Bluff Avenue Blog

Updates and news from the Bluff Avenue trenches.

Thank you! (Oh, and search is fixed!)

Friday, April 24, 2020 12:07 AM

The latest news: as I mentioned in my last post, the site has kind of blown up since the pandemic hit.  We're seeing 10 to 50 times the traffic we did in February.  We've made some tweaks to settings that we think have helped with site stability, but spikes in traffic have still been taking the site down every few days.  I've been keeping a much closer eye on it lately than I had been in recent years, so hopefully downtimes are limited to a couple of hours rather than days.


Now to the topic of this post.


Along with the huge surge in coronavirus traffic we've gotten in the last month has come a flood of blog comments and DMs from people who have asked to help contribute with donations (and even work) to keep the site running.  I just wanted to let you all know I have been reading them (even if I haven't replied to all), and that I'm incredibly appreciative of the offers.  A heartfelt "thank you" to you all.


All of the renewed interest has gotten me excited about the site again, and I'm mulling getting back to work on it in my spare time.  Stay tuned, I may have something to announce shortly.


Oh, and by the way, I fixed my first bug on the site in years! :) Group and user search had been broken for the longest time. I was poking around on the database and discovered it apparently lost a few of the required indexes during a server migration a while back.  I added them back and bam, we have search again. OK, so not a real bug fix, but something works now that didn't before, so let me have my moment. :)

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1. Posted by

Cool news, this site is a gold! If we can help somehow let us know

4/24/2020 4:19 AM
2. Posted by

You are awesome for mantaining this site! Helps bring back my guys to play some poker. 
Would love to also help out. Especially if you are doing a revamp. GOLDEN!

4/24/2020 10:02 AM
3. Posted by

You guys are doing awesome, and this is a great site and service during these times!


Just what I was looking for. Great work!

4/24/2020 10:31 AM
4. Posted by

I sent like 5 invites using email yesterday to all my friends and none of them got any of the invites. Link seems to be broken. Can you look into that please? 


BTW thanks for hosting one of the easiest to follow/set up private poker sites in the internet!!

4/24/2020 2:36 PM
5. Posted by

Yeah, sorry about that Craig.  Email is on the fritz.  In the server logs, emails *look* like they're getting sent out.  I half wonder if maybe a spammer got on here and started using us to send spam, which is causing our email provider to throttle or block us.  It's on my to do list, but there's also a lot of other stuff on that list so this might take a while to get to.


Unfortunately, for now that means that email isn't a good way to invite people.  What I would suggest is telling them to sign up for the site using the email address you used for the invites, and then they should see the invite on their homepage when they log in.


Thanks for the kind words!

4/24/2020 4:19 PM
6. Posted by

Hey Kevin. I just wanted to say that this site is awesome. I think there is dozens of people who actively voluneered to help financially with running this site and making it able to host more games than it is now.


I think theres no need to make it complicated, just tell us your paypal and you have 1k$ easily right now, all donations combined.


lets do this, this is awesome! 

4/25/2020 1:31 PM
7. Posted by

I've just registered for this site to try it out with friends from across the continent.  I'm thinking it would work really well on a laptop, in tandem with a ZOOM group of the players at the table, so you get video going at the same time.  Has anyone tried that?

4/26/2020 5:17 PM
8. Posted by

Hey guys, great concept but think the site is taking strain, played a few games with mates and then the errors started coming..
Had to log out and retry but can't get a game started again..


4/27/2020 11:50 AM
9. Posted by

I am a web dev and would be glad to help maintain or advise on anything

4/27/2020 8:11 PM

PLEASE READ: Game Clean-up

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 11:12 PM

Apparently due to coronavirus, we've hit the big time...or something.  After a month of February where typically some double-digit number of games would get created in a day, in the last week, we've had 5 straight days of more than a thousand games created per day.


You folks must be bored at home!


Well, sadly, that "BETA" in the logo is no joke.  We stopped active development on this site years ago, and that was before we made the thing scalable.  So if enough games get created and don't get deleted, the server goes boom.


If the last few days is the new normal, we're going to have to get aggressive about cleaning up unused games, since they're sucking up precious server memory.  Starting today, games that are older than 2 days and have never had anyone sit down at the table are subject to getting deleted. Scheduled tournaments that haven't started yet will get an exception.


Sorry about the inconvenience, but this site's for playin', not for setting up empty tables!

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Deleted games older than 6 months

Thursday, May 7, 2015 12:03 AM

You may have noticed lag issues or other game flakiness with the site the last few weeks.  It's been a mystery to us, as nothing in our server or network configuration has changed recently, and up till a few weeks ago the site had been running without a hitch for months.


I was starting to suspect it may be the sheer number of games created on the site in the last 6 years.  So long as they were active and showing up in a group game lobby, they were loaded in memory.  I counted almost 7000 games that were older than 6 months.


So our latest attempt to solve the site performance problems was to delete all games 6 months old or older.  If that was indeed the problem, that should probably buy us another 5 years of runway before we run out of memory again. :)

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Game server is working again

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 4:11 AM

I haven't logged into the site in a few weeks, and only today found out the game server's been on the fritz for weeks (judging from messages in my inbox and forum posts).  Of course this coincided with the email system deciding to stop delivering message notifications, so of course all those messages people sent me about the server went unread. :\


Well, I rebooted the server, and things seem to be working now.  Terribly sorry for the inconvenience!

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The State of Bluff Avenue

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 12:59 PM

Long time no post. :)  I know most of you have probably figured this out, but just for the sake of new users, I wanted to clarify the current state of Bluff Avenue.


We created this site in 2009 as a way of playing an "online home game"--an experience that no existing online poker site offered at the time.  It was as much for our own enjoyment as for the challenge of creating it, and for the possibility of making something bigger out of it.


The site was only funded out of my savings, so out of the need to pay bills and eat food, I got a job in November of 2009 and sadly left Bluff Ave to fend for itself.  I haven't done any serious coding on the site since then, and maintenance has been limited to Dan and I occasionally restarting the game server when something gets horked.


So that's the current state of the site, and what I imagine is the future of the site.  We'll keep it running, just because it seems like such a waste to take it down, but I don't anticipate any new feature development or bug fixes happening unless I win the lottery. :)  Sorry about that.


We do read our messages though, so feel free to message us if something's wrong with the game server--we don't check in daily, so we won't know there's something wrong unless you let us know.


Until then, enjoy!

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