Every attendee1 will be given five random playing cards when they pick up their conference materials. The goal of the game is to trade cards with other attendees to create the best possible poker hand. Prizes will be awarded to the best hands each day: at the Monday evening Eclipse Community Awards, the Tuesday evening Exhibitors Reception, the Wednesday evening Poster Reception, and the grand prize(s) at the Thursday afternoon Community Project Spotlight.
The rules are simple:2,3
How do I get more cards?
The only way to get different cards is to trade for them with other people at the conference. You may want to earn cards from your friends by helping them with a bug fix, explaining/demoing some Eclipse technology, bribing with food or beer, or by simply using your charm and wit.
Can my friends and I just pool our cards to make a hand?
That's not really the spirit of the game. Please don't dump your cards or just hand them over to someone without some sort of benefit back to you. A goal of the game is to push people out of their comfort zone and interact in ways they might not otherwise have.
Can you explain the face card requirement in more detail?
You didn't read all the footnotes.4
How can two-pair beat a straight flush?
Because it's not "100% real poker". There are ~3,000 cards in circulation and you get an infinite number of "draws/trades" to improve your hand. Face cards are premium in this game, so you need to work extra hard to trade for them.
What if there is a tie?
Ties will be broken by random drawing.
Ok, I have a Great Hand, now what do I do?
Bring your great cards to one of the four receptions/events listed at the top of this page. Be on time, because we'll be giving away the prizes early at each reception. We'll shout out for the best hand and then we'll keep asking for better hands until there is no response. Going once.. going twice.. and then that best hand presented so far is the winner.
1Everyone with an all-access pass is welcome to play - those with exhibits-only passes are not included in the game for the simple reason that the prizes will be awarded at receptions that one must have an all-access pass to attend.
2The usual kind of restrictions apply: employees of the Eclipse Foundation and any of our contractors are not eligible to win, card-theft and other unethical and/or illegal behaviors are disqualifying, each person can only win one prize, you must be present to win, the decision of the judges is final, etc.
3The fact that we have all these footnotes on the rules page, hilariously contradicts our statement that "the rules are simple" :-)
4With around 3,000 cards in circulation, the game would be too easy to win (and thus uninteresting) without a requirement for face cards in a winning hand. Any five cards containing at least one Ace, King, Queen, or Jack is a potential winning hand including four 2s and a King (has a face card) and A-2-3-4-5 (has a face card) and so on.
5Well, some people in the Eclipse community are pretty funny, but we're talking about playing card jokers here.
6It should go without saying, but we'll say it anyway, that winning hands determined by poker hand rankings must also qualify by having the same card backs, having at least one face card, etc.