A free online poker strategy course is now available thanks to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The aim of this course, which includes lectures from World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winners such as Bill Chen and Matt Hawrilenko, is to teach analytical thinking and theories that can even be applied to business.

MIT’s free online poker course includes 11 video lecturers that poker students can view through the OpenCourseWare Program developed by MIT. In addition, it includes PDF files of class notes, syllabi, and assignments.

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The course challenges students to get involved in activities such as analyzing the ideal table position and so on, but its major aim is to teach analytical thinking and theories that can be applied to business. Over 175 million people have accessed and used MIT’s OpenCourseWare, which includes over 2,200 online courses.

Kevin Desmond, an instructor at MIT, stated that the course gives students the ability to take risks within the international market. According to him, this is not easy “to replicate in any other way.” He explained: “Poker is a game with virtually no barriers to entry. You can be playing anybody in the world.”

Desmond provides instructions in the tight aggressive style of playing poker, a strategy that gives students the ability to raise frequently by implementing certain strategies and calling their opponents’ bets. The instructor said: “To risk your own money and effectively play against the world is something very similar to what a trader has to do in making decisions. I think one thing that caught people by surprise is they didn’t see how far the rabbit hole went down in terms of analysis in poker.”

The course, which is titled “Poker Theory and Analytics,” formed part of the winter semester at the Sloan School of Management of MIT. The university invited WSOP bracelet winners such as Joel Fried, Aaron Brown, Bill Chen, Matt Hawrilenko, and others to deliver guest lectures. Students had to play more than 5,000 hands of poker at PokerStars.net as part of the course. According to a report on Education News, this is equal to one year of playing poker in the real world. The winners were rewarded with non-cash prizes such as iPad Air, signed poker books, and so on.

Many talented gamblers have emerged from the MIT. “Bringing Down the House” is a bestseller that records the activities of the MIT Blackjack Team, and so is the film 21.

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