Bluff Avenue Blog

Updates and news from the Bluff Avenue trenches.

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!

Visibility: Anyone
1. Posted by

Thanks so much Kevin

With current corona lockdown...our game has to rely on online play.
Thanks again for still supporting us

Since plenty of people are now using this platform, maybe we can all donate a few dollars to at least keep things running for the coming weeks/months and reward your efforts.

Thanks again,



3/19/2020 2:59 AM
2. Posted by

Thank you for jumping back in.  Our group will typically play once per week, any chance we can have the 2 day rule expand to 7.  If it cuases performance issues we can deal with 2 days, as it is easy to create a new game.


Thanks a bunch,



3/19/2020 4:55 AM
3. Posted by

Also, not sure where you a currently hosting, however I beleive I have seen AWS is offereing free trials right now.  In my opinion, I beleive you will easily be able to get sponsors / advertisers to help offset cost.  I also beleive there are many that would be willing to make small contributions to help keep it up and running.


If there is anything myself or the rest of the Bluff Ave community can do to help, please don't hesitate to reach out!

3/19/2020 4:59 AM
4. Posted by

Glad to see you are trying to clean this up!  I have to appologize and admit that I am part of the problem.  My weeekly in-person poker group is trying to to find an alternative during these times and BluffAve seems to be the only site that supports private cash games.  We were testing it out yesterday, as I am sure many were.  Lots of "test" games were probably opened in a short period of time, and if most were noobs like me, they accidentally got left open.  The auto cleanup is a great idea.  I think you have a good business opp here if you can stabilize it!  My whole group thinks that this would be worth paying a small subscription fee for if it goes back into active development.   

3/19/2020 7:47 AM
5. Posted by

Thanks for the comments.


Jason: right now, the policy is to delete games only where nobody has *ever* sat down at the table, so if your tables have actually been used to play a game, they should be OK.  This may need to change depending on how usage ramps up, but it's the policy for now.


Mikey: no worries. :) Enjoy the site.

3/19/2020 9:00 AM
6. Posted by

Also something to note. Sometimes when the server is having issues the website loads, but we get 500 errors when trying to create games.


So about once an hour I try to create a game to see if it's working. Once I came back last night and I was able to create a game, I noticed that every single test game where I was getting the 500 error was then made. So our group had like 100 games in it.


So that may have caused an issue. 


FWIW our group makes a new game everytime we play, so if games get auto-delete we don't care. 

3/19/2020 9:25 AM
7. Posted by

Thanks Kevin. Site is great. Let us know anyway we can help with the server issue. 

3/19/2020 10:31 AM
8. Posted by

Whatever you gotta do to keep those servers going during this quarantine, please go for it! I'm sure people would be happy to chip in a few bucks to help if needed. Also, check your Twitter handle if you haven't recently, i'm sure people are DMing offering help:).

3/19/2020 11:33 AM
9. Posted by

Looks like a bit more lag, maybe limit games to like 2 per group or something extreme.

3/19/2020 11:33 AM
10. Posted by

Life saver for our little poker group, anything we can do to assist let us know. We have resources available. Monitary wouldn't be an issue either, think you should capitialize off this and retire. 

3/19/2020 11:41 AM
11. Posted by

Can someone help me? None of the invites I have sent out to join my group have shown up in people's emails. 

3/19/2020 11:48 AM
12. Posted by

Christian- the email porition of the website is broken, and since they are dealing with more critical issues (aka site stability) they will probably not fix anytime soon or ever.


Just send people the URL manually to this site and to your group for them to sign up.

3/19/2020 11:50 AM
13. Posted by

thanks Mike


3/19/2020 11:57 AM
14. Posted by

Great app.  Like the ability to play NLH and PLO in the same cash game.

Unfortunately, system is overwhelmed making the site unusable.  :(



3/19/2020 1:53 PM
15. Posted by

Yeah, Bob, it's true.  This is way, way more traffic than the site has seen in the last 10 years.  Unfortunately, scaling it up architecturally to meet that level of traffic not an easy thing.


Dan and I are trying to find the low hanging fruit (e.g. deleting unused tables, raising session limits in the load balancer), but to be honest, we may just be stuck if people keep flooding in.

3/19/2020 1:56 PM
16. Posted by

Thanks man my buddies and I love this site. I would recommend just deleting all the tables that aren't used frequently. It's very easy to create new ones and the ones that are sitting will be gone.

3/19/2020 2:01 PM
17. Posted by

@Kevin - Although we can now create tables the lag is so significant it makes play impossible. Let us know how we (the community) can help. Its a great tool to remain social with friends during this crazy time so I'm sure people would be more than happy to help figure out what it will take to make the site performant.

3/19/2020 2:52 PM
18. Posted by

Close it to paying groups? We will pay you $50 to keep it running. 

3/19/2020 3:20 PM
19. Posted by

What about posting a github repositiory and we can host our own sites?

