Never one to shy away from grabbing the poker world by it's ears and shaking it from it's slumber, Alex Dreyfus has his eyes set on new horizons, and with it, new directions for the world of poker. Details have emerged this week of one such new idea – a fresh game with familiar foundations, currently in development, called HoldemX. This game looks to combine all that is encapsulated within poker and loved by millions, and merge it with strategy games that appeal to a wider gaming centric audience who enjoy games such as “Magic: The Gathering” and “Hearthstone.” While some poker purists may find the idea of blending their beloved game with new rules and ideas difficult to imagine, and not appealing at all, the game has been met with a positive reaction by those who have tested it.
A bridge between poker and eSport
Alex Dreyfus stated the following about HoldemX in an interview with Pokernews: “There are hundreds of millions of people who know how to play poker out there, and many of them do not play anymore because they got bored and because they are no longer excited by Texas Hold'em. With HoldemX, we are going to spice up the game and offer something new, engaging, and fun that will bring that excitement back.” He also added that HoldemX was “a whole new poker game that tries to build a bridge between poker and eSports.”
9 months in development
This game has spent 9 months in development, and is brought to us by Mediarex Sports & Entertainment, of which Alex Dreyfus is CEO. The ultimate goal appears to be the joining of gaming enthusiasts and poker enthusiasts, both giant communities in their own right who won't necessarily have experience in each others field, but are likely to share similar views about entertainment. If successful, this could help shepherd in a new audience, and new players, for the more traditional form of poker. HoldemX will begin as a game purely for fun, with no monetary aspect involved, and hopes to gain a popular following in much the same way as Hearthstone has recently. In the long term, there is scope for introducing a financial side to the game, with casinos and online operators already having been contacted about whether the game might be a viable addition to their offerings. Alex Dreyfus offered his insight with the following statement: “We based our platform on a real-money one, which will allow us — if we want to do so — to shift it into a real-money product or to license that product to real-money operators. We believe online operators should embrace HoldemX and distribute it the same way they do with other games like slots or roulette, and simply make it part of their offer.”
Rules and decks
The basic rules of HoldemX involve two hole cards, and a board which is just the same as a regular Holdem game. The differences are that a special “Discovery Deck” of cards will be used to start off , along with players having cards from an “X Deck.” These special cards allow an unusual action to take place, such as an extra board card, switching the suit of a card, ensuring their top card is paired, or adding an extra hole card for themselves. There are many possibilities. Each player can block the other from picking three particular X cards of their choosing, at the start. Then each player will pick 3 to use during the hand, and deploy them in a turn based fashion, when they feel it is best, throughout the hand. Regular hand rankings still apply, but the X cards give multiple strategic layers to the game that weren't there before, creating a very engaging and interesting twist on poker.
HoldemX is still in the testing stage, with people's opinions and views being gathered, but all indications point towards the game being well received. Perhaps a year or two from now, we will see HoldemX tournaments taking place, both in the live, and online arenas.