Immersive experience vs. cash rewards: can Poker Club stimulate enough adrenaline?

Immersive experience vs. cash rewards: can Poker Club stimulate enough adrenaline?

When Ripston Ltd. announced the release of its newest jewel on Sept. 1St, 2020, the expectations of players rose high: the visuals of the “Poker Club” trailer were absolutely impressive. “Leveraging the power of Unreal Engine 4 and ray tracing technology, Poker Club will offer players the most immersive and social poker simulation ever on next-generation and current platforms.” the Liverpool-based developer boasted. Their intention was clearly to open a market for non-cash players. Not an easy challenge, when you try to compete with the full excitement provided by WSOP, the World Series Of Poker, America’s largest online poker room.

Ripston promised Ultra HD 4K visuals and breath-taking ray tracing to attract players and keep them hooked to the virtual playing table, “living the life of a poker pro.” Visuals are only part of the story because Poker Club is designed as a social experience. The gaming landscape is increasingly online community-led. The solitary player is a disappearing species; the future of gaming is collective. This is why Poker Club has been designed to connect players with friends and poker fans worldwide, featuring tournaments for over 200 players.

There are more things that players can do: they can create or join a club, complete with leaderboards, play in exclusive tournaments, get daily chip bonuses while working towards shared goals that unlock rewards. In some cases, there are club-specific customizable gear and events to enhance community feeling and encourage connecting and playing together, forming alliances with fellow gamers around the world. The architecture is meant to be cross-platform and cross-generation, allowing the participants to play together on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Anyone can join a community of online players on their way to the top and track their progress in more than 10 Texas Hold’em tournament modes and ring-games. Players can take on the challenge of the PCC Poker Tour, an immersive online career mode.  They will thus set out on a journey that begins in back-room games and leads them to big-money main events. Online multiplayer modes include Single-Table and Multi-Table tournaments, Freezeouts, Shootouts, Turbos, Super Turbos, Bounties, and more. Customizable private games, open tables, and full-scale tournaments. Beginners can rely on an advanced Poker 101 tutorial system featuring advice and training. Advanced players will find it useful too.

 “We’ve included everything we’ve ever wanted to see in a poker game, so that players can enjoy the fantasy of living the life of a poker pro, touring the incredible locations you might see in TV and films.” said Phil Gaskell of Ripstone Games. “The in-game Clubs and huge range of events combine to create a refreshing new poker experience, bringing players from around the world together and offering more ways to play than ever before on PC and console.” Seven meticulously detailed arenas offer a range of different immersive experiences, from the dingy basement of Ralph’s Pizzeria to the glitz and glamour of Casino d’Oro. The players proceed in their careers to high-stakes tournaments at the Intensity Arena, where big money can be won.

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