tournaments in the league. There are no PSets or Exams. If you took the class last year, instead of the lecture attendance requirement, you are required to accumulate 20 points while achieving at least 1.00 PPG (points per game) at the end. More details in the Lecture 1 Slides.

Guest Speakers: Bill Chen (Jan 18th), Matt Hawrilenko (Jan 25th), Mike McDonald (Jan 28th), Jennifer Shahade (Jan 30th), Charles Nesson (Feb 1st)

Daily Tournament Schedule (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 Participants; thanks a lot to our generous donators!


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

Sunday, February 3rd

  • Keep in touch on the facebook group!
  • A reminder that the Pokerbots Final Event is tomorrow, 3:30 - 5:00, in Kresge Auditorium. I will be speaking about the results of the Human vs. Bot challenge so find out how we did! There will be a variety of sponsor swag, and lots of Bot vs. Bot action too.

Friday, January 25th

If have not started playing yet and need me to approve you for the PokerStars Home Games League, please EMAIL me, because I won't be checking otherwise.

Friday, January 25th

Modified Saturday Schedule: Same as usual, except everything moved 6 hours earlier. Modified Sunday Schedule: See below! Crazy additions!
  • 12pm - Heads-Up Shootout Championship (2 players per table. Tournament goes in rounds, with the winner of each table advancing to the next round.)
  • 2pm - Sunday SuperDeepstack (10,000 starting chips, 10 minute blinds)
  • 4pm - Crazy Shortstack Hyperturbo (1,000 starting chips, 3 minute blinds)
  • 5pm - 6-handed Deepstack (5,000 starting chips, 10 minute blinds)
  • 7pm - Sunday Shortstack Turbo (2,000 starting chips, 5 minute blinds)
  • 8pm - Normal Tournament (3,000 starting chips, 10 minute blinds)
  • 10pm - MEGAstack HYPERturbo (20,000 starting chips, 3 minute blinds)
  • 11pm - Sunday Turbo (3,000 starting chips, 5 minute blinds)

Friday, January 18th

A bunch of you asked me how the Points for the PokerStars Standings are calculated. Quoting PokerStars:
  • "The total points awarded for a qualified tournament are exactly equal to the number of players in the tournament. So a 20-player tournament awards 20 points and a 50-player tournament awards 50 points. The points awarded are spread across the top third of participants, with a higher proportion going to higher placements in the finish order. (Rounding may occur to ensure that total points equal total players and top third of players is a whole number.)"

Friday, January 18th

  • Congratulations to those of you who played the MIT Poker Club Live Qualifier Tournament yesterday and made it through to play the MIT Poker Club Live Main Event tomorrow.
  • You have earned 5 points for this class.
  • Note that these points will only count toward passing, and not toward prizes, because I want the Standings in the PokerStars Lobby to be correct for the prizes.
  • At the end of the course, please email me if you NEED these 5 points to have enough points.

Tuesday, January 15th

Explanations for Tournaments
  • Daily 6-handed - There are only 6 players per table, instead of the usual 9.
  • Daily Major - The tournament with the slowest blind increase time (15 instead of usual 10). The tournament that takes the longest time.
  • Daily Turbo - Blinds go up every 5 minutes, instead of 10.
  • Daily Deepstack - You start with 5000 instead of 3000 chips.
  • Daily Shortstack - You start with 2000 instead of 3000 chips.
  • Daily Hyper-turbo - Blinds go up every 3 minutes, instead of 10.

Monday, January 14th

Instructions for Mac users to get PokerStove
  • 1. Download Wine and WineBottler: http://winebottler.kronenberg.org/
  • 2. Download the most recent pokerstove.exe file: http://www.pokerstove.com/download/
  • 3. Right-click on the pokerstove.exe file and select "open with Wine"
  • 4. Select "convert to simple OS X Application bundle with WineBottler" and follow the installation instructions.
  • This will create an application called "My Wine App" (you can rename it). Then you can open the file as normal.

Monday, January 14th

Links for Poker Club tournament

Thursday, January 10th

  • Welcome!
  • Read the links on the right sidebar and install Pokerstars.
  • I'm lecturing for sister class MIT Poker Bots tomorrow, from 5:00 - 6:00 in 10 - 250, where I will be covering some basics about poker that are relevant to poker AI's. If you are rusty on the basics of poker, this would be a decent refresher, although not directly on topic.
  • link to course flyer