Posts From July, 2011

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New Syndication Features 

Posted by Ed Kaim Saturday, July 30, 2011 2:41:00 AM

Tonight we added the ability to syndicate some updates to Twitter. To check it out, just head over to click the Manage link for your Hold ‘Em bot and look for the Syndication tab. We might move this in the future since this tab applies globally to all of your bots—not just for Hold ‘Em—but for now it seems fine.

The first network we support is Twitter and we’re working on Facebook next. If you’ve got requests beyond that, please let us know.

There are two wired up options for syndication right now:

  1. Publish Tournament Results will publish the results of all tournaments your bots compete in. Right now there are 3 daily tournaments, so this will result in at least 3 tweets each day.
  2. Publish Rank Increases publishes when your rank goes up. We track your highest rank in each competition, so you’ll only publish an update if you’ve achieved a new high. Once you reach #1—and it will happen—you won’t see any more of these for that particular competition.

We’re also going to add an achievement engine at some point, so you might as well sign up for that one too smiley

New Features: Upload History And Bot Tagging 

Posted by Ed Kaim Friday, July 29, 2011 4:15:00 PM

We’ve been hard at work trying to deploy some cool new features, and I’m happy that we’ve been able to get them out today.

The first feature tracks your upload history. This gives you a chance to download earlier versions of your bots, along with a support file (if you provided one). The support file could be a source zip or anything else that you think might be useful when you need to get it in the future and was a great suggestion by detlefgrohs. Note that this feature was only enabled today, so it won’t have bots submitted prior to deployment.

The second feature—bot tagging—is only partly done since the UX is minimal, but it’ll be cool as our community grows. In a nutshell, you can tag your bot and then filter the leaderboard by the tags. For example, we’ll be tagging FinalBot employee bots with "finalbot", so you can see how all the employees rate against each other by adding "tagList=finalbot" to the query of a page with a leaderboard, like this one. We’ll be making the filter UX a little nicer in the near future so you don't need to muck around in the query string.

As always, please keep the feedback coming.

Announcing The FinalBot Hold 'Em Summer 2011 Contest 

Posted by Ed Kaim Wednesday, July 27, 2011 11:57:00 PM

We’re excited to announce the FinalBot Hold ‘Em Summer 2011 Contest. You can win a $300 Apple gift card, and we’ll also have random drawings for 4 $50 Apple gift cards. All you need to do is submit a Hold ‘Em bot and you’re eligible.

We’d like to thank Corensic for stepping up to sponsor this contest, and we really hope you’ll check out their FinalBot sponsor page or head directly to their Web site. They make Jinx, which is a great tool for anyone developing apps that make use of parallel execution.

Check Out The New Articles Section 

Posted by Ed Kaim Monday, July 25, 2011 4:15:00 PM

We’ve added a new Articles section with our first article on Ranks & Places. In it we go into depth on how ranks are calculated, tournaments are seeded, matchups are determined, and more.

FinalBot Featured On Microsoft's "This Week On Channel 9" 

Posted by Ed Kaim Saturday, July 16, 2011 2:43:00 AM

Brian Keller and Dan Fernandez featured FinalBot on their show over at It was Brian's "pick of the week", partly due to the fact that we support J#, his first responsibility when he joined Microsoft back in 2002. Can you beat his bot in the Hold 'Em competition?

Hold 'Em Big Pool Series Added 

Posted by Ed Kaim Wednesday, July 6, 2011 4:45:00 PM Categories: Hold 'Em

We've added a Big Pool series that will compete up to 23 bots at a time. Reviewing the logs for these matchups requires a slightly tweaked version of the test client, which can be downloaded as part of the latest SDK. Please note that the SDK name has not been changed since only the test clients have been updated. This update does not require any changes to bots since the reference assemblies have not been changed.

Programming Language Spotlight: F# 

Posted by Ed Kaim Friday, July 1, 2011 1:08:00 PM

We’re proud to support F# as a programming language for FinalBot competitions. For those who aren’t familiar with F#, it was originally designed by Don Syme and is an ongoing project by Microsoft Research. Officially, "F# is a succinct, expressive and efficient functional and object-oriented language for .NET which helps you write simple code to solve complex problems." It's also important to note that F# is available for virtually every major operating system.

For many scenarios, such as bot development, F# is an excellent choice because of its functional nature. This allows for concise and elegant code while still offering a lot of very practical constructs. If you haven’t yet considered F#, you can learn more at We also plan on providing some videos and labs focusing on F# in the near future, so stay tuned.

When using F# for FinalBot, be sure to build your project using the --standalone flag (note the two dashes) so that it contains everything needed to execute in the official competition environment.