Last night, my sister Sallie and I drove to Atlantic City to go to the World Poker Tour launch party. It was a pretty classy party at the Borgata. I promise not to let the 15 fried oysters that I ate affect the review. [Photos of me and Sallie are coming. She didn't bring the right cable to connect her camera to my laptop.]
2K Sports is going to come out with the World Poker Tour video game on October 17, 2005 at the $19.99. I got to play it last night and, aside from the few little things that were wrong simply because it is an early build, the game looks solid. There are tons of different combinations that can be made while creating your character, anything from your shirt to your personality can be set. There's also a Poker Boot Camp that is poker lessons done over full motion video. My luck was pretty streaky: I won the first ten hands and then lost the next ten. Then I handed the controller to Sallie and within minutes we were out.
And now for the press release kind of stuff:
World Poker Tour will include the following professionals:
Erick Lindgren – Named the First World Poker Tour Player of the Year in 2004, Erick is a Two Time WPT Winner, and currently the seventh All Time WPT Money Leader. Erick uses his expert sense of people to enhance his true game skill and natural risk-taking nature. Erick can soon be seen as the author of the new World Poker Tour book, WPT: Making the Final Table. An avid sports enthusiast, Lindgren is always in the game.
Evelyn Ng - Evelyn is a WPT Ladies Night Runner Up in addition to a NBC Sports Commentator. Coming up through the ranks from a poker dealer to a professional touring pro, Evelyn continues to perfect her tournament strategy and play. She is an active and visible participant in the WPT Main and Ladies Events.
Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi - Over the past few years, the 24-year old Florida man dabbled in dealing cards, but never could get over the idea that he could make more money playing cards than dealing them. So, “The Grinder” took to grinding, putting together a sizable bankroll and playing poker for a living. There is no big-bet poker in his home state of Florida, so Mizrachi spends eight hours a day playing online when he’s not on the tournament circuit. Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi is the next powerful young poker professional to make his presence felt on the WPT, making consecutive final tables at the WPT’s Season 3 stops in Tunica, and then L.A.’s Commerce Casino.
Lyle Berman - Lyle is the CEO of Lakes Entertainment, Inc., a Minnesota-based publicly traded company whose primary business is managing tribal casinos. He serves as the Chairman of the Board for the World Poker Tour, which is a subsidiary of Lakes Entertainment. Berman is also one of the world's top poker players. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame at Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas. In April 1996, Berman received the Gaming Executive of the Year Award.
Antonio Esfandiari - With Three WPT Final Table appearances including a win at the LA Poker Classic No Limit Hold’em Championship, this professional Magician shows he knows “
card magic”. Antonio is a natural showman and his magic tricks are world class. He is also the author of the upcoming book WPT: In The Money.
Phil Laak - Players and fans alike are drawn to the Unabomber’s persona, but none take it to the next level like Phil Laak. A “genius” player, in his own words, his “philosophical” style and theatrical table manners make him a player everyone wants to see. Phil’s tournament record includes a World Poker Tour First Place win, and top ten places in a variety of professional tournaments. Phil is considered one of the World Poker Tour’s “Bad Boys of Poker.”
Through intense feedback sessions with each of these professionals, World Poker Tour will be the only video game on the market to incorporate Pro-touch A.I. This new development approach challenges each poker professional with tuning their video game counterpart to include unpredictable and aggressive moves that they would use in real life. Each professional is challenged with situations and asked how they would respond and their feedback allows the development team to create the most realistic A.I. in any poker game.
World Poker Tour™ invites gamers and poker-junkies alike to try their luck and skills against some of the poker series’ most famous professional players. Commentary provided by World Poker Tour™ pros, Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten, real World Poker Tour™ venues including Commerce Casino and the Aviation Club, and broadcast overlays infuse the game, bringing players the only true poker experience.