The Global Poker Strategic Thinking Societies are rapidly spreading among colleges across America and becoming one of the most powerful voices for poker legitimacy.

The educational initiative of Professor Charles Nesson to create Global Poker Strategic Thinking Societies (GPSTS) in different American and international colleges in order to integrate poker strategy into college academic programs is already making a difference in the poker landscape.

Advocating the importance of poker strategy applied to different situations in life such as risk assessment, resource management and self control, Nesson is enthusiastic about the overwhelming response they have received from students all over the United States:

The level of student response to our announcement of GPSTS is overwhelming. Many people agree that poker itself, besides being fun, has an academic component that can bring great benefits to learning at all levels.

Andrew Woods, Executive Director of GPSTS, has high expectations about the efforts of the society by saying,

The GPSTS is a 'heart and minds' campaign. If we can help legitimize poker, it could lead to decreased pressure on it from lawmakers.

Woods announced promising facts that will pave the way for the future of this educational project.

It’s official. Since October 1st 2007 Harvard Law School approved GPSTS as an official student organization, which originally consisted of 62 members.

It’s expanding. The popularity of Nesson’s program has reached Penn State, UCLA, USC, Stanford, Brown, Tufts and Boston University within the United States, and some colleges in Singapore, Finland and England internationally. Nesson expects to have 24 chapters worldwide by the end of 2008.

It’s consolidating. From academic panel sessions at Harvard that explore the value of poker in education to debating and protesting against the law enforcement regulations against online poker, the GPSTS is gradually gaining territory in the history of education. Other important events have taken place, such as educational workshops, 2 poker team competitions – one between Harvard and Yale and the other between USC and UCLA – and an intercollegiate Poker Face-off, featuring teams from different universities in the U.S. and crowning a college team champion.

The GPSTS started this year with a tight and interesting itinerary of events, and it hopes to continue its busy schedule throughout its second year:

Feb. 27, 2008. The Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) John Pappas was invited to George Washington University to discuss the anti-gambling legislation with an audience of students. Pappas paid special attention to the bills HR2046 and HR2610 sponsored by Congressmen and Robert Wexler, respectively, which include the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA) and the skill versus chance factors in casino gaming.

March 6, 2008. Poker pro Andy Bloch was hosted by the University of California in Los Angeles to talk about his career and success in poker due to his experience as an MIT-trained mathematician, computer scientist and lawyer from Harvard. Bloch compared the analytical skills that allowed him to succeed in the academic realm with the ones that make him win in poker.

March 19, 2008. The University of Richmond hosted Professor Charles Nesson and Andrew Woods to participate in the Internet Gambling and the Law Symposium. The GPSTS founders debated and analyzed the legislation crusade against online gambling with other scholars to discuss the future of online gaming around the world.

May 12, 2008. Harvard Law School co-hosted a legal summit with PPA’s Litigation Support Team. The summit reviewed the legal strategies available to online gaming defenders for defeating the current anti-gaming legislation.

Future events for 2008. A variety of poker personalities will continue to be invited to discuss different topics on poker strategy, business and lessons learned at the poker table. Additionally, a series of GPSTS tournaments are being planned for the remaining months of the year. For more details about upcoming events and news, please visit

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