The Power of Client-Facing Apps - Creating a Poker Empire in Record Time

This is the story of two ambitious poker players from Cluj-Napoca who managed to create a poker club empire in record time. With the help of the app we created, GoPoker, our clients won the 2023 title for Best Poker Club in Romania. Let’s deep dive into this case study, and find out how we created a successful client-facing app for the poker community.

About the Client

The story of our clients is a rags-to-riches one. Our two poker players decided to create their own club and app Player's Poker Club, after the poker platform they were affiliated with started charging for money, creating a monopolistic market. So they started small, with a few players. They grew organically and found investors who saw the drive in their eyes. With this newfound opportunity to pursue their dream, they wanted to go to the next level - create their own platform. This competition they would create would make the marketplace more balanced. 

There was only one missing piece: an online poker community space where players and clubs would exchange valuable information and create trustful and transparent relationships.

The Challenge 

Our clients wanted to create a transparent market, where poker clubs and casinos could reach large amounts of clients, and where players would feel understood and actively involved in the events and activities.

The challenges that the app needed to face were: 

  • Reaching new audiences: Encountering hurdles in marketing to clients, particularly those on an international scale, and drawing in new players.
  • Capturing Player Behavior Insights: Insufficient understanding of player behavior and preferences due to lack of data or analytical tools.
  • Remote Operations Management: The complexity of managing operations from afar escalates with the increase in the number of locations and the geographical distance between them.
  • Real-Time Updates: The absence of a dedicated platform for delivering real-time updates regarding game schedules, tournaments, and other club-centric activities.

The Solution 

The proposed solution is a comprehensive app tailored for both players and club managers, encapsulating the entirety of the poker ecosystem within a singular digital arena. Accessible via desktop and mobile platforms, this app empowers players to monitor their performance metrics and manage their diamond earnings and expenditures through intuitive game statistics and tournament leaderboards. 

Additionally, it provides club owners with robust tools for organizing events, managing member rosters, allocating tables, tracking item inventories, reviewing historical data, and customizing club settings among other functionalities.

Moreover, the app extends creative control to users, allowing them to design their banners and tickets, as well as request personalized avatars and special items. 

This end-to-end solution is not a static one; it's envisioned as a dynamic, continually evolving platform that fosters a thriving poker community amidst a rapidly changing global landscape.

The whole idea was to create a friendly and secure environment for the players, by also giving them the chance to earn rake back and use it later for different benefits: items, avatars, beverages (on-site), etc.

Steps/App walkthrough

First, we designed the architecture, after carefully listening to our customer’s instructions. We suggested better alternatives and, upon reaching a common ground, our developers started building the app. Of course, another party that played an important role in the process was the designer, with whom we worked very well. 

To better understand the process, it is easier for you to try out the app for yourself. But here is a sneak peek of the app:

First, you go to https://pokerfloormanager.com/ and log in as a guest or create an account. 

Once logged in, you will first find the listed clubs. 

go poker app

Clicking on one of the clubs will lead to their schedule, tournaments, cash tables, chip count, and other relevant information. 

Go Poker in app walk-through events

You can take a seat if you want to, but that means you have to be on-site as well. 

The dealer uses a tab to accompany him at the table, in order to manage the game accordingly. This means adding players to the waiting list, sitting them out, keeping track of their buy-ins and re-buys, giving dinner breaks, starting the timer, etc.

Gopoker seat at the table

As far as the club admin and dealer views, the links are different, but part of the same app. 

The club admin logs in and is redirected to the dashboard, where they will find information about the club, players, items, banners, tournaments, logs, cash tables, history of gameplay, chip counts, etc. 

Gopoker acces admin

Apps Used

We used Bubble.io to create the design, workflow, database, plugin, and privacy rules of the application. We used the API Connector plugin to get information from KHoldem via API and sync live tournaments with our own.

We used Make.com and the affiliated modules (bubble.io, HTTP, iterators, and Google Drive to get information about the tournaments/events/clubs/users from a notorious external website, dedicated to poker players.

We also used Brizy to create a couple of marketing actors: gopoker.info (a landing page that redirects to the app) and playerspoker.ro (where the players see the schedule of the events).

Client testimonial? 

What challenges did our team solve for your business?

Our main challenge was the competition. The creation of this app put our poker club back on the map and on the top. Not only this, but the app offers a free alternative for other poker clubs in the country to promote themselves.

How would you describe our collaboration?

