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POKER TEACHES strategic thinking in work and play, life and law

initial offerings by professors nesson and lederer

with Andrew Woods and Kevin Wallen, Annie Duke, Brandon Adams, Ken Stalter

participation invited by pst societies around the world (formed or in formation)

accompanied by bilateral pst discussion and play ( e.g., cambridge v. cambridge)

culminating in face to face invitational tournament and conference

we study poker as history, game theory, entertainment, education and law

we read great books, watch great films, and play great poker

Ours is an adventure in teaching and learning in cyberspace. Join us.

what's a WIKI
how do i join in

thanks to my daughter rebecca for her inspiration and guidance in all dimensions of this enterprise. thanks to my daughter leila believing in my aspiration. thanks to fern, my partner in all things.

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We seek to create a course that demonstrates (1) the value of poker in teaching strategic thinking for use beyond the card table, in business, law and life; and (2) the value for education, both face to face and online, of the huge interest in poker, not only among university students, but also among prospective students in the larger population beyond.

In our course we will study poker as history, game theory, entertainment, education and law. We will read good books, watch and talk about good films, and learn to play good poker in the various poker games of life.

Learning to be Stupid, Learning to be Smart

where are you along the path of learning


moebius transformation: the riemann sphere on the complex plane with u as insight point
Plato's Allegory of the Cave
Flatland, Edwin Abbott (to loosen your ability to see in different dimension - what seems complicated in one dimension may be simple when seen from another)

buy a journal book, find a pen you like to write with, keep a journal for this course, or if you choose, keep a digital journal
in your journal - what is your passion, what is the question driving your life

learned stupidity and the plight of public education
integrated media education offers freedom from geo-location

Beginning Poker -- Strategy in One Card War

charlie and andrew teach and talk lessons of one-card war
Andrew leads discussion driven by the question tool
how to think about
the idea of strategy

We will tell the story of poker.

the challenge of learning
the stages of learning

Poker as a classic framework for contests of courage and intelligence.

Strategic Thinking: Introduction to Poker as a Strategic Game
learn to play one card war
form into groups of eight agreed upon a time to play and talk
register and obtain a password for your group
read and talk about
A. Alvarez, The Biggest Game in Town
A Big Deal, The Economist
watch and talk about
Poker Teaches (Google Video)

Presidential Poker

with Jim McManus:

Out West, Back East, and in Europe, 1883-1900




Play Poker

Howard Lederer, Brandon Adams and Andrew Woods

analyze the final hand in The Cincinnati Kid: What was the kid's mistake?
analyze in the final hand in Rounders: What hand can Teddy possibly have been playing? What was his tell?
Donath, Signals, Cues and Meaning
a lesson from the professor- - Howard Lederer: Poker is a Strategic Betting Game
listen to:
Phil Gordon explain no limit hold'em
Gus Hansen explain betting strategy
Daniel Negreanu, Hand Rankings
read Chris Furgeson's Strategy
Play it on FullTilt

History of the Growth of Tournament Texas Hold'em


charlie talks with Crandell Addington and Doyle Brunson to tell the history of hold'em
charlie talks with Jeffrey Pollack and Jim McManus about the history of the World Series of Poker


charlie talks with Mike Sexton to tell The PartyGaming Story: Part I - Before UIGEA

Poker as Theory

Programming Algorithms, and Computer Coding

Flatland, Edwin Abbott (to loosen your ability to see in different dimension)

Strategic Thinking
Binmore, Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2007)
Sjoerd Henstra & Robin van der Zwan, Artificial intelligence and data mining applied to no-limit Texas Hold’em

Poker as Language, Metaphor, and Preparation for Business, Law and Life

Strategy in Poker, Business & War by John McDonald
Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation ?, (Chap.1)
Grossman, New Tack Wins Prisoners Dilemma
Francis Beer, Games and Metaphors
Baird, Game Theory and Law (Chap.1)
Apostolico, Poker Strategies for a Winning Edge in Business
Lubet, Lawyers' Poker
Schreiber, Poker as Life

articulate metaphors for each of the parameters of the Henstra Zwan program drawn from business, law and love

Poker as a Strategy for Education

Annie Duke:

I would love to teach such a class. I would talk about poker as a tool for teaching proper decision making under conditions of uncertainty.

Some of the main points would be:

1) Understanding the relationships between decisions and outcomes, that they are not one to one where good decision= good outcome and bad decision=bad outcome. That under the kind of decision making problem poker presents the decision must be evaluated somewhat independently of the outcome…that a bad outcome does not always mean a mistake and vice versa. This applies well to understanding things like drug use or drunk driving, for example.

2) Poker as the paradigm for teaching strategies geared toward making decisions easier for ourselves going down the road. Understanding when decisions will be too difficult so we choose to opt out by a fold or an all-in. Understanding when those moves are ok. Understanding strength of position in relation to whether we must offer first or second in a negotiation. Etc.

3) poker as the ideal game for understanding good decision making strategies because of the quick feedback loop

4) Sunk Cost bias as it relates to poker and beyond.

Poker as a Strategy for a Developing Nation


Law's False Criminalization of Poker

Mohammad's Wisdom: Mohammad's Word
The Legality of Chess
Common Law: Does Skill Predominate Chance
Meaning of the Legal Standard
Addictions to Games of Skill and Games of Chance
Brandon Adams, Broke
The Law of Harvard
01 BeatsInSpace.mp3
The Law of Massachusetts
Lottery Statute
Interpretation by courts
United States v. Marder
Interpretation by the Massachusetts Attorney General
Proposed Criminalization
The Law of the USA: There is No Federal Law against Online Poker
Wire Act
Interpretation by Federal Courts
Interpretation by Attorneys General
The Law of Nations
Charmin' Betsy
charlie talks to tbd to tell The PartyGaming Story: Part II - UIGEA and After

Poker Tournament