Archive for January, 2012

Poker Class Offered at MIT

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Poker pro Will Ma is teaching a three week course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) titled “How to Win at Texas Hold’em Poker”. The for credit course is graded on a pass/fail basis. To pass, students need to earn 10 points in play-money online poker tournaments. In the slides for the first lecture, Ma states that he does not wish to fail anyone and that anyone unable to earn 10 points can submit a report explaining how they “attempted many tournaments but got unlucky” and they will be passed.

The course consists of eight total 90-minute lectures. Topics to be covered include myths of poker, preflop ranges, bet sizing, implied odds, variance, and risk management. All slides from the lectures will be available here at the course homepage. Additionally, it appears Ma will be posting the lectures to YouTube. A video of the first lecture is already available.

Mike ‘timex’ McDonald is slated to guest lecture next week during the seminar’s final two sessions. The students who perform near the top of the class in the online play-money standings will be awarded prizes ranging from private coaching from McDonald, Cole South, Tom Marchese, and others to copies of poker strategy books.

In an interview with CardRunners, Ma stated that upon completing the course, he hopes students will be proficient enough to beat $3 SNGs and $.05-$.10 no-limit cash games.

Black Friday Defendant Pleads Guilty

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The U.S. Department of Justice has secured a conviction in their Black Friday indictments against 11 men. Ira Rubin, who worked as a payment processor for PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, plead guilty to nine counts of conspiracy charges in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Rubin was arrested on April 15th when his plane from Costa Rica stopped in Guatemala. He chartered that flight that day with an eventual destination of Thailand in mind. His plan was to stop in Guatemala to acquire a fake passport before authorities arrested him.

Rubin could face up to 80 years in prison on the charges, but because of a plea agreement with prosecutors, he is likely only receive an 18 to 24 month sentence. Additionally, since Rubin’s request for bail was denied last June, he is likely to receive credit for time served. He could be out of prison within a year.

This is the second conviction the DOJ has made in their Black Friday case. Absolute Poker co-founder Brent Beckley plead guilty to a single charge of conspiracy last month. Before his plea deal, Beckley faced as much as 30 years in prison. He is now likely to receive only a one and a half year sentence.