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MIT Offering Poker Classes and a Bot Competition

By Matt Kaufman, Rakeback.com Poker News Editor

Poker players understand the intricacies and strategies of poker. It requires highly analytical thinking to be successful, but some non-players often incorrectly view it as a game of luck.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is world-renowned for its scientific and technological educational and research facilities, and as one might imagine, the school has correctly concluded that poker is an intriguing game based on probabilities. In fact, they believe the game is worthy of being taught to and researched by its students.

Will Ma, a poker pro and PhD student at MIT, began teaching a poker class this semester to over 200 students. The class focuses on the mathematical principles behind the game, and students are required to play in tournaments – their grades are even partially influenced by their results.

On top of that, the first-ever MIT Pokerbots Competition has been taking place over the last several weeks. Teams of students will program pokerbots, and the bots will officially compete with each other on February 2nd. At least $30,000 in prizes are up for grabs for the best teams.

Although the poker world may not be better off with a few hundred math-wiz sharks entering the player pool, MIT’s endorsement of poker will certainly be nice to use as ammo the next time you find yourself arguing that poker is a game of skill.

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