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Poker Goes Ivy League With Match Poker Series At Harvard University

Harvard Poker Club Hosts Unique Event


International Federation Of Match PokerThe Ivy League and the world of poker came together in late April for the inaugural Harvard Match Poker Championships, held at the university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in collaboration with the Harvard Poker Club.

The event featured Harvard students in digital competition. The Match Poker format removes the element of luck by ensuring that all players in the same seat positions are dealt identical hands, emphasizing skillful decision-making. The unique format makes poker a team sport and uses a points system to calculate scores for every hand.

“The Harvard Match Poker Championships exemplify the spirit of competition and camaraderie that defines our university,” Harvard Poker Club President Natalia Lopez said. “Through this event, students have had the opportunity not only to showcase their strategic acumen but also to develop valuable life skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, and teamwork.”

Event Details

Organizers view Match Poker as more of a dynamic game of strategy and mental acuity than just a betting game. The game has been recognized as a digital mind sport and eSport, “planting the seed of poker-play in education.”

“I personally sponsored this event because I believe Match Poker has the potential to lift the gambling stain off poker,” Harvard law professor Charlie Nesson said. “I want to put across to the Harvard world, and then to the world beyond, what a powerful tool poker, and especially Match Poker, is for teaching young adults the skills of negotiation, risk analysis, and civil discourse.”

The Harvard series featured a vibrant fan zone, where the action was streamed in real time with all card information available. The awards ceremony highlighted the event with top-performing teams honored with medals and trophies for their achievements.

John Marcucci was named player of the tournament, having performed best over both sessions of play. His team also finished in first place overall.

Team Results
1. Willem van Hootegem, Rahim Rastegar, Kevin Gao, TingTing Yan, Mohammed Alasharee, John Marcucci
2. Charlie Welch, Pierre Yan, Austin Wilson, Elliot Chin, Michael Phan, Nicholas Lopez
3. William Ma, Jessica Li, Matthew Kim, Ronak Malik, Steve Dalla, Regina Lin
4. Ahmed Kerman, Sudahn Chitgopkar, Noah Dohrmann, Ken Shen, Gabriel Cardenas, Xinle Dai
5. Dan Donovan, Erin Harp, Bf Burke, Amanda Palmer, Max Neu, Owen Averbuch
6. Armando Guio, Rishabh Ghosh, Sam Koenig, Martin Rather, Sarah Sellman, Rohan Battula