About Blind Valet
I am Jeff Kelley, the creator of Blind Valet. I am an American living and working in France since 2001. I have a full-time job, a wife and 2 children. So, Blind Valet, is just a little side project for me.
I am an avid poker player. I play some online, although much less than I used to, and I occasionally play in cardrooms and casinos but my real preference is playing in home games. I love the camaraderie and atmosphere of playing with a group of friends. I started a regular home game with some friends in 2007 and we consistently have 8-15 people for the poker nights that are usually a mixture of No-Limit Texas Hold'em tournaments and cash games.
I used to use the free Hollywood Poker tournament clock to manage the tournaments. It is a nice clock but one thing that annoyed me was the creating of the blind structures before the tournament. We usually don't know how many players will be in the tournament until a few minutes before the start. Also, sometimes we start in the afternoon and have a lot of time to play and other times we start at 9pm and don't want the tournament to run as long. Additionally, we occasionally play freezeouts, other times with one rebuy or add-on, and sometimes with unlimited rebuys for a set number of levels. With all these varying parameters it is certainly not one size fits all for a blind structure. So, I was constantly manually calculating at what level the tournament would end, estimating the number of levels we should have based on level time and duration, and then tweaking the blind progression to have something reasonable. This was very laborious and usually delayed the start of the tournament.
I was sure that I was not the only one with this problem so I searched online for a blind structure calculator. I was unable to find anything that satisfied me. I found the Tournament Director clock that has a blind structure creator but the structures it creates are really unusable. So, I decided to make my own and make it a web application so that I could share it with others that are struggling with the same issue.
After creating the blind structure creator and getting it to the point that I was happy with the structures it was creating I still had one annoyance. After creating the structure I still had to manually enter it into the poker clock to manage the tournament. Well, I had been wanting to learn Flash development anyways... so I went about creating a Flash based poker clock to manage the blinds during the tournament.
Now, in addition to learning some things along the way, I have a great little utility that we use at our home games and lets us create a structure and have the clock ready to go in just under two minutes! Sometimes after the first tournament we decide to play a "turbo" tournament. No we just plug in the parameters to Blind Valet and the blind structure and poker clock are ready before we can stack the chips.
Blind Valet is becoming very popular and I have users from all over the world. I have now added in some advertising to the site because my intention is to always keep Blind Valet free to the public. I hope you enjoy using it, please don't hesitate to contact me to give feedback, send me pics of you using Blind Valet at your home game, or to inquire about advertising on the site.