3/19/2020 3:35 PM
20. Posted by

Seriously... you should consider asking for money. I'm sure people would pay for it, if its a reasonnable yearly fee. You could use the money for improving capacity. Or if you don't want to deal with customer service (unavoidable if it becomes a paid service), just ask for donations, and grant better server access to those who make a donation.


The site is great btw

3/20/2020 3:07 PM
21. Posted by

Agreed. I know our group would contribute for annual access as well. 


Let us know how we can help. 

3/20/2020 3:34 PM
22. Posted by

Thanks for the awesome site, my players and I would def be willing to donate if it'll help with the stability.

3/20/2020 3:39 PM
23. Posted by

Hey all - 


Happy I've found this site as trying to abide by "social distancing" is making it really tough for us poker GODS! ;) Hoping that this site works out for our home game as if so, I know we would all be happy to donate a few bucks to "the cause"!!! 

3/20/2020 4:11 PM
24. Posted by

Me and my gang would be happy to contribute as well.

3/22/2020 8:12 AM
25. Posted by

I keep getting a channel disconnected error.

3/22/2020 8:31 AM
26. Posted by

We'd defintely pay a reasonable game/year fee to help site operations.

3/22/2020 2:48 PM
27. Posted by

Happy to contribue as well to keep this site going strong! Thanks for all your effort Kevin!



3/22/2020 4:35 PM
28. Posted by

Is there anyone who know why it is not possible to send out invitations? I tried to ssend a few yesterday, but they never received them (not in spam either).

3/23/2020 12:41 AM
29. Posted by

there are few options that are not working... I recomend you send link direct to your poker group and after that your friends will click on JOIN GROUP... it's much faster

3/23/2020 7:49 AM
30. Posted by

I want to set up a FREE sit and go style tournament with my buddies (we'd settle up on venmo) but it won't let me choose $0.00 for the buy in, and when I do anything over $0, it says I don't have enough funds.  How do I fix this problem?  

3/23/2020 8:42 AM
31. Posted by

It looks like the games in the main lobby are also broken, with all players sitting out and no action going. Might be a good time to delete those tables as well and free up some more server resources.

3/23/2020 11:02 AM
32. Posted by

Kevin, thanks for clearing out those main lobby games. This morning the site was really fast. It might also help if the group tables have everyone sit out and stand up at the end of the session, so the table can close and free up server resources.

3/24/2020 11:23 AM
33. Posted by

This is great, so glad I found it, but I can tell its still getting overwhelmed.  I'd be happy to pitch in some money to help you guys out.


Can you post a paypal/venmo/ or something for us to donate to?



3/26/2020 10:35 AM
34. Posted by

If you would set-up a gofundme or similar link, I would donate and I'm sure others would too! Thanks!

3/26/2020 2:33 PM
35. Posted by

Just setting up our group now and I would DEFINITELY be willing to donate to this cause if you set-up a GoFundMe page!  

3/29/2020 8:22 AM
36. Posted by

Hi guys, newcomer here. So if I understood correctly, any newly created account (and therefore group) cannot actually create tables for the time being? Because once I create a Poker Game in a group, I don't see it listed.

3/29/2020 8:52 AM
37. Posted by

Hi there

been searching for days since our lockdown in South Africa. Our poker school will be more than happy to donate some funds

Will be testing it tomorrow and thank you once again

3/30/2020 1:53 PM
38. Posted by

Hey- this is great and definitely understand the game cleansing.

I love this concept and would be happy to donate as well to assist in keeping this up and running.

3/31/2020 10:57 AM
39. Posted by

Agreeing with the above comments. Love the simplicity and have a small group that would use this on the weekly but keep getting server unavailable messages and game is lagging (on fast internet). Would consider donating if those issues could improve. Looking for something like with no luck.

4/2/2020 7:32 PM
40. Posted by

Oh wow! Can I just start by saying a big THANK-YOU! This changed my life. With everything going on in the world at the moment I just want sure what to do... last Sunday I prayed to the lord jesus and I said "give me something to fill my time god, give me something to do!" the next morning I wake to a msg from Jesse (a brother in christ) and I'm playin poker like a pro! God bless ya! from a fellow follower and man of god!!!

4/3/2020 4:19 AM
41. Posted by

I think that 9-player Dealer's Choice game in the Main Lobby was the culprit yesterday. I observed the full table and no one was sitting out, and no cards were being dealt. I think the table was waiting for a disconnected player to choose a game, and kept polling the table over and over, eating up server resources. 

4/3/2020 4:17 PM
42. Posted by

this site is great, is actually exactly what my friends and i are looking for in these crazy times. 


unfortunately i think there is just too much traffic on the site, overloading the servers because as it stands the site is pretty unusable.   let me know if we could be of help at all! 

4/3/2020 9:29 PM
43. Posted by


4/3/2020 10:15 PM
44. Posted by

same as all above - would be happy to donate to support! trying to create a game since days but no luck. please keep on it and create patreon or any crowdsourcing site account so we can donate!

