2009 PCA: Poker Camp Begins

Spending your Bahamas vacation inside a classroom seems like an odd thing to do, but when you have a rare opportunity to pick the brains of the top poker pros in the world, sacrificing a little bit of sunshine is more than worth it.

The first ever PCA PokerStars Poker Camp kicked off this morning. Poker Camp is a three-day seminar featuring top notch instruction in both tournaments and cash games from several Team PokerStars Pros including Daniel Negreanu, Greg Raymer, Vanessa Rousso, and Chris Moneymaker. Additional Poker Camp instructors included Nick Brancato, Alex Outhred, two-time bracelet winner Bill Chen, and former FBI agent Joe Navarro.


Two-time bracelet winner Bill Chen sharing some of his vast poker acumen

Poker Camp gave participants a chance to improve their poker game by receiving hands-on advice and tutelage on high end concepts such as Game Theory (presented by Vanessa Rousso and Greg Raymer), Poker Math (Bill Chen and Alex Outhred), Poker Tells (Joe Navarro), Multi-Tabling (Nick Brancato), Middles Stage Strategy (Alex Outhred), Cash Game Strategy (Chris Moneymaker), Late State Strategy (Alex Outhred), and Small Ball (Daniel Negreanu).

Hosted in a classroom setting, Poker Camp attendees had the option of participating in a variety of seminars that suited their skill level. During the opening session, Vanessa Rousso spoke about basic game theory, while Greg Raymer offered up advice on Advanced Game Theory.

The second round of lectures discussed math. Bill Chen, the co-author of The Mathematics of Poker, dazzled his students with a discourse on advanced topics such as the Nash Equilibrium and optimal betting and bluffing.

After a short break for lunch, the lectures were over and it was time to have some fun and play cards during the Live Hand Analysis session. Players sat at an actual poker table with Chris Moneymaker, Alex Outhred, and Bill Chen. The instructors dealt hands and helped each player analyze hands as they played. It also gave the participants a chance to ask specific questions about the intricacies of the game, while the pros gave them instant feedback.

Chris Moneymaker discussed about the positives and negatives of showing hands.

"A guy like Humberto Brenes is an extremely tight player, so for him showing hands does not give him an advantage. However, a guy like me loves to show hands because I want people to think I'm a total nutzoid at the tables."


Former world champion Chris Moneymaker offers up live hand analysis

Day 2 highlights will instruction from Chris Moneymaker on cash games along with a highly anticipated lecture by former FBI agent Joe Navarro, who is also the author of Read 'Em and Reap: A Career FBI Agent's Guide to Decoding Poker Tells.

Later this evening, the participants will play in an actual Poker Camp Tournament, where they can apply several of the lessons that they learned earlier in the day.