Game Developer


ActionScript 3, PHP, JS, HTML, CSS

Simulate playing Texas Hold ’em poker in a social gaming environment.
  • Working on the frontend (flash, as3) as well as the backend (php, javascript, html, css).
  • Contributed in building the HTML5 version of ZyngaPoker Mobile (wrote part of the core framework as well as frontend functionality).
  • Agile environment, attend daily scrums and have daily releases.
  • I worked very closely with animators and artists throughout my time on the team.
  • Won the Zynga Poker Rockstar Award (Q2 2011).
  • Was called out by the Director of Engineering for how high the quality code that I contributed to on the team was! Barely any minor bugs with every feature.

A lot of 3rd party transactions would occur behind Zynga’s back, where two people would transact using PayPal or whatever outside of Zynga, then hop on a poker table, the seller goes all in, then folds, which transfers all the chips to the buyer.

To remedy that, the goal for this feature was to give the user a slight advantage if they opt into the feature, and Zynga gets 2% of the profits. That would drain lots of  Poker Chips from the hands of users back to Zynga, so that we’re the sole seller of Chips.

Zynga ended up draining billions of chips using this feature every week or so!

Among other things on the Poker team, I built the HSM feature.

Here’s broadly how the HSM works behind the scenes:
  1. During the pre-flop phase, we look at the user’s hand, and look at our data to see historically the percentage of users that won before while having the same pair. Then we use that to display the “strength” of the user’s hand so far.
  2. Post flop, we include the user’s hand with the flop, and compute the probability of winning the hand having those known 5 cards so far, while missing the 2 cards that will follow.
  3. Turn (fourth street), we do the same, and now recompute the probability of winning the hand while having those 6 cards known.
  4. Once the river occurs, we do the same, but this time the accuracy is much higher.
  5. If the user wins while having the HSM on, we take a 2% cut and deposit the rest to their account.

That way Zynga drained a lot of chips every day to rebalance the economy and have control over selling chips.

We filed a patent in 2011 and acquired it in 2014. Please look at the details below.

Patent P1212US1: Leveraging Optional Game Features to Remove In-Game Assets from a Virtual Economy U.S. Patent No. 8,821,263