4/6/2020 11:15 AM
45. Posted by

I have found stuck tables in some of the public groups. The tables show players not sitting out, blinds posted, and no cards being dealt. There are probably hundreds of such tables, which is why the site is slowing down. The site probably needs an auto-cleanup routine to take care of stuck tables.

4/8/2020 6:55 AM
46. Posted by

I see Kevin's question from 3/23 remains unanswered. How do you add to your balance? Initially it's $0.00 which won't let you play any cash game. I can't see the option anywhere.

4/10/2020 3:28 AM
47. Posted by

If you are talking about the group balance, the administrator of the group has the ability edit the group bank. There is also a feature called auto refill that will add funds to a player's group account if they go bust. The group administrator has to activate this feature. If it is active you need to go to the main page first, then back into your group, to execute the auto refill.

4/10/2020 6:01 AM
48. Posted by

Timing is everything and this is your time - make the most of it.


Ask for $1 per player per game. I'm sure everyone will gladly pay it. I know I would. 

4/10/2020 10:53 PM
49. Posted by

Unfortunately, the constant timeout errors make it impossible to reliably schedule a game with friends.


I gave up and spent the $39.95 and downloaded Poker Mavens.  I run it on an old PC as a server. No rake, up to nine players, ability to play with cash denominations. Worked perfectly for a game with my friends last Saturday.  Have another game tomorrow night.


No rake and the ability to set the timer for each bettor are mandatory for me.  This does it perfectly.

4/11/2020 12:01 AM
50. Posted by

Thanks Kevin, just found you and amazing and brilliant website so far. Scheduling tournaments with friends. Awaiting to see if there are any glitches. Cheers

4/12/2020 11:02 PM
51. Posted by

Awesome site so far. Has everything my group wants including no timer, customized blinds, bankroll management, no rake, straddles, and the 72 game. We would gladly pitch in to maintain or update the site. We have a game set up for Friday night and we can't wait to play. From one Kevin to another Thanks Kevin

4/15/2020 9:38 PM
52. Posted by

I'm new to site. I formed a group and tried to create games for that group but have no idea what happens after that or how to access them. Could someone help me out with some guidance?

4/15/2020 10:14 PM
53. Posted by

is there specific times when the site goes down for maintanence?

4/18/2020 7:15 AM
54. Posted by

Have you considered making it open source? I know id be willing to help out. Web dev isnt my strong suit and I dont know what tech stack you use but if definitely have a look

4/19/2020 1:51 PM
55. Posted by

You mentioned empty/unseated tables eating up memory space... it may be that folks new to the site are creating games but not seeing them because they have Adobe Flash blocked in their browser. 


This happened to me last night; I actually posted to support then subsequently figured out the problem, however, during that period I managed to create 5+ empty tables (which I've now deleted). 


Just a thought. I'm liking the site thus far. If all goes according to plan we will be bringing our home game online here at some point this weekend. Hopefully all the renewed interest will bring you guys back to do some dev work for the site. Until then, kudos for your support!

4/20/2020 11:26 PM
56. Posted by

I'm not able to create a game. I'm getting:

504 Gateway Time-out

The server didn't respond in time.

4/21/2020 4:22 AM
57. Posted by

Can you just make this a pay to play website? Theres no place that exists like this besides rigged poer sites like Pokestars.

4/22/2020 10:09 AM
58. Posted by

home game...played weekly for 20+ years. Now with social distancing this is what we need. Lets make it work ppl.

4/23/2020 7:38 PM
59. Posted by

Hi guys, I think that given undeleted games cause such a problems, how about placing a note on the homepage that people are supposed to delete the games thez finished playing. I personally was not aware until I read it here after the server got down yesterday. If we can support you financially or contribute if you would go opensource I would do it anytime.

Thanks for your work and good luck!


4/24/2020 4:18 AM
60. Posted by

Hey Kevin. I am willing to donate 20$ to contribute to bigger servers. just gimme your paypal. 


without it, I am afraid there is not much anyone can do here :/


keep buggering on my man


this is your time


4/25/2020 1:09 PM
61. Posted by

To those who have mentioned helping the website with donations, please refer to the new post by Kevin ( and the new Patreon page: Let's all make this work!

5/14/2020 5:13 PM

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. :)

Visibility: Anyone

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!

Visibility: Anyone

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!

Visibility: Anyone

Scheduled Outage for Monday morning, 1:00 AM PDT

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 6:13 PM

Usually, I just wait until it's late at night and nobody's on the site in order to do maintenance, but lately it seems like there's at least one game going on even late at night...So here's your advance warning!


We're coming down Sunday night (Monday morning) at 1:00 AM Pacific Time.  The server seems laggy, I'm going to kick it a couple of times.  Hopefully that doesn't break anything. :)

Visibility: Anyone

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