Frequently Asked Questions
First of all it was important to choose a game that can be learned quickly. Poker is a game with a very simple set of rules that can be explained in under 5 minutes, yet it enables for both extremely simple strategies and extremely complex ones with a vast amount of possibilities in between. This property of poker allows for tiny iterations of successive improvements, while teams can take very different approaches in trying to counteract each other's strategy. Poker is primarily a game of skill with some element of luck and this also makes it a good metaphor for real life businesses.
Do I need to know poker?
No, not in depth. It's definitely an advantage if you do spend a few minutes the day before to understand the rules of poker and play a bit with fake money, but you shouldn't dig much deeper than that. Since the robots will be significantly less intelligent than a human being most strategies against humans desperately break down at Lean Poker events. So your poker geek peers won't have too much advantage.
What level of programming skills are expected?
Lean Poker is primarily a framework for knowledge sharing and experimentation. Developers with a wide variety of skill levels can benefit from these events. If you know how to write a function in the language of your choice you are essentially all set. If you are a more experienced developer you are more likely to learn project management skills like prioritization, managing (potentially less experienced) team members, finding balance between delivering in a timely manner and craving for the perfect solution. If you are new to software development you will be more likely to improve your actual coding skills.
What languages are supported?
Can I participate without a laptop?
Yes, you can! You can pair up with someone or you can take a role that doesn't involve coding. For example if you are good at poker, you can be the product owner.
Is real money involved? What if we lose?
Keep calm, your wallet is perfectly safe, no real money is involved in Lean Poker. Every few seconds each robot gets 1000 free chips and chances are it will lose it all before you know it.
Can I use the bot I wrote to play online poker?
Absolutely not! Apart from that being strictly illegal in most countries, professional poker robots are developed for years. By the end of the 8-hour workshop your bot wouldn't even beat a real person who plays for the first time.