PokerGO has announced a new social poker app developed in conjunction with Gala Games. PokerGO Play will begin its beta testing period in June, with plans to be released to the general public later in the year.

The companies hype PokerGO Play as offering a “state-of-the-art” poker platform and a “revolutionary social gaming experience.” Users will “have the ability to enhance and upgrade their player,” whatever that means (more mana, higher damage output, side-mounted lasers?). One thing that sounds interesting is that players will have the chance to earn real prizes, though no further details about that have been provided.

PokerGO Play will also become a “top-tier” sponsor of PokerGO and will be marketed across the subscription services various broadcasts.

The app’s first ambassador is Maria Ho, whose avatar – along with those of other celebrities – will be available for players to use in-game.

“PokerGO’s extensive experience in poker entertainment combined with the cutting-edge Web3 development at Gala Games is a perfect marriage,” said PokerGO’s Chief Revenue Officer Richard Blankenship in Monday’s press release. “Together, we have been able to build a superior social poker game that players everywhere will love.”

There isn’t much else to go on besides the marketing speak, so it is tough to say exactly what PokerGO Play will be like. As it is a “social” poker app, one would assume it will be free-to-play, but with plenty of microtransaction opportunities to buy more chips. If I had to guess, I would think that the real-life prizes will be won either through tournaments or perhaps chip raffles. I would doubt users would be able to buy prizes directly with chips, as that would just encourage pay-to-win mechanics.

I would also assume that the gameplay would be significantly better than what the provided screenshot shows. It clearly comes from a test build that doesn’t reflect a real poker hand because if it did, PokerGO Play would be absolutely wild.

Two players have the exact same screen name, while the chat box refers to completely different “TestPlayer” screen names. Eight players have 15,948 chips, while the featured player has 100 million. The pot is only 10,000 chips, but six players have bet 5,500 on the river, two have bet “0,000,” and the featured player has called an unknown amount (and his betting bar says it’s 12,640 to call?).

Oh, and all but the featured player have 2-7 offsuit. I’m sure the real game will be fine, it’s just funny that there wasn’t a better screenshot. It does look nice, though, and the action and controls look like they will be easy to understand.

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