Bluff Avenue Blog

Updates and news from the Bluff Avenue trenches.

Viewing past tournament results

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 8:30 PM

Just rolled out some minor website improvements, the main one being a new link for viewing past games, i.e. finished tournaments, and closed (aka deleted) cash games.  You can see the finish places of all players and the payouts they received.  You'll find the link at the bottom of all game lobby boxes (e.g. on your home page or on your group pages).


Also included in the roll out is a minor new game client feature--if you hover your mouse pointer over your player info...thingy after you folded, you can easily see what your cards were without having to scroll back through the chat log.  Then when you realize you would have turned trips and rivered quads, you can vow never to fold again.


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Nice!  And yes, now that you have that feature, I will never fold again...

8/5/2009 9:15 AM

Checking in the dark

Monday, July 20, 2009 8:37 PM

Just rolled out the first new game feature I've done in a while--checking in the dark!


If you don't watch High Stakes Poker or have any hardcore poker friends, you might not know about this little maneuver.  Basically it works like this: if you're the person who's going to be first player to act in the next betting round, you can actually check before any community cards are dealt.  It's effectively saying, "it doesn't matter to me what flops (or turns, or rivers), I check."



Probably not a move you want to overuse, but I like to do it on occasion... especially if I really do intend to check either way. :)


Naturally, if you don't like this rule for some reason, you can always disable it in your own games.

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Just rolled out some more changes.  Finally got around to implementing some game client security features that I had been procrastinating on.  I suppose I should really say patching up some nasty major security holes I knew about that would've been quite embarassing if they had been discovered. :)  But on the other hand, I'm sure hackers are going to be lining up to break into a play money poker site.


Also in yesterday's release is a layout redesign for the game client.  Previously I had the chat window and all of the controls along the right side of the game.  This unfortunately made the game kind of on the wide side, and impossible to embed into a web page if I wanted to.  The redesign puts all of the controls on the bottom, which should be familiar to most people who have played poker online.  I also saved some vertical space by showing only the top halfs of players' cards.


Oh, and I added a "beta" to the logos, just in case anyone mistook this for a production-quality site! ;)

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The two biggest new Bluff Avenue features in the last month are scheduled tournaments and opening and closing cash game tables.  What exactly does this mean?


Scheduled tournaments are just that--tournaments with a scheduled start time.  Pretty basic, but up until last week Bluff Avenue only supported sit & go's and manually-started tournaments.  Now you can choose a date and time for your tournament to auto-start.


The second major feature concerns cash games.  Previously, cash games followed a similar design as most online poker sites--each game listed in the main lobby represented one cash game table.  For a couple of reasons, I decided to ditch that and go with a different model.  Now, the main lobby displays cash games, which can have one or more tables.  A "cash game" now refers to a group of tables that are all playing according to the same rules and stakes (blinds, buy-ins, etc.).


For example, on most online poker sites, looking at the cash game main lobby you'll see a huge list of tables that you can play at.  Typically, you'll have a pretty specific idea what kind of game you want to play (e.g. 5/10 blinds, deep stack buy ins, etc.) and will need to filter the list because there are so many tables displayed with different stakes and rules.  Well, on Bluff Ave, you'll see only one entry for each type of cash game, rather than each table.  When you click on the cash game, you'll be taken to that cash game's table lobby, which displays all the tables in that game.  This should make it much easier to find a table in the kind of game you want to play.


Another tied in feature is opening and closing tables based on demand.  Cash games now have a setting "Open new tables if needed"--if this is set to yes, Bluff Avenue will ensure that there is always at least one empty table for that game.  As soon as someone sits at the first table, a second table is created.  This makes sure that a game always has open tables to play at.  Individual tables may fill up, but there will always be more tables with open seats.


For most online home games, this is probably overkill, but for large online leagues, it should be a pretty handy feature.  Bluff Avenue's public games will all have this feature enabled, as well.

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Site Redesign

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 11:49 AM

Lots of new stuff in the last month.  Probably the most obvious one is the visual redesign.  I didn't want to launch the site looking like a carbon copy of Zoji, so I've been tinkering with the appearance for...longer than I care to admit (these creative-type things take a lot of iteration before I end up with something I'm happy with).


I was aiming for something a little more modern-looking, in a centered, single-page format (unlike Zoji's 2-part, left-aligned style).  I picked red as the primary color element because of the logo, but I thought the light blue from Zoji's blue color scheme complimented it nicely so I kept it.  Anyway, let me know what you think!


Also new: the domain!  The site was far enough along that I thought it was time to move it from its test domain to its public domain:


Let's see, what else is new...


  • An observer mode so people not logged into the site can watch a game in progress
  • Crash recovery:
    • If the server goes down while you're in a cash game, all the money you have on the table is credited to your bankroll
    • If the server goes down while you're in a tournament, the remaining tournament prize pool is distributed amongst all the remaining players
  • Viewing the full leaderboard for a group
  • Group player winnings can now be edited
  • A setting to allow non group members to post to a group's forum.  This allows the Support group to be used as a forum for user questions, help requests, suggestions, feedback, etc.


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