Hot Jobs

Kickstarter is looking for a Games Content Strategist to work at its office in Brooklyn, evaluating games projects, writing about them, and promoting them through various online outlets.. The company is also looking for a Games Intern for a 3 month research project. There’ll be a lot of detail work online and either previous academic study of games or 3-4 years of professional experience with games is required.

Recruiter Aardvark Swift is searching for a Marketing Manager to work at The Pokemon Company in London. The successful applicant will familiar with media for 4-14 year olds across Europe.

Steamforged Games (Guild Ball, Dark Souls) is looking to fill two positions: Commercial Brand Coordinator and Retail Support Manager, both in Tukwila, Washington. The former will focus on marketing, the latter on retailer account management.

Esdevium Games, part of the Asmodee Group in the U.K., has openings for a Finance Manager, an HR Officer, and a Sales and Customer Service Account Handler. The last of those is about sales to the hobby channel.

University Games, located in the Mission area of San Francisco, needs someone to fill the dual role of Receptionist and Office Manager.

The Stars Group is working to develop a state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence that could learn to play a variety of games. Toward that end, the company is recruiting for a Poker AI Research Engineer and a Graduate Poker AI Research Engineer.

Cubicle 7 needs an Office Assistant in Swindon, U.K. to help with customer service, order handling, and administrative tasks.

Tabletop Tycoon (Game Salute, Myriad Games, Ship Naked) is staffing up in Londonderry, New Hampshire. The company has job openings for an Account Manager, an Assistant Account Manager, full and part-time Fulfillment Staff, and a General Manager. The Account Manager and Assistant Account Manager will be responsible for sales and logistics for Ship Naked. Fulfillment Staff will handle packing and shipping. The General Manager, who will run everything, is expected on-site 7:00 AM-7:00 PM.

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At the recent DEFCON hackers conference, members of Google’s anti-fraud and abuse team presented the results of an investigation in to a smartphone-like device for cheating at card games such as Poker. The instrument, which they purchased from a Chinese seller for $1,300, can read through an entire deck of shuffled and stacked cards, telling its user exactly which suit and number will be drawn next. If the user selects options for the number of players and the game being played, the device will even accurately predict who has the winning hand.

The feat is accomplished with a marked deck of cards, infrared LEDs, and a black-and-white camera. The whole process is quite discreet. The cards are marked along the edges with IR ink invisible to the naked eye. The LEDs work through the device’s outer casing, such that their lights are hardly noticeable. And the camera is placed in order to read the card deck from a position laying down across the table.




In fact, a sealed-in-shrink-wrap deck of cards of the purchaser’s choice of brands is included in the package.


The device too is well disguised. It not only looks very much like a Samsung smartphone, it’s built on the Android operating system and will make calls and run standard apps.


In terms of getting the scan results, users have the option to receive audio signals via miniature earpiece (included), coded signals via a vibrating receiver that can be strapped to an arm or leg (also included), or the device can make subtle changes to the time it displays on-screen.

And just in case a smartphone on the table might arouse suspicion, the package also comes with an alternate Bluetooth-connected camera hidden in a car key fob (customizable with different car maker logos).

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Cartamundi has three new James Bond 007 products for the UK market. One is a James Bond movie poster deck of playing cards (retail price £3), another a Spectre deck (£4). The third is a James Bond Luxury Poker Set (£100).

River Horse has acquired a license produce a board game based on The Hunt for Red October, the movie version. Expect the company to make it a Kickstarter project.

Kung Fu Panda The Board GameKung Fu Panda: The Board Game is coming from Modiphius Entertainment under license from DreamWorks Animation. Scheduled for release next fall, Kung Fu Panda will be a cooperative adventure game where the players take on the role of Po or one of the other Furious Five, complete quests, earn Kharma, upgrade their abilities, and work to defeat Tai Lung and other villains.

At the Fall Toy Preview show in Dallas, Wonder Forge premiered Matching and Surprise Slides games based on the children’s books of Eric Carle, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Masterpiece Mystery Motive for MurderHitting retail this week is Mystery Motive for Murder from Mayfair Games. Based on the Masterpiece Mystery series on PBS television, the game doesn’t hide the location and weapon used in a murder but rather asks the players to figure out the culprit and motive.

Releasing November 10th is a Fallout Collector’s Edition of Monopoly from USAopoly. It’s a Gamestop exclusive.


Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresAlfred “Eastpoint” Barnett of Sparta, Georgia won the American Pool Checkers Association National Tournament. It’s his 12th such title in 57 years playing the game. American Pool Checkers is a variant of American Checkers (also known as English Draughts) in which a piece may capture both forward and backward and kings may jump any number of squares.

Despite never having played the game before and having signed up for the wrong tournament by mistake, professional Poker player Christian Pham won the No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Craw Lowball event at the World Series of Poker, earning an $81,000 prize and one of the coveted gold bracelets.

At the Irish Rubik’s Cube Championship, Oliver Frost solved the 4×4 in a world-record 2 minutes, 2.75 seconds. At the TCG & Friends Rubik’s Cube tournament in Peru, powerhouse Feliks Zemdegs broke two world and three Oceania records, and Gianfranco Huanqui broke five South American records.

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Poker, Solved

pokerResearchers with the University of Alberta have developed a computer program that is unbeatable at Heads-up Limit Hold’em Poker. While not for the most popular version of Poker, the solution does provide some insight in to general strategies.

