Bold Poker wouldn’t exist like it does today without Úll, the best tech conference out there. This is the story of Bold Poker and Úll.
After hearing only the best about Funconf in 2011, I wanted to go next time but it turned out that there wouldn’t be a next time. Paul announced that Úll would be happening instead.
Úll 2012 kicked off with talks, drinks and music at an amazing venue. I had a beta of Bold Poker in my pocket and was hoping to get the chance to show it to people. With only about 80 attendees, 20 of which were speakers, and the conference working to create an atmosphere where people would constantly meet and talk to each other it turned out to be the perfect place. I was able to show the app to both John Gruber (the unannounced surprise guest) and Jim Dalrymple. When it launched later that year, both of them wrote about it.
Úll 2014 took place in Kilkenny and evolved the conference’s format: everyone was in the same hotel in the countryside and different talks and activities (e.g. a craft beer tasting by Brewbot) were offered throughout the day. John quoted Derek Silvers in his Dinnertime Keynote on how ideas are just a multiplier of execution. It took us a good year to realize that we had (in John’s words) a ”crazy idea” but that our execution was still lacking.
It was last fall when we finally discovered new interactions for the player cards that greatly improved the app. Previously, Bold Poker would only work well for peeking at your cards if you used it with your phone propped up on custom-made mirrors. The new interactions fixed this. Looking for a way to showcase the new app, I realized Úll 2015 would be the ideal location.
Paul was immediatly sold on the idea of setting up a sponsorship where we could have people play poker at the conference. We wanted Bold Poker to be a part of Úll and tried to come up with something that would match the care and attention to detail that Úll is known for. We created a special version of the app featuring a custom deck of cards (featuring the speakers’ faces) and hid it inside the Úll app as an Easter egg (using iOS 8 binary frameworks).
Many thanks go to Conor & David for creating the beautiful deck and Chris Harris and Mateusz Stawecki for hiding it so well. Continuing the Easter theme, players were able to trade poker chips for chocolate Easter eggs.
We’re really grateful for having had the chance to show off the app in such a great way. We had lots of fun playing, got amazing feedback and the hotel WiFi even helped us evolve the product further as we had to setup our own local network and server which we later used on the Úll train.
Bold Poker wouldn’t be the same without all the inspiration, feedback and friends we made at Úll. Thank you Paul, Sasha, Dermot and Kilian!
— Martin Kavalar, founder
Hope to see you at Úll 2016!