Overall, I would say a 9,5 out of 10 for the whole team, and a solid 10 out of 10 for the makeitifuture management and PM. They have been very supportive. 

How accountable did you find the team members when working on your project?

Let’s just say that if we have a pressing issue we had to fix, we would write to the project PM and he would fix it in 5 minutes. 

On the other hand, I would say that my expectations on delivery timeframes did not match what happened in reality. I feel it took us more time to find a flow and get out of the inertia zone, making the overall project more time-consuming than expected.  

How would you appreciate our tech skills?

If I were to compare them with other collaborations in the past, I would say their skills are the best I have encountered so far. 

Would you recommend our services to others and if so, why?

I would recommend you guys for all the right reasons but I am afraid that if I recommend you, you will no longer have the same amount of time for our ongoing projects, so I’d rather keep you to myself.

Developer feedback

This project has been a very good example of what real-life business focus looks like, compared to what I was taught in school. Being theoretically sound on all app angles, while powerful (covering all possible edge cases that one can think of, trying to fix all the bugs and small irregularities in certain areas), might prove ineffective and add substantial costs. And if the cost-benefit ratio is not worth it, covering the most common cases might be the best approach. Also, it’s my first large project and it's been a great chance to continuously learn about APIs, and app structure, train forward-thinking skills, and suggest ways to improve the product, be it design, functionality, data flow, or user experience.

As I mentioned earlier, communication could've been smoother, which would have helped speed development. The internal restructuring did slow us down and pushed deadlines and budget in some areas. While not perfect, we adapted, worked some extra hours here and there, and managed to solve the difficult situations we found ourselves in.

One big takeaway for me is that as long as we're making progress with each sprint and the end user appreciates that the app is under constant development (therefore showing dedication and a somewhat predictable future from us and the app owner), I see it as a win. 

Issues during development

  • Communication efficiency: Enhancing communication among all team members could have expedited development and ensured more precise execution. That was also due to internal restructuring and adding new developers and project managers in the process.
  • Internal restructuring: The process of internal restructuring contributed to a slower development pace and resulted in budget overruns and crossing deadlines in certain areas.

Results:

The app we built is a complex system integrated with live poker tournaments, providing 3 views: one for the poker players; one for the club owners; and one for the dealers. The 3 key components ensure the full cycle is completed and the tournaments and events can be carried out indefinitely.

On the 7th of December, our clients accomplished one of the most wanted feats - reaching the #1 Poker Club in 2023 for astonishing records, having multiple 1.000.000 RON tournaments hosted, crashing the previous records. Special mentions were given to the GoPoker App, created by us, which added immense value to their business and helped them secure the much-wanted prize.

Now, after more than a year’s worth of effort, the live version hosts over 1000 players and 10 clubs, part of which are from the international poker circuit, 3 major components (players, club owners, dealers), and a significant number of happy shareholders.

In Conclusion

The journey of our clients exemplifies the power of innovative thinking in the digital age. Their journey from humble beginnings to developing a game-changing application demonstrates how technology is revolutionizing specialized markets like poker.

The GoPoker app's extensive and user-friendly platform has completely changed the poker scene. It is a crucial tool in the poker community since it tackles issues like player behavior analysis, remote operations, audience outreach, and real-time updates. With features like event management, performance tracking, and customizable elements, the app's dynamic nature appeals to both club owners and players, creating a more open and active poker environment.

This case study showcases the importance of understanding client needs, the effective use of technological tools, and the value of a client-focused approach. The success of our clients' poker club, as evidenced by their recognition as the Best Poker Club in Romania in 2023, is a testament to the app's effectiveness and the vision of its creators. 

Despite some difficulties along the way, the development process has been a teaching tool that has highlighted the value of effective communication, adaptability, and a preference for practical application over theoretical perfection. The outcome is a strong, dynamic platform that not only satisfies but also anticipates user needs.

Essentially, the GoPoker app is a monument to the strength of teamwork, creativity, and commitment to quality rather than merely a tool. It serves as a lighthouse for would-be business owners and tech enthusiasts, demonstrating that even niche markets can be transformed with the appropriate strategy. Not only is the poker club empire and the app a success for our clients, but it also serves as motivation for anyone aspiring to be successful.

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Heading 6

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Block quote

Ordered list

  1. Item 1
  2. Item 2
  3. Item 3

Unordered list

  • Item A
  • Item B
  • Item C

Text link

Bold text

Emphasis

Superscript

Subscript

Automation consulting. Automate. Improve. Succeed.

We advise you independently and offer our expertise.