Also interesting is how the program was developed. The computer was set to play against itself for a series of training rounds, calculating after each game a level of “regret” for imperfect play. Following 2 months of practice, the computer had developed a table of strategies exceeding 10 terabytes in size.

Because of the hidden information and luck inherent in Poker, the program is not guaranteed a win in each and every hand. Nevertheless, its table of strategies is so good that it is unbeatable by a human in the long run.

The program also bluffs, usually folding but sometimes raising on a week hand!

[via Bloomberg]

Gifts for the Game Collection

There’s a gamer in your life, but you don’t know what to surprise them with as a gift. There are deck-builders, dice fests, worker-placement games, area-control games, and all sorts of different types of games (and so many!) — it’s tough to just pick that perfect game for your perfect gamer. Instead of giving a gift for them, why not give them something for their game collection?

Replacement Money and Score Counters

There’s something about the tactile experience of props in games, from the foam guns in Ca$h ‘N Gun$ to the paper money in Monopoly. Purple Pawn suggests upgrading your game collections money and scoring counters with one of these three suggestions:

Bird Bucks from Smart Play Games. For less than $7, you can replace money and score counters with a thicker thematic card deck. Featuring fifty cards numbered 0-9 with a sharply designed monetary look, these cards can be used as score keepers and as a clever tool for budding game designers.

A Poker Chip Set. Gamers who dislike paper money in their board games can use a standard set of poker chips as a replacement. When looking for a poker chip set, look for chips that are about 11.5 grams or higher for the weight and feel. Plus, they make a satisfying CLUNK when tossed onto a game table. Added bonus: poker chip sets can also be used for playing poker! Amazing!

Campaign Coins. A fantastic set of coins and counters available in many different styles and metals, these coins are absolutely luxurious to hold and use. You can create a specific collection of coins or just go for the King’s Ransom, a custom set intended for use with board games. Wonderfully designed, these coins are a delight to look at and play with. (Shopping for Christmas? Get your order in now to have a set arrive in time!)

Organizational Supplies

There are games with well-designed inserts and then there are the majority of games. Here are three items that Purple Pawn suggests to use to help manage their game collection (once they throw away that useless insert):

Hugo’s Amazing Tape. Games with cards often have the same problem: keeping them together. Enter Hugo’s Amazing Tape. This product is a transparent static wrap that sticks to itself, not your game components. It’s great for securing game boxes and keeping cards in organized stacks. Although Hugo’s Amazing Tape works well on most games, make sure to point your gamer over to this geeklist on BoardGameGeek for a list of games “safely tested” with the stuff. Looking for more colors? Try static bondage tape.

H-Shape or X-Shape Rubber Bands. To keep that overstuffed game box shut, a collection of crossing rubber bands might do the trick. Unlike regular rubber bands, these are split almost down the center, allowing one rubber band to wrap around all four sides of a game box.

Plano Stowaway Boxes. Primarily used as tackle boxes or for crafts, these transparent storage boxes can be configured to hold many differently-sized game components. For games that require multiple types of tokens (we’re talking about you, Fantasy Flight Games), Plano boxes are a great asset for organizing and storing. The boxes come in different sizes and basic configurations; most have adjustable dividers.

Other Items

And a miscellany of items that are just plain helpful (or tasty).

Edible Dice. Searching for a gift for a role-player? Gamers love dice — and Dice Candies makes them out of chocolate. A complete set of Ghirardelli, Van Lerr Callebaut, or TCHO organic chocolate polyhedrals (one each of d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20) will run you less than $10 — that’s less than some sets of non-edible dice!

Sports/Duffel Bags. Game night at a friend’s house? Heading to a convention? Your gamer will want to have something to safely and securely carry their games over. Look for a squarish-shaped duffel bag that is at least twelve inches wide — square board game boxes like Dominion are just under 12″x12″x3″. End pockets are great for holding smaller games. Note that when buying online, dimensions listed are usually the exterior size. The item linked above should carry three Dominion-sized boxes in the main compartment with room for a smaller game box.

Game Tables. With a round gaming table that’s easy to put away for storage (and to be used for other things), all players can have the game board at an equal distance, which helps with seeing those small board elements and reaching the board no matter where you sit. Have a few thousand dollars in your gift-giving budget? Consider The Portal by Geek Chic for something a bit more elegant and customizable.

Dice Trays. When rolling a handful of dice, it’s helpful to keep them all together instead of chasing them off the table or — for the gamer who wants to keep their game pristine — scuffing the board. Dice trays come in various shapes and styles, but for our tastes, you want to look for a large (but not too large) rolling surface and high walls.


Chess Game Overhead ViewOctober 3rd, when two Poker and Chess events sponsored by PokerStars overlap in the Isle of Man, the organizers are planning a joint contest—a Chess-Poker tournament. The evening will begin with a 5-round Swiss blitz Chess match, followed by no-limit Hold’em Poker. Players will start the Poker section with 8,000 chips, plus another 1,000 chips for each Chess win and 500 for each Chess draw.

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Jennifer Shahade is a former U.S. Women’s Chess Champion, a FIDE-rated (2322) Woman Grand Master, the author of Chess Bitch, a Chess tournament commentator, an advocate for women in Chess, and also a Poker player. In fact, Shahade recently signed on as an ambassador for PokerStars, on behalf of whom she will be “commenting on poker/chess synergies, strategies and skills.”

Here she is at a recent TEDx event in Baltimore talking about intuition versus deliberate thought in Chess, Poker, and life:

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Poker Art

An art installation made from playing cards for the offices of a poker website:


Click the pic for more info and other views.

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