Posts Tagged ‘game-theory’

Chris Ferguson (and His Father) Hosting Seminar at UCLA

by , May 20, 2010 | 3:43 am

click to enlarge

Team Full Tilt SuperPro and poker TV-star Dr. Chris Ferguson is headed back to his alma mater next week, holding a panel discussion at UCLA to engage an enormous mass of youthful, energetic brainpower.

The event is called:

How to make an online poker site with avatars that smile

Betting on Chris “Jesus” Ferguson: Math, Computer Science and Poker

Fellow panelists will include a few other academic types, including the ever-wise father of Jesus, and Bill Chen.

Maybe coincidental maybe not, that Chris Ferguson is getting back in touch with a potentially loyal fan base during the very last week of May. Even with no intent other than to visit his old college to talk some hardcore math, the seminar should provide great footage of him not at a poker table nor wearing a Full Tilt patch, you know, just in case … as Rod Blagojevich can attest there are times in a man’s career when he might wanna embark on a book tour even when you don’t yet have a book to sell.

The free event is Monday, May 24, from 6 to 7:30 pm PT. If you can’t make it to UCLA, you can watch it live on Ustream here, and engage in twitter-chat with the hashtag #uclagametheory.


Poker = World Peace?

by , May 3, 2009 | 3:34 pm

Interesting article circulating among soldiers of fortune and military experts looking for new ways to win end the war in Afghanistan by applying game theory to situations on the ground. Not to give away the ending, but in assessing whether a village is more likely to support the Taliban or the Coalition, the Small Wars Journal says:

Can a round of poker solve Afghanistan’s problems? Not exactly, but understanding the basics of game theory can offer military planners an alternative way to design solutions to the wicked problems they may face.

Full article (pdf) here. Via @HowardHLederer via Bill Rini.

ALT HED: Poker = Whirled Peas


Harvard, Professor out to Prove God Exists Poker = Skill

by , May 5, 2007 | 5:00 am

There was a pretty interesting article in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal about a recent gathering at Harvard University, which set out to bring together some of the brightest minds in academia to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that poker is a game of skill. (Uh duh.) Howard Lederer was the main poker dude on hand, along with famed Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson, Annie Duke, Andy Bloch, PPA honcho Michael Bolcerek, and a number cruncher who wants to run the math on billions of hands.

The WSJ’s unscientific poll is currently running 77-23 in favor of skill. Read the article and you’ll see this isn’t about rehashing old theories and debates … because really, what do you think the poll results would be if we asked: “Is life primarily a matter of skill or luck.” I am guessing 77-23 might be pretty close to the results here, too.

In the article, Lederer espouses a new talking-point argument that I hadn’t yet heard/thought of:

The “vast majority” of high-betting poker hands, he says, are decided after all players except the winner have folded. So if no one shows his cards, Mr. Lederer says, “can you legally argue that the outcome was determined by luck?”

Cool stuff — and good to see, in the ivory towers at least, a growing recognition of how some of what is currently shaking down in the poker world reaches into important future matters of internet law, international law, international business, and economics.

After his strategy session wrapped up, Prof. Nesson led the group to a bar for drinks. He was delighted, he said, at how the group “pushed game theory to the level of metaphor.” Sipping a scotch on the rocks, he tossed out the idea of creating a poker university, with himself as one of its teachers. Then, “we could infuse all levels of education with the skills that come from poker,” he said.