Seriously. This site has very low engagement. Even when it reached a beta stage I see very low activity. Please let's discuss how to get more people's attention.

Some time ago I participated in a spanish site named 52cartas.com which had pleeeenty of people, so there IS people outside. However the basic (default, even unintentional) strategy of simply staying up while people from other SE sites becomes aware of our existence is not efficient: Have you watched poker tournaments and player profiles? Few of them are IT people (potentially interested in visiting SE network). Even my poker mates! I am among the few IT experts among them.

I say there is a big share of players we are missing by default.

How can we improve the engagement? I think I said few of them in another post I'd like to remark, while adding new:

  1. This one is dangerous and possibly not efficient, but recommending the site when playing online poker, is people chatting in the room, and the context arises: recommend them to visit poker.SE. I say dangerous because there's a blurry line of doers becoming spammers and no game server (and game type!) wants spammers.
  2. If you have a poker-related website or blog, make sure you... spam... some references to poker.SE there to encourage participation.
  3. Ensure the topics are wide enough in this community and there is a proper environment. This involves:
    • Make a fair and respectable application of the Good Subjective, Bad Subjective criterion. Most applications of this ruling lately in the whole SE network is crap and reading that document does not help when the closer's attitude was not actually an interpretation of the blog entry. I did not see this behavior in poker.SE but better to prevent than fix.
    • Always keep the topicness of this site as wide as possible. There is not so much regarding poker theory once a year or two of useful and non-duplicate contributions run in the site. After that, discussing how I played my hand, hoy Gus Hansen trained to have such devil's face, how did Doyle Brunson adapt his strategy after publishing his book... they not always fit the SE format but we should be careful and perhaps offer a good attitude a priori.
    • Despite a personal issue I had, I don't see a bad interacting environment here as I saw in other poker sites. Pleeeease we all must ensure the community is friendly and not become like other sites.
    • Upvote when good. Downvote when bad. Close when blatantly inappropriate. Be willing to review closed questions when they get a modification. This is never remarked enough across whole SE network.
  4. THE CHAT IS almost NEVER USED - we should encourage people to use it. I visited it. It is no man's land. I would like to visit there and even be visited to, say, a good server allowing custon poker tables, heads ups, tournament invitations. This goes for moderators or people able: put a sticky note reminding people of using the chat. It is never used enough across whole SE.

I think I covered the points I can imagine now. What am I missing? What could we improve?

2 Answers 2


I can offer an outsider's perspective on this. For some background, I have been playing poker for over a decade, at times professionally. In this time, I have contributed to TwoPlusTwo and to poker discussions that take place on other platforms. I have a solid understanding of the rules, procedures, nuances, best practices and healthy habits, etc.

I am also a proponent of the Stack Exchange network. Needless to say, I was excited for the prospect of a poker site on SE and watched with anticipation through its proposal and staging phases.

For whatever reason, I didn't stick with it. Apparently not many people did. Maybe Paparazzi is correct that SE is not the optimal format for poker questions.

But by chance, I got a dose of what your community has to offer this week. There was a brief exchange on the /r/poker subreddit wherein someone expressed confusion between the no-limit 50% raise rule and the fixed-limit 50% raise rule.

The Reddit user cited this revision of the top-voted answer to this question which incorrectly interpreted and applied the TDA rule.

No problem, I'll submit an edit. That's what I did. Twice.

Both edits were rejected by Toby Booth who seemed to also misunderstand the wording of the rule. After my first edit was rejected by him, I alerted Toby to his misunderstanding on Twitter and in my second attempt at editing the answer. He again rejected it.

Then Toby argued with me and a poker pro on Twitter, willfully ignoring the wording of the rule and refusing to back down long after he realized he was wrong. At one point he called the wording of the rule subjective in an attempt to save face. It's not at all subjective. When confronted with the effect his conduct was having on the quality of this site, he deflected with the "internet tough guy" response.

This is insane behavior by one of your mods.

You have someone who is either incompetent or malicious submitting more reviews here than anyone else. No wonder nobody wants to participate.

