Teddy: RFID Smart Poker Table Build

IsntThatADaisy

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Hello everyone,

First post. I tend to make big splashes but I'll try to keep this short. If you had to put a title on me I prefer 'Full Stack Developer' but truth is I fit in many seats. For the last 6 years I was paid to solve problems for companies that hired the marketing agency I worked at, but now I do my own thing and have much more time to devote to my projects. You can only tell me about a problem you're having for so long before I solve it if I can. This leads me to my current predicament and project, Teddy, a smart poker table. I had done a lot of Alex and voice work at the tail end of my last job and after some interaction with non/semi poker players I noticed a problem (or at least I perceive one) with the live poker streaming world. Let me clarify...


I am an avid Live At The Bike watcher (not so much since Limon left) and when I would show people hands (like the video above) and I will always get "Wait, so which guy has Ad?" "Is that Limon or is that Harry we're looking at? Oh, ok" This lack of instant recognition got me to thinking, then me grabbing a raspberry pi/hardware I had laying around, and then writing some python to achieve this...


I have a slidedeck that talks all about it but I think the video will give you the gist of the active player abilities. There's no audio in the video, but the table is named 'Teddy' and listens to 'Teddy...' rather than Alexa and eventually will pick up on dealer actions and move the active state automatically. This table has a full RFID setup but there's no need to document that (no the four color Copags you see in the video are not RFID...yet).

Trouble is, I'm not sure why I built this, I don't know who it's for. The one you see i was commissioned to build by my local card room and I got full creative freedom. I have become discouraged lately though as the only people who think it's cool are non poker players. It seems most poker players could care less about what table they play on as long as it meets a certain level of comfort. I tried to design it with dealer comfort in mind so the good mood will trickle down and out to the players, but even the dealers I talk to go 'Meh'. I also built a simple board system so they can move away from a white board but that has fallen on it's face (view the board here. Yes I know the high hand is incorrectly labeled. Lost interest in this too). I'm also having trouble with the fact that it's 2019 yet I seem to be the first person to do something like this? Please tell me I'm wrong about that.

What do you guys think? Keep in mind this is nowhere near complete. I apologize if this post is in the wrong section or if I'm breaking any rules, I have a tendency to do that with first posts.
 
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IsntThatADaisy

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TBH, the RFID portion of the build is almost an after thought, I know it's never going to be used which is why I haven't attacked the software but as far as the antennas go, I had them laying around and we where building it. I'd rather have them and not need them, then need them and not have them. I also will do a ton of R&D on this table, so who knows.

Basically I approached this like any front end project I was tasked with over the last 5 years. Heavy emphasis on a great UX. I really wanted to create a table that had dealer comfort in mind. I know tables are mostly designed with player comfort but the person in the box should be the most comfortable and have it the easiest IMO. The anology I draw is walking into a Starbucks and getting a snotty kid for a cashier. It's not my fault. If I owned a business employee hapiness would be paramount.

This club and table will have 3....larger people playing at the table at any given time so it's larger than usual, I think 104" or something. The cutout makes it easy to get to mucked cards and stuff though. Squaring everyone up is always a hassle so I figured that animation you see could get every in the right spot by simply saying "Teddy square up". If Elon or Jeff Bezos where gonna build a table I imagine it would kinda look like this..maybe? I mean all this is is a lighted rail with ws818b leds and essentially an Alexa controller.

I find dealers in my area get annoyed super quick if you get a massage and close your eyes and it lands on you. I had a though to put the light barrel buzzer vibrator things in the rail so when it's the active player the rail vibrates similiar to a phone. IDK these are all goofy ideas I have floating around in my head.
 

Forty4

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I think it’s fantastic! Probably need RFID to determine who has cards in the hand and also how many players at the table (to calculate the squaring of the table). But would be helpful for dealer and players to not act out of turn it the lighted portion signals action. Might need a RFID button for that especially if short handed or player lost.
 

IsntThatADaisy

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I think it’s fantastic! Probably need RFID to determine who has cards in the hand and also how many players at the table (to calculate the squaring of the table). But would be helpful for dealer and players to not act out of turn it the lighted portion signals action. Might need a RFID button for that especially if short handed or player lost.
I have plans for how to handle all of these things. There's multiple ways to go about everything. I believe much more emphasis should be put on the voice capabilities rather than RFID since RFID technology is either not user friendly or hard to incorporate. With what you see in the video, you could technically just add a lighted rail with the LED strip, wire in the raspberry pi, and then grab a phone and boom you've got a smart table. Just listen for "Seat 3 folds" from an authorized voice. Something like 68% of homes bought an amazon Alexa device in 2018 or something silly. Homes and devices are getting smarter by the day and many people are completely comfortable talking to any device now. I think the idea should be to give the user full control, but makes the table as smart as possible so the dealer doesn't have to learn anything new to learn the table, the table learns the dealer and the game. Currently the squaring is handled by everyone getting exactly 18 LED's (give or take one at the start and end, it's not perfect but I know to to achieve it now at least). I was planning a web interface, or possibly and android app. At first I had the idea to show a table with seats like HSDB replayer has but then I had the idea to just use custom android gestures to control active player states. Just draw a number on the screen to light that seat or draw an S to square everyone.

I also had plans to write a function to do the math to create LED section for 10, 9, 8, 7, 6....Heads up scenarios and the ability to disable seats with the addition of forward and backward active player states. Simple array to keep track of active players in the hands, then swipe or double tap to move forward or back. Or, if my thinking is right, the table will just learn and get smart enough to detect authorized dealer voices and listen for "Action on Seat 1" "Jim's action". I mean, i could go on for days about all the bells and whistles I originally wanted to add to this thing. Wireless charging mats for newer phones, phone pockets on the outer rail so they don't sit on top or on the table, etc etc. I solved much tougher problems in much tougher situations for much more demanding clients in the past. The problems I see when I play poker are a cake walk by comparison.
 

IsntThatADaisy

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Played with timings for the square up/player position function to give people a better idea of what I'm thinking. No diffusing piece for the lights and only 15leds/m instead of 3LED0/m ill use moving forward but hopefully this demos what I hope to achieve properly. This also demos the API that allows you to interact with the LED controller multiple ways.
 
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