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UNLV Gaming Podcast 36: Thomas Norman

By David G. Schwartz on December 8, 2011 4:55 PM | Permalink

In this Gaming Research Colloquium talk, Thomas Norman discusses his research. Norman is a Fellow in economics at Magdalen College, Oxford. His research is in game theory, and his project at UNLV is the game-theoretic study of poker. In particular, his work extends a standard model of poker to the case where players can bet any amount from their stack, and analyzes how this modification alters game-theoretic predictions. More more information visit

UNLV Gaming Podcast 22: Jack Effel

By David G. Schwartz on June 14, 2010 1:41 PM | Permalink

There's a new podcast available in iTunes and on the podcast page:

Jack Effel, Vice President, International Poker Operations and Director, World Series of Poker at Harrah's Entertainment
In this interview, conducted June 14, 2010, WSOP Director Jack Effel talks about his early interest in poker, the path of his career, and the logistics behind puttng on the World Series of Poker. It's an extremely informative interview, and a must-listen for anyone interested in how tournament poker works.

Great talk with someone who is passionate about his work.  Highly recommended listening.

Rose: More Pathological Poker

By David G. Schwartz on May 13, 2009 1:20 PM | Permalink
A couple of columns ago, I listed the 15 questions I developed to test whether a poker player is a compulsive gambler. 

Based on the comments I received and my own observations of professional poker players, I would like to add an additional question:

16.  Do you feel you always have to be in action, even when you are not playing poker, so that you often bet on games and propositions that are more luck than skill?

Rose: Pathological Poker

By David G. Schwartz on May 13, 2009 1:08 PM | Permalink

Pathological Poker


            Is it fair to ask someone who plays primarily, or exclusively, poker whether he is a compulsive gambler?

            Is poker even gambling?  Does a person who plays day and night and wins, making a good living, have a gambling problem? 

            Of course, he might have a different problem.  He might be a workaholic. 

Rose: Another 'What is Poker?' Case

By David G. Schwartz on May 5, 2009 4:38 PM | Permalink

Another "What Is Poker" Case


            Last column I started the discussion of whether the prohibitions on internet gambling should apply to online poker by asking the fundamental question:  "What is poker?"

            Twenty years ago I actually had to answer that question under oath in the "7-card down" case I described in my last column.  The fight was about what games were prohibited by an 1885 statute that outlawed "stud-horse poker."

UNLV Gaming Podcast 5: Jacob Avery

By David G. Schwartz on March 12, 2009 4:11 PM | Permalink

The fifth episode of the UNLV Gaming Research podcast series is up, and it's a great one: Jacob Avery, our February 2009 Research Fellow, talks about his sociological research into poker, which started in an Atlantic City card room and has taken him to UNLV Special Collections' Reading Room.

Avery, a graduate student in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, has made excellent use of the collections here at UNLV, integrating them with his field notes to create a fascinating analysis of the "action" at the poker table. I hope to see more fine work from him in the future.



Mason Malmuth: The Most Important Hand Ever Played

By David G. Schwartz on December 19, 2008 2:08 PM | Permalink
One of the more common themes you will find in Card Player are articles that describe poker hands. Sometimes these are instructive in nature, and sometimes they are just describing a dramatic situation, especially an important hand played late in a tournament where much money was at stake.

In fact, a few of these articles have been written by me, and I enjoy reading many of them. They are informative, in many instances illustrate the dramatics and complexities of poker, and help to explain why this wonderful game keeps all of us occupied to some degree.

But it turns out that among all the poker hands ever played and written about, there is one particular hand whose importance is probably far more significant than all other poker hands ever played put together. Now that's a mouthful, and the real shame is that most of you who will read this essay don't know anything about it. Of course, that will soon be corrected.