A new NFT-based AI poker brand is in the works from former Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and 888 executives and consultants. Called PokerAces, the project seeks to bring “fun” back to online poker by leveraging new technologies and gameplays, according to i3soft, the company developing the product.
“Poker is our passion; however, we don’t like where online tournament poker is heading,” a statement by i3soft says. “Online tournament play will continue to stagnate until recreational players are re-energized with a fun gameplay experience that respects their time and money.”
Founders John Caldwell and Bob Williams, who have worked with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, argue online poker is “stagnating,” with players leaving the game due to factors such as competitors using additional software and Real-Time Assistance (RTA) to analyze hand history and playstyle.
“Artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the game; however, it may be more appropriate to say it has solved it,” i3soft claims. Their new poker brand seeks to “level the playing field” and give players “the unmistakable feeling of tournament poker without hours and hours of grinding.”
Every PokerAces tournament allows players to skip the typical grind of tournament play and find out quickly “whether they’re in the money,” a press release explains. The first phase of the PokerAces gameplay experience — called the race to the money — utilizes AI to play down to the money “much, much faster” than in normal tournaments.
“In other words, AI will battle it out during the game’s initial stages until the money is reached,” the company says. AI poker bots will play against each other until the bubble is reached. Each one has a totally unique playing style, as the metadata of their NFTs will be equipped with “PokerDNA."
From that point forward, players face a decision. Option one, take over the cards and go for the win; and option two, allow their “ACE” to continue competing on their behalf. Players may use the ACE function for a few hands as their poker auto-battler. According to the company, their proposal solves the issue of RTA ruining the game experience by adding NFTs to the equation.
❓Is the deck stacked against recreational online poker players?♠️ We think so.♦️Join us on our journey as we try to bring some balance and fairness back to the game.♥️Check out our 'Hello World' post. ♣️ #PlayPokerACES https://t.co/PjpHUHtJzZ— Pokeraces_io (@Pokeraces_io) June 30, 2022
The ACE NFT turns “play to earn” into “perform to earn.” PokerAces uses a proprietary algorithm that analyzes a player’s performance against their expected finish and rewards them with i3X tokens. The platform allows NFTs that are customizable and evolve with the user.
“With PokerAces, your accomplishments — such as earning gold status or winning a big tournament — are reflected in your NFT,” a press release explains. “We’re also excited about leveling up our NFTs in the not-too-distant future with wearable options such as sunglasses, headphones, hats, and more.”
Customizations to the NFT can be earned through tournament play, or purchased with i3X token, which players will receive for playing tournaments. This marks another step in the poker world experimenting with NFTs: last year, the brand Polker launched a Metaverse-based poker platform with NFT rewards; while PartyPoker announced it plans to work with Theta Labs to allow players to collect iconic moments in poker history.