If you are looking to deep dive into the intricacies of Texas Holdem, a game also referred to as the “Cadillac of Poker” by legend Doyle Brunson, we recommend the academic resources listed below, as well as a few rare and sometimes obscure websites offering unique insights into the game. The trick is to incorporate these elements of wisdom into your playbook as a professional player. Note that these resources touch on holdem in the broad sense, from game theory to mindset, as the game we love is multi-disciplinary in nature. We have broken down this directory into the following categories : academic, governmental, industry and addiction.
Selected Academic Papers / Texas Holdem Resources
- Johns Hopkins Article on Computing Texas Holdem – Avi Rubin is a computer science professor at John Hopkins University who became passionate about cards following his own brother’s success at the game online. His story is especially compelling because of his atypical background. His game has a strong theoretical component that prospective players can learn from. Read about how Avi went from a college environment to final tabling a major tournament in this eye-opening article. Check out Avi’s website if you’re looking for more personal information.
- Creation of a Competitive Heads Up Poker Player – Creating bots has been a hot topic in the poker vertical recently. Some unscrupulous players try to gain an edge using banned robot software, while others complain that bots will harm the game in the long run. Some observers of the holdem ecosystem view this as an interesting challenge from a technological standpoint. Master & phD students from leading colleges in the United States have studied the limits of Artifical Intelligence when it comes to facing humans at a zero-sum games such as poker. Could a Kasparov-like robot be devised that could potentially defeat Phil Ivey ? The difference is that the game tree is close to infinite, and we are in a world of imperfect information unlike chess. As such, devising a winning program is a monumental task. Some approximations need to be made, and betting patterns need to be drastically simplified. This paper proposes an interesting implementation to achieve a winning heads up poker bot.
- Statistical Analysis of Mike Linn’s Online Career – How much of an edge, or insight can you gain from data-mining lifetime career stats and incorporating the findings back into your game ? Danny Bragonier, a Cal Poly student, posed this very question analyzing the stats of his roommate Mike Linn, a successful poker player. It turns out that creating a positive feedback loop from these numbers was harder than expected, and no real conclusions were drawn. However, we still recommend this paper for the well thought out approach, and for ideas on how to better analyze your own game.
- Texas Holdem Math Problems from Cornell – If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of poker, and stray a little from the beaten path, then we recommend this problem set from Cornell. Most players use the same resources to strengthen their games, for example the Harrington on Holdem books, or 2+2 forums. In the future, your edge will come from multiplying your learning sources, including academic ones. How many poker players use Google Scholar to find a good thesis about game theory or Texas Holdem ?
- The Mathematics of Poker by Bill Chen – Ever want to learn the math behind the game of poker ? Find out about the fascinating world or probabilities, expected value (or EV), zero-sum games, game theory and Nash equilibrium. Yes, it takes a lot of work to understand the theory behind the game. That’s why an entire book was dedicated to the subject.
Selected Governmental Resources
- Study on whether Poker is a game of skill or chance . A lot of players want to see the game of Texas Holdem legalized, and one of their strongest arguments is that it is skill-based. How could the same players keep making final tables every year ? The following study from the Institute of Psychology and Cognition Research sheds some light on this age old debate.
- Washington State Gambling Commission : The state of Washington has a omission whose mission statement is to protect the public by ensuring that gambling is legal and honest. They have interesting regulations regarding holdem on a National level that could be utilized on a Federal level if legalization ever happened.
- Delaware Gaming Control Board : Delaware implements a similar commission but referred to as a board. They have clear laws regarding who can run Texas Holdem tournaments in the State.
- Charitable Gambling in State of New York. New York prohibits Texas Holdem tournaments even if the proceeds are donated to charities. Read up on which alternative games are legal.
Selected Industry Leading Websites
Pokerlistings Poker Guide. This is an affiliate site, however the content is exceptional throughout. The owners did a great job covering every aspect of the game. They also cover many demographics world-wide using outstanding SEO and there are dozens of local flavors of the Pokerlistings brand, utilizing different TLD (top level domains) or sub-domains of the main root domain. High quality articles, excellent editorials, and superior news coverage.
PokerNews.com Holdem News Created by famous player Tony G, PokerNews.com produces more news pieces than any other online news outlet. They have become a brand in the online poker vertical, and drive significantly more traffic that their number two contender Pokernewsdaily.com. Both sites are highly recommended to get your poker news fix.
Selected Gambling Addiction Help Links
Gambler’s Anonymous A link to twenty frequently asked questions if you know someone in need of help, or have trouble controlling your betting patterns at the poker table.
Medicine Net Addiction Articles End to end guide to the subject on online gambling addiction.