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The University of Southampton
Southampton SIAM Student Chapter

Application of Game Theory to the Poker game (continued) Seminar

15:00 - 16:00
2 May 2018
The Ketley Room (B54 / lvl 4)

Event details

Almost everyone has tried to play poker at least once. However, most of people barely have an idea what is behind the game and how to beat other players. Nowadays, poker is recognized as a mind sport. More than 50 countries around the world have association or federation of poker, including UK. The popularity of the game grows from day to day with millions of dollars played for, live and online, around the world. The natural question arises – if poker is intellectual game, does it have anything to do with game theory? The answer is “yes”. In fact, Operational Researchers have essential skills to apply mathematical techniques to develop winning strategies in the game of poker. This will be demonstrated in this talk. We will start with an overview of the game – its rules and mathematics driving the game. Then well-known probabilistic concepts will be shown to explain the nature of profits/loses in the poker game. With the support of simple combinatorics, we will use these probabilistic concepts to introduce thinking environment for a poker player in terms of expected values. Poker is the game with closed information, which means players make decisions without having information of what cards other players have. This brings importance of building a model determining probabilities of the holdings of the opponents in the game. We will see that a good poker player essentially builds a mathematical model that confronts mathematical models of other players involved in the game. This will be the most important idea behind the talk and will be supported with several examples. Of course, confrontation of different models with closed information involves making subjective assumptions on the variables in the models. However, we will also have a look at “Game Theory Optimal” approach for the game, which does not have this biased element in it.

Speaker information

Andrey Tin, University of Southampton. Postgraduate Research Student of Alain Zemkoho

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