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Reading time: 8 minutes (1615 words)
The beginning of the LetsPoker Revolution
• by Andrei Alecu - LetsPoker CEO & Founder
Once upon a time in the world of live poker, there I was, a seasoned software expert with two decades of experience in product development, immersing myself in the thrilling realm of live poker tournaments.
As I delved into the game, my excitement for live poker was somewhat overshadowed by the frustration I felt with the way organizers managed their events. Inaccurate reporting of player counts and prize pools, unclear information on remaining players and proximity to the bubble, and a difficult tournament registration process with long queues plagued the industry.
Driven to find a better way, in 2015, I created LetsPoker, a platform designed to bring the live poker industry into the modern era, both in my home country and beyond. As I immersed myself in the world of tournament planning, I collaborated closely with the staff, gathering their requirements and integrating my own insights as a poker player and IT professional.
My mission was simple: to create a seamless, transparent, and efficient system that would fundamentally reshape the world of poker for players, organizers, and club owners.
As the first system of its kind, in 2015 LetsPoker introduced affordable modern tablets at each poker table for dealers to record player eliminations, rebuys, addons, and chip counts in real-time. This innovation significantly improved the live poker experience for everyone involved, providing transparency and accuracy in managing the game. Players were able to adjust their game strategy based on the real-time updates, making the gameplay more dynamic and exciting.
Technology Meets Poker: The LetsPoker App
In 2015, the LetsPoker prototype system was put to the test at a major international festival, handling a massive tournament with over 1,000 entries in the Main Event. The 500 euro buy-in tournament generated a prize pool of well over 500,000 euros, showcasing the system’s ability to effectively manage large-scale poker events and further solidifying its potential to revolutionize the live poker industry.
The overwhelmingly positive feedback from players and staff led to the creation of the LetsPoker app. This companion app provided real-time information on tournament clocks, prize structures, blind structures, and event schedules directly to players’ smartphones.
The app breathed new life into side events, which had previously been overlooked and under-attended. Word of mouth spread quickly, and thousands of players started using the app daily.
Reinventing the Romanian Poker Scene
LetsPoker’s impact on the Romanian poker scene has been nothing short of transformative. The platform has helped turn Romania into one of the most active poker hubs in Europe. Thousands of live poker players are active every week in poker events throughout the country.
Today, monthly tournaments with participants from Eastern, Central, and Western Europe, as well as Israel, are a common occurrence in Romania, drawing players from all corners of the world.
Major Partnerships and Recognition
In 2016, LetsPoker’s success caught the attention of PokerStars, who chose the platform to run their Eureka festival in Bucharest (video).
Impressed with the system’s superior quality, PokerStars used LetsPoker again in 2017 for their PokerStars Festival.
This prestigious collaboration further solidified LetsPoker’s reputation, leading to partnerships with other major brands such as 888 and Unibet in later years.
LetsPoker at an Unibet Open event
A Powerful Partnership: Andrei and Alex
As LetsPoker’s popularity skyrocketed, Andrei realized the importance of involving someone with a deep understanding of the game from a player’s perspective to enhance the platform further.
In 2019, he brought on professional poker player Alex Papazian, who holds two World Series of Poker bracelets and the #1 rank on the Romanian all-time money list.
Alex Papazian (photo by Tomas Stacha)
Papazian shared his thoughts on the current state of live poker software:
I don’t understand why our standards are so low regarding the software we use to help us play & organize live tournaments. Nowadays, we employ software to help us do most things we do regularly. I mean, I have an app on my phone that helps me play FIFA22 on my PS5, imagine that. In this regard, live poker is still in the dark ages.
This is where LetsPoker steps in. Papazian explained:
With LetsPoker I found that organizers tend to stick to their schedules more often, because all the players know it and expect things to run smoothly. Once I’m in the game, I mostly use it during breaks to check on what the next blind level is, construct a strategy for that based on my stack and my table, and to keep an eye on the tournament clock to not be late. Oh, and I check on my friends too, especially if we have a last longer bet or if I bought action. It makes things much easier in that regard.
