This document provides essential information for participants in a Lean Poker event.
Lean Poker events are inspired by the structure of coderetreats, typically lasting about 6 to 8 hours, starting in the morning around 9am. The day is divided into several segments:
The specifics of each segment are detailed in their respective sections below. The structure may slightly vary to fit different formats and participant needs.
The event starts with a concise yet informative introduction video. This video serves as a foundational step for participants, covering the essentials of what Lean Poker is.
Key highlights of the video include:
For most participants, watching this video will be sufficient to understand the core aspects of the event. The Participant Guide is available for those seeking more detailed information about specific segments of the event.
Team formation is a crucial part of the Lean Poker experience, fostering collaboration and diverse thinking. Here's how it typically unfolds:
In-Person Events: The facilitator gathers participants into a large standing circle. Supported programming languages are announced one by one. Participants interested in a particular language raise their hand and connect with others sharing the same preference, leading to the formation of teams. Finally, each team finds a comfortable space around a table.
Online Events: For virtual formats, team formation may utilize digital tools like a Miro board. Participants indicate their language preferences on the board, facilitating the process of finding teammates with similar interests.
Facilitator-Led Team Formation: In some cases, the facilitator might guide the team formation process, ensuring a balanced mix of skills and experience within each team.
Regardless of the format, the aim is to encourage participants to self-organize into diverse and effective teams, conducive to a rich learning experience. This section of the event is flexible and can be adapted to suit the specific needs of the group and the event format.
The coding sessions are dynamic and engaging, forming the core of the Lean Poker event. Here's what they entail:
Game Rounds: Each session features continuous rounds of a game, currently Texas Hold'em. While familiarity with the game is not essential, spending a few minutes understanding its basic rules beforehand is recommended.
Scoring System: Teams compete by developing algorithms for their virtual robots, which play the game on their behalf. Points are awarded based on the performance of these robots - 5 points for the winner of each round, and 3 points for the runner-up.
Coding and Deployment: Teams work on their strategies by coding in a provided Git repository. Any changes pushed to this repository trigger an automatic deployment, making the updated strategies immediately active in the game.
These sessions are designed to be intense yet fun, encouraging teams to experiment and iterate rapidly, mirroring real-world software development scenarios.
Retrospectives are integral to the Lean Poker experience, offering moments of reflection and learning:
Discussion and Analysis: Following each coding session, participants gather for a retrospective. This is a time to discuss the recent round - what stood out, what challenges arose, and how teams approached these challenges. It's a chance to share insights and learn from each other's experiences.
Application of Agile and Lean Principles: The facilitator plays a key role here, guiding discussions towards identifying and understanding Agile and Lean principles in action. They highlight how certain strategies or approaches align with these principles, and suggest ways these could be effectively implemented or improved.
Focus on Learning and Collaboration: During these retrospectives, and the subsequent breaks the bots stop playing and participants are required to pause their coding efforts. This is to ensure that the focus remains on collaborative learning and taking advantage of the break.
Retrospectives are designed to be engaging and thought-provoking, ensuring that participants not only develop technical skills but also deepen their understanding of Agile and Lean methodologies in a practical setting.
The Closing Circle is a crucial component of the Lean Poker experience, serving as a reflective and conclusive segment of the event:
Unique Observation Opportunity: As the final retrospective begins, the robots continue their gameplay, but teams are not allowed to make new deployments. This rule ensures that teams can observe the lasting impact of their strategies, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of their approaches throughout the day.
Reflecting on the Day: After the last retrospective, the Closing Circle offers a moment for participants to collectively reflect on the entire experience. It's an opportunity to consider the broader implications of the day's activities, beyond just the technical aspects.
Three Key Questions: During this session, each participant is encouraged to share their thoughts in response to three introspective questions:
The Closing Circle aims to foster a sense of accomplishment and insight. It encourages participants to internalize their experiences, transforming them into actionable knowledge and perspectives that they can apply in their professional lives.
While Lean Poker is a fun and engaging event, there are a few important rules to keep in mind to ensure a fair and productive experience for everyone:
Texas Hold'em Rules: All the standard rules of no-limit Texas Hold'em apply during the game sessions.
Emphasis on Practice, Not Competition: While Lean Poker has a competitive element, the primary focus is on learning and practicing Agile and Lean methodologies. Winning is less important than the collaborative and educational experience.
Fair Play and Integrity: Participants are expected to uphold a high standard of integrity. This includes not exploiting any potential weaknesses in the event framework or deliberately injecting backdoors into its source code. For example it is not allowed to deploy deliberately faulty bots to keep other teams from gaining points.
Code Restrictions: To maintain a level playing field, teams should generally avoid using pre-written code. Proprietary libraries and files, as well as open source poker specific libraries are strictly prohibited. The acceptable resources are:
Generative AI Usage: Teams are allowed to use code generated by AI during the event, simulating the inclusion of an AI team member.
Code Transparency: All repositories are public to make sure that our system does not need to request access to our users private repositories. Participants are asked not to view other teams' code during the event. Attempts to privatize repositories are discouraged, as this will disrupt the deployment pipeline.
These rules are designed to ensure that Lean Poker remains a fair, educational, and enjoyable experience for all participants.
This section outlines the essential steps to get your team up and running for the Lean Poker event. For a more interactive guide, we highly recommend watching the introduction video, which includes a screen recording to walk you through these processes.
Remember, these steps are fundamental in preparing your team for the Lean Poker event. The introduction video offers a visual and detailed explanation, which can be particularly helpful if you prefer learning through demonstration.
The main chart is a relative performance chart, designed to effectively display each team's progress:
You can click on a team's line in the chart to view details of a specific game.
Sit'n'gos at Lean Poker events vary in both frequency and duration to keep the game dynamic:
This structure is designed to ensure a continuous, engaging, and manageable pace for all participants.
Yes. Each player has about 30 seconds total to respond to all bet requests during a sit'n'go. Exceeding this limit results in removal from the game and loss of the remaining stack. Time limits for individual requests may vary between events.
To access and navigate through the recorded games played by the bots, follow these steps:
Accessing the Game Viewer:
Navigating Within the Game Viewer:
These options allow you to analyze gameplay and strategies, providing valuable insights for refining your team's approach.
This occurs when a player is banned from a game, typically for:
When two players have identical hands, the pot distribution may appear one-sided at first. However, both players do win. The game viewer awards the pot to each winning team sequentially, not simultaneously. So, if you continue stepping through the game, you will see the "player won" message for each winning team.
In rare cases where players still don't seem to receive their share, other factors come into play:
Continue stepping through the game to observe these scenarios and understand the distribution outcome.
Yes. Find the 'Games JSON' under the 'Event' menu on the dashboard, which lists all sit'n'gos. Use the provided URL format to download JSON data for each game.
Game log URL: https://live.leanpoker.org/api/tournament/<tournament_id>/game/<game_id>/log
Check the deployment menu on the dashboard:
Yes, any output to stderr appears in the application logs, accessible from your team's menu on the event dashboard.
Yes, if you prefer a different log viewer or need longer log retention. Obtain a log drain URL from an online logging service and add it under 'Custom logdrains' in the team menu on the event dashboard.
If you still have questions, head over to the frequently asked questions section.