Participants guide

This documentation provides useful information for participants during an event. For the basic rules and event structure please read the about page of Lean Poker.

Getting started

Registering a team

Each team has to be registered by one member, the team lead. Choose a name for your team, select a language and the preferred git provider GitHub or GitLab. Note that GitLab also provides a CI system, something that GitHub lacks. Once the team is registered, the Lean Poker application will create a repository, a production environment on Heroku, it will set up a deployment pipeline and push a simple folding player into the repository.

Adding team members

Further team members can ask to join the team and the team lead needs to approve them. Once a team member is approved (s)he will be able to push new code into the repository without creating a pull request.

Cloning the repository and deploying

Once a user becomes a team leader or team member the clone URL will appear on the event dashboard. Just clone the repository, make changes to it, commit, and once you are ready to deploy push the commits. Lean Poker Live will automatically deploy your new code into production.

Changing the default player

Each team is provided with a default folding player implemented in the language of their choice. In each ported version there should be a file called player.*. The team should start working with the bet_request function in this file. For a documentation of how this should be used please be referred to the Player API documentation.

Frequently asked questions

What does the chart on the event dashboard show?

The main chart on the dashboard is a relative performance chart. The X axis represents the games in order of end time. The Y axis is the number of points the team had after the nth game, minus the average number of points all teams together had at that point. This normalization is necessary to make it easy to see the difference between the performance of each team. Essentially when the curve for a team is trending down, the team performs worse than average, if it is trending up, the team does better than average.

There are also black dots on each line. These dots represent the approximate time when a new version was deployed for that particular team.

It is also possible to click on a line on the chart to open a particular game.

How often and how long do sit'n'gos run?

Both the frequency and length of sit'n'gos vary.

The length of a sit'n'go can be anything from a few seconds to up to 3 minutes. If a game takes too long, but a number of hands were already played, a decision is made based on stack sizes.

The frequency of the games start at one game every 40 seconds for the first hour. After that every hour the frequency is reduced by 5 seconds, i.e. during the second hour there is a game every 35 seconds, during the third hour every 30 seconds, etc. Once the frequency reaches every 5 seconds, it remains that. Note however that at most 8 games can run in parallel. If there are already 8 sit'n'gos running when a new one should be triggered, it will be skipped.

Is there a time limit on responding to bet requests?

Yes, there is! Each player has a total of 25 seconds for responding to all bet_requests during a sit'n'go. If a player exceeds the allowed time, then its remaining stack is taken away and it gets banned from the current sit'n'go.

How can I look at the sit'n'gos played by the bots?

Either click a data point on the relative performance chart to get to that particular game's viewer, or open the game from the event wall. Once on the game viewer page you can step through by using the arrow buttons on your keyboard.

Suddenly the player lost all its money without even betting, why?

This happens when the croupier bans a player from the game. While stepping through the game you should find an error message that describes the reason for the ban. Possible options are that the player ran out of the allowed execution time, did not respond with HTTP 200 status code, or the response body did not contain a valid non-negative integer.

Two players had the same hand, but one of them won the money, why?

Both of them won, but the croupier awards the money to each team one-by-one. If you keep stepping through the sit'n'go you should see multiple "player won" messages.

Is it possible to access game logs via an API?

Yes! On the dashboard you can find a url in the Event menu under Games JSON that points to a JSON data structure that lists all sit'n'gos. You can extract the game ids and the tournament ids from that. After that you can use the url bellow to download the JSON data structure representing each game.

Game log url:<tournament_id>/game/<game_id>/log

How do I know if my deployment was successful?

The deployment menu on the event dashboard will show the result of the last 5 deployments. Each deployment is indicated with a color depending on success - blue is in progress, green is successful, red is a failed deployment. Each deployment is identified by the commit hash of the last commit in the version deployed. To look at the deployment log, just click on the commit hash in the deployment menu.

Is there a way to log in production and look at the results?

Whatever your application writes to stderr will show up in the application logs. You can access the last few minutes worth of application logs from your teams menu on the event dashboard.

Can I use a proper log indexing service?

You may find the default log viewer pretty uncomfortable, or you may want to keep logs around for a bit longer. There are some very good free services for that like Papertrail or Logentries.

To set up Papertrail, go to and sign up for a free account. First you will need to add a new system. Once you have done that you will find a syslog url on the top of the Setup systems page that opens. Copy that url.

Next head to the Lean Poker event dashboard and find Custom logdrains in the team menu. You will have to type syslog+tls://<syslog url provided by papertrail> into the input field and click add logdrain.

When you head back to Papertrail you should see logs showing up for your player.