Bluff Avenue Blog

Updates and news from the Bluff Avenue trenches.

Friday's Outage

Friday, July 16, 2010 5:39 PM

Sorry if you couldn't access the site all Friday.  Our DNS host was apparently the victim of a denial of service attack.  All seems to be well now though.

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Disconnects and Table Freezes

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 1:05 AM

Out of curiosity, for those of you who have been playing somewhat regularly on the site, have any of you noticed more frequent disconnects and/or table freezes in the last week?  Our Internet host performed some "upgrades" last week, and I've had at least one complaint of frequent problems since then, and I've noticed a few frozen tables around.


A few more data points would be helpful for me in determining if this is a more widespread problem.  Thanks.

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Scheduled downtime Feb. 11, 11pm-12am PST

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 7:47 AM

Yes, I know I haven't posted in a long time, but I'm still around! :)


Just to let you know, Bluff Avenue's web host has scheduled a server upgrade between 11:00PM and 12:00AM Pacific Standard Time on Feb. 11.  During this window, you may experience longer latency or lose connectivity.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

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Mixed Games and Dealer's Choice!

Thursday, October 8, 2009 1:08 PM

All right, I'll admit it...the main reason I wanted to add Omaha to the Bluff Avenue game lineup was because one of the things I like most about our in-person home game is that we occasionally mix things up and play a round of Omaha or even Stud every now and then.  It spices things up, because let's face it, on one of those card dead nights, 5 straight hours of Texas Hold'em can get a wee bit tedious.


So the next logical progression after straight Omaha games is of course, you guessed it, mixed games!  Well...seeing as how we only have 2 games to choose from, there aren't a whole lot of mixed games you can play :), but the infrastructure's in place to create any kind of mixed game once I add more poker variants to the mix.


H.A. is the new mixed game you can play on Bluff Avenue.  It's a combination of Texas Hold'em and Omaha (it's not called H.O. because "O" usually refers to Omaha Hi/Lo), played pot-limit.  The game played rotates every 10 hands.  I haven't had a chance to add tournament support yet, so for now cash games are the only way to play H.A.


And now onto our second big new feature...



...Dealer's Choice!  OK now, it's not exactly the dealer's choice that you might have played in your home game before Hold'em took off, typically with multitudes of oddball poker variants to choose from like Baseball, Follow the Queen, or Pass the Trash. Here, your choices are all the games in the Bluff Avenue lineup, currently Hold'em and Omaha, and all the different betting structures offered for each game (limit, pot limit, no limit).  As I add new games to the list, you'll be able to choose them in your dealer's choice games.


Another thing to note is that it's...well, not really dealer's choice. In most dealer's choice games, whoever is dealing the hand gets to pick the game. Here, one player picks the game, then one full orbit (i.e. round) is played, then the player to the original chooser's left picks the game. Every time the button gets back to the same player, a new game gets chosen. This means every game, every player plays exactly one hand at each position.


It's really more fair that way--in my home game we used to do it the other way (button choose game for that hand), and I hated it when I was sitting to the left of the guy who always chose Omaha. Every single time we playing the game I was least familiar with I had to be a blind and play out of position the whole hand...and of course when I was the dealer I'd want to choose the game I was best at, Hold'em, so I'd never get to play an Omaha hand in position.  We started dealing full rounds of games because of this, and whaddaya know, I ended up learning to like Omaha!


Anyway, I'm happy that I now get to play throw in some Omaha into our Bluff Avenue online home games, and that with the addition of Dealer's Choice, we get another step closer to duplicating the home game experience online!

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Omaha: because coinflips and big draws are fun

Thursday, October 1, 2009 6:20 AM

Our first new game besides Texas Hold'em is here, and it loves action! Please welcome Omaha to our lineup.  You'll find an Omaha game in the public lobby, and of course, you can create your own Omaha games in your groups.


If you've never played Omaha, it's similar to Texas Hold'em, only crazier. You get four cards instead of two, and you must use exactly two of your cards to make a hand (i.e. you can't play the board, or make a flush with only one card, etc.). The rest is the same as Hold'em.


Why's it crazier, you ask? Because with four cards for each player, you need much stronger hands to win. Those pocket aces that don't improve with four players seeing the flop are not going to be looking good by the river. Heck, you should even be worried about your King-high flush when the betting starts getting heavy.


Add to that the possibility of huge, huge drawing hands (some straight draws can have upwards of 20 outs), and you can actually flop the nuts and be an underdog to win by the river against a big draw. It's not all that uncommon in Omaha for two or three people to get it all in on the flop, where nobody's made a mistake! You usually have the flopped nuts (e.g. top set) versus one or two big drawing hands, and it's usually a pretty close race.


In other words if you like to gamble, Omaha might be your game.

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