We had a blast at the third San Diego Startup Poker 2.0 event! We welcomed several new faces to Poker 2.0, including Rareş Săftoiu and Bach Le of Shopventory, who recently returned from TechStars in Boulder.

We continued to improve the tournament flow based on feedback. This time, we rotated people to different tournament tables with the aim of keeping total chips at each table fairly consistent. This seemed to result in more players staying in each round. Keep the great feedback coming!

Before the tournament we asked people to share any recent good news about their company or fund and the response was overwhelming. We were incredibly inspired by how much great progress is being made by startups in San Diego and we’re really looking forward to watching them these ventures grow.

We also welcomed a new corporate sponsor—Paul Hastings law firm, represented by Ray Bertrand. To welcome Ray, we placed a $20 bounty on his head which Russ Hall won in the first 90 minutes of play.


Here’s how it turned out for the winners:

1st Place: Melani Gordon of TapHunter
2nd Place: Russ Hall of Tech Coast Angels and GROWconnections
3rd Place: Daniel Marashlian of SlimSurveys
4th Place: Ray Bertrand of Paul Hastings
5th Place: Mark Caldwell of Apmetrix (another newcomer to Poker 2.0)


This time we had a better ratio of women to men—1:5. A woman took the top spot this time too. In fact, Melani battled her cofounder Flash Gordon over several hands in order to get to the final table. Way to get it done, Mel!


Thanks again to our sponsors Embarke and Paul Hastings. Please share the love with a tweet to @embarke and @Paul_Hastings with the hashtag #Poker20!