With Poker mania hitting the mainstream, it’s difficult to escape the game no matter where you go. Just the other day I was sitting in the elevator and an ad for online poker showed up where it was usually populated by the likes of bp, Expedia, or other business related ads. Poker is fast becoming a serious popular phenomenon. To capitalize on this, Mforma snared the official World Poker Tour license and using its unique television presentation style, created World Poker Tour Texas Hold’em out of it.
Like the television editions, World Poker Tour Texas Hold’em spreads players out across the table. Using different camera angles, it will focus on each player’s position as they decide what to do with their hand. One of the things I didn’t like about the game is the lack of a tutorial built into it. Right now, if you want to look up terminology or rules, you have to go to the main menu to do so. Since Mforma’s developers are tracking the profile of your character, it would have been nicer if they tip you on things you’ve never encountered before.
Although you are able to customize your online persona, it really doesn’t make too much of a difference. The various characters that populate the single player game also don’t play too differently in style. They still put up a good challenge but I’m thinking veterans will be able to pick up on their nuances fairly quickly and sweep the tables after that.
World Poker Tour Texas Hold’em’s best feature is its online play. Setting up a profile for online gaming is not difficult to do, even on a cellular phone. Once you’re set up, you can join any number of games that are being conducted online with live human players filling in the seats that were normally held by artificial characters. You can chat briefly with the other players. But most importantly, the game does not penalize your player profile for dropping out of a game. I was almost cursing out loud when the train I was taking ran through a tunnel and I didn’t get to finish playing my hand.
There aren’t any particular features for buddies or team games where you can play with people familiar to you. For the most part, those who are playing online are not all newbies and matches can be completed briskly. There is a thrill in playing with live people (even with fake chips) that can’t be replaced with computer characters. World Poker Tour Texas Hold’em is almost a must have for any poker enthusiast. Its decent interface and good online population should make this a popular game on any gamer’s handset.