Thursday, July 28, 2011

Poker ProLast night, about 30 startup entrepreneurs visited CallFire HQ for Poker Startups, a monthly invitation-only poker night and networking opportunity for tech founders and employees, execs, and investors. The stakes are kept low "in deference to the bootstrapping startups," but pride is a hefty price to pay.

Some of the represented companies included ShareSquare, a QR code company, NextSpace, a local co-working space, Kuzic, an online music licensing startup, and Extra Lunch Money, which... well... let's just say it's an adult-themed venture.

There were three games of no-limit Texas Hold'Em with blinds increasing every ten minutes. Only two members of team CallFire sat in on the games, and it just so happens they were both girls: Lezlie, our superstar accountant, and yours truly. In fact, Lezlie and I were the only two girls at the whole event, which just means we need more female tech entrepreneurs to step up to the tables!

But not to worry. Lezlie and I represented our gender honorably. Early in the game, I hit a full house three separate times, taking a sizeable portion of the pot. Lezlie opted to slow play, strategically folding good hands to let the other players at the table knock each other out. In the end, Lezlie's strategy paid off. I was all in with two-pair, and got knocked out by Alex Chen's flush on the river. There were only three people left at that point, and that's when Lezlie went in for the kill. In the end, she won heads-up play against Romy Maxwell of ShareSquare.

It was a great night of networking, ping pong, and poker, and we hope to host more get-togethers at CallFire for the Santa Monica tech community. Thanks to Rohit Jain and Phil Yang for organizing, and to all the sponsors who furnished prizes and pizzas. Most of all, thanks to Dinesh, CallFire's fearless CEO for the beer run. And congratulations, Lezlie! You truly earned the Poker Pro badge, designed by CallFire's own Natalia Klishina.