One facet where Papazian believes LetsPoker stands apart from similar applications is its potential to make poker more accessible for people just starting out, especially recreational players. He commented:
I think it lowers the entry requirements for players who are new to the live poker scene, and it answers their questions while lowering expenses for organizers and lowering the stress-factor for everyone involved. Whenever I find something that can help promote our beautiful game better, I try to embrace that thing.
Player Testimonials and Experiences
Players worldwide have embraced LetsPoker, with top-ranked pros like Ana Márquez singing its praises:
I discovered LetsPoker at 888Live in Bucharest a while ago, and it made the event so cool! Since then I’ve been hoping to see it everywhere. It made my life so much easier, and me and my friends had a lot of fun tracking each other (great for last-longer bets!).
Adapting and Innovating During the Pandemic
Although the COVID pandemic put a temporary pause on live poker events worldwide, the LetsPoker team never stopped working. We used this time to enhance the platform and develop new features that would take the user experience to the next level. Today, LetsPoker is a comprehensive solution for poker club management, providing a suite of tools and features that streamline event management and elevate player satisfaction.
As 2022 progressed, the world experienced a poker renaissance. LetsPoker expanded its reach to Australia, Canada, and even the Caribbean, making our platform available on 4 continents. Serving thousands of players every day, LetsPoker has become an integral part of the global poker community, contributing to the resurgence of live poker events and fostering connections among players, organizers, and club owners.
Comprehensive Solution for Poker Club Management and Marketing
From empowering new clubs in remote locations to providing scalable solutions for diverse organizers, LetsPoker has become the go-to platform for poker clubs, circuits, and festivals. The platform offers business intelligence tools, real-time collaboration capabilities, and a wide range of features that cater to both players and organizers alike.
For players, the LetsPoker app offers a wealth of features that make it easy to find nearby tournaments and events further afield. They can access complete event information, including schedules, rules, blind and prize structures, cash game tables, and more. Players can also track tournament progress using real-time clocks on their smartphones, receive live updates on standings, chip counts, and eliminations, and even follow friends or be followed by others.
The app also allows players to connect with poker clubs in real-time, streamlining communication for signing up on waiting lists, inquiring about events, or ordering food and drinks. One of the key features of the LetsPoker app is the ability to register every buy-in, re-entry, rebuy, addon, or elimination in real-time, giving players confidence that events are being run professionally and fairly.
LetsPoker remains committed to staying at the forefront of the industry’s ever-evolving landscape and maintaining the highest standards.
Andrei and Alex’s dedication to innovation and collaboration with partners is a testament to LetsPoker’s continued success in empowering the poker community and revolutionizing the live poker industry. The LetsPoker platform is continuously developed by a dedicated team of experts who ensure smooth and efficient operation, as well as regular updates that bring new and exciting features to both players and organizers.
The Future of LetsPoker and the Live Poker Industry
As the LetsPoker story continues to unfold, it remains clear that this pioneering platform is not only transforming local poker scenes but also making a significant impact on the global poker community. By providing state-of-the-art solutions and exceptional user experiences, LetsPoker is leaving an indelible mark on the industry and setting a new standard for live poker events worldwide.
Committed to shaping the future of the live poker industry, LetsPoker is dedicated to enrolling thousands of poker clubs of all sizes in the coming period. Our goal is to create a tight-knit, vibrant, and inclusive global live poker community, where players, organizers, and club owners can connect, share experiences, and grow together.
As we look forward to the road ahead, we at LetsPoker are driven by our passion for innovation and our unwavering commitment to excellence. We believe that, through our platform, we can empower the live poker ecosystem and continue to elevate the game to new heights, making it more accessible and enjoyable for everyone involved.
Join us as we embark on this exciting journey, reshaping the live poker industry and fostering a global community united by the love of the game. Together, we can ensure a bright and prosperous future for live poker, and for all who share our passion.
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As we look to the future, one thing is certain.
The LetsPoker story is just getting started.
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