And it's not as if the bar for poker Q&A is super high. The other options have never been great. But at least at TwoPlusTwo and Reddit we can be pretty confident that a single brat isn't able to suppress our corrections while propagating false information in a grab for internet points.

In this particular instance, I cared to the extent that an accepted answer was causing confusion in outside discussions, but I and other poker enthusiasts otherwise don't care about this site. We simply go elsewhere. That is a huge problem for you.

When /r/poker of all places is producing far better and more accurate Q&A content, you know the integrity of your community is tenuous and its outlook dismal.

  • I would like to have a chat with both you and @TobyBooth this weekend to see how could we settle this kind of matters in a sane way for the community. I cannot in working days because when back home I have to take care of my family, but I am almost free on weekend. Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 23:22
  • I think you state a very good case (although in a questionable tone). I never perceived the attitude you describe but after looking for these links I would like to be present in a chat discussion between the three, also perhaps including @Paparazzi for an opinion. Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 23:29
  • 1
    I appreciate your attempts, but a major point of my answer is I have no interest in participating in a community that allows someone like Toby to be a mod. The problem is not mine.
    – Corey
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 23:58
  • I am not seeing any edits by you in the edit history that were declined. Has the edit history been edited?
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jul 30, 2016 at 13:18
  • @Paparazzi you voted on one of them: poker.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/6204
    – Corey
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 0:42
  • @Corey I thought I remembered voting on it. Sorry you had a bad encounter.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 6:15

Be more tolerant of answers you disagree with.

I would like to say I like the way the moderators are handling this site. I have dealt with other struggling sites where mods hammer me to improve a good answer to a perfect answer.

SE is not an optimal format for poker but still needs to stay true to SE.

Clean up questions with show cards and nice formatting.

  • I have no issue with moderation here Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 18:16
  • What I also saw -noticed these days; not at the time I wrote the question- here is that people rarely upvotes useful Q/A. E.g. the question you added yesterday: even when such questions have impact, it is hard to me to believe such question was not upvoted enough (i was one of the two uv-ers btw)... Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 18:24
  • ... . IRL this question was asked many times to me, and I guess many ppl asked and was being asked that question as well. I don't know whether that is just disinterest, poor engagement, or excessive SE-rep-gaming somehow, but this indeed is a bad sign to my eyes. It is a pity. I really like this community and want to see how to improve. Seriously hope engagement improves here. Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 18:25
  • Would like you can enter a chat now, or when I come back... Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 18:35
  • 2
    One of the strangest things Ive seen since this place began, is a tendency to answer a Q, and not upvote it! Surely, if someone thinks a Q is good enough to answer, its worth an upvote. Just an observation of mine.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 9:03
  • I noticed it, but since it also happened in one or two questions I had, did not want to make a particular point of it to not sound like a rep whore xD. But yes, it could be considered part of the "upvote when good, downvote when bad, ...". Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 23:18
  • 1
    "SE is not an optimal format for poker but still need to stay true to SE.", We don't need to stay true to SE, we are allowed to come up with something that works. We could for example stop closing questions because they might be to broad or answers might be opinion based, without losing our charter here at SE. We can change from, maybe we should start discussing how!.
    – Jon Mod
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 1:53
  • @jon No we don't get to change the rules of SE.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 2:10
  • 1
    Of course we do, you get to optimize the "SE format" to make this topic work. The only real strict and fast rule is that we have a question and answer format. The rest is up to us. SE is just a tool, and if we occasionally use the pipe wrench to hammer a nail... we will get the nail nailed. Seriously no two SE sites are the same because no two SE sites follow the same rules. So besides the rule that we must ask questions and answers these questions, what rules can't we change? (disregarding spam, trolling, abusive language etc..)
    – Jon Mod
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 12:34
  • @jon Then lead the charge and change SE.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 12:41
  • Now there's the irony, the problem here is not that someone is needed to lead the charge, what we lack is enough diversity in leadership. We need more people like you, and the others that care to put some input in here.
    – Jon Mod
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 12:51

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