Poker News

World Series of Poker (WSOP) Hold’em Legends is now available for Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.  Although these applications have been available on other mobile platforms, this is the first time that the poker video game has appeared on Apple products.  It’s the perfect game for addicts on the go who need to get in their Hold’em fix.  The game features 25 different events across seven venues, including cash and tournament play.

One of the great things about this program is that there is a multiplayer function.  This allows you to play against other live opponents when you have an internet connection.  There’s also a peer-to-peer option to play friends heads-up via Bluetooth.

The game is centered on a career mode, where you start out with a modest $100 bankroll.  Every venue that you can go to includes an introductory video.  Players can go to these venues, five of which are actual real-life Harrah’s properties, and participate in cash games or tournaments.  When you start the game, you can go into the “Player” section and set your user name and avatar.  There is also a section to see what achievements you have unlocked as well as accumulated game play stats.

The first thing you can do is go to the “local pub” and play in the one-table sit and go or $1-$2 cash game.  As you win and your bankroll grows, you can buy into bigger and better events at more prestigious casinos that include the Rio Las Vegas, the Casino at the Empire in London, and Caesars Palace.

With most of the glory found in the “Legend Career” section of the game, you’ll probably want to play in the $20 local single-table tournament.  Once you’ve raised your bankroll up to about $400, you can comfortably sit in the $1-$2 cash game.  Players who don’t have a lot of experience will easily get through to this point in the game, assuming you don’t run into any bad beats or coolers.  Once you’ve established yourself in the game and built up a modest bankroll, it will be time to venture out to some exotic casinos.

The first step of the game past the pub is Harrah’s New Orleans, which features four events like all other venues in the game.  The tournaments in New Orleans include a $30 sit and go, $30 turbo sit and go, $30 winner-take-all sit and go, and a $50 two-table shootout event.  Past that venue is the Harrah’s Atlantic City, which sports a $150 sit and go, $150 turbo sit and go, $150 winner-take-all sit and go, and WSOP Event #1, a $250 two-table tournament.

You’ll cut your teeth playing cards in those locations and once you’ve ready, you can move up to the big time at Caesars Palace.  These events include $750 versions of the three tournaments you regularly play along with WSOP Event #2, which has a $1,000 buy-in.  The next venue is Sharks Bay, where all events cost $3,000 to participate.  If you’ve done enough, you’ll unlock the “VIP Game,” which costs $5,000.  All events at the next stop, the Casino at the Empire, are $15,000, with Circuit Event #3 being a slightly higher $25,000 two-table tournament.  If you’ve made it through all of those events, you will finally get a chance to play at the Rio and any of its $100,000 tournaments.  The final event is the $250,000 WSOP Main Event, a two-table tournament.

The controls work via the touch screen in a very intuitive fashion.  If you want to shove your chips in, just slide your chips into the middle.  If you want to muck your cards, just flick the cards into the muck and the game knows you’ve folded.  If you do not care to watch the entire hand or action of a round play out, you can just tap on the screen and the game will auto-fast forward.  The AI of the game gets stronger as you go forward, but novice players won’t be challenged much.

In terms of poker satisfaction, the game is leaps and bounds ahead of what Apple offered with its Texas Hold’em game.  The fact that when this game is one sale, like it was during its release for $2.99, this game is a must-buy for all poker fans armed with an iPod Touch or iPhone.  Even at the regular price, it’s still a deal for poker players to have some fun and play some cards.

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