Vive_Pokerstars_VR_Macau_2050-1537479640

PokerStars Stacks Big Chips For Going All In With Social VR

Back in 2014, Mark Zuckerberg made a $3 billion dollar bet through the acquisition of Oculus Rift that virtual reality (VR) would soon become one of the most social platforms that ever existed.

Fast forward to 2018 and very few VR companies have been successful (including Facebook) at building social communities that can bring users together into virtual worlds with real meaning and purpose. AltspaceVR and Rec Room are two notable social VR experiences that have received some acclaim but are still lacking a core ingredient to drive up behavior and keep people engaged. That ingredient is passion. I mean, how often can you play frisbee toss next to a virtual tree with some creepy avatar invading your space without asking yourself, what the heck am I doing in here?  Insert the lifestyle and global community of poker and you now have a winning formula.

PokerStars, the world’s most popular online poker site has now launched a free-to-play VR experience that truly ups the ante and will change both online-game-play and social VR simultaneously for the international poker community.

At launch, there is no real currency changing hands in this VR world but that doesn’t take away from the loads of fast-moving excitement that PokerStars VR brings to its users from inception. This immersive experience mixes all the fun of real-world poker with cutting-edge visuals, physics and design to transport you to the front line of interactive, multiplayer Texas Hold’em action. You now have instant access to take on your friends, challenge PokerStars Ambassadors or battle Twitch streamers in one of the most exciting new VR games on the planet. Whether you’re a beginner (like myself) or a seasoned card shark, PokerStars VR is an experience you will definitely want to hang out in!

Monte-Carlo Yacht: Take to the high seas & play for high stakes in PokerStars VR

VR is designed to take us into immersive worlds and environments that can go well beyond our wildest imaginations and this experience certainly doesn’t disappoint. So strap on your headset and prepare to take an escape from the real world and enjoy an authentic high-roller experience with visually stunning locations and jaw-dropping graphics. PokerStars VR gives you the freedom to live like a boss and connect with friends and a global community of poker enthusiasts at some of the worlds most lush gaming environments from the comforts of your crib.

Macau 2050: A futuristic re-imagining of Macau by night in PokerStars VR

Exotic locations include:

  • Macau 2050: A futuristic re-imagining of Macau by night
  • The Macau Suite: An opulent yet intimate environment, complete with 360-degree tropical fish tank
  • The Showdown Saloon: Play out your cowboy fantasies in a classic Wild West saloon
  • The Monte-Carlo Yacht: Take to the high seas as you play for high stakes
  • The Void: Play with no distractions in the endless blackness – it’s all about the game!

The Void: Play with no distractions in endless blackness – PokerStars VR

From an entertainment aspect, PokerStars really pulled out all the stops to encourage social behavior and entice high levels of fun & laughter, giving users an incredibly authentic experience. One of the key features I enjoyed most was the ability to socialize and chat in real time with your friends while also keeping the table fun and entertaining with interactive props and toys that elicit loads of laughter from the players around you. For example, props like cigars, bottles of champagne, flare guns and so much more added layers of hysterics that will keep the entire group bursting into tears. (I must have virtually dropped 3 burning cigars in my lap and doused the entire table in top-shelf champagne)And finally, the state of the art physics and game mechanics allow you to handle your chips and cards just as you would during real play, adding realistic sounds and movements that simply complete the entire experience. (It’s the many small details you will continue to notice)An additional feature I think is cool but somewhat limited right now is the streaming media integration. This will allow access to your desktop or any streaming video while you play but at the moment is only available for the Oculus Rift.

Current Platforms: Currently PokerStars VR is available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive & Stream.

PokerStars may just be scratching the surface with this experience because the ability to continue to open up additional experiences like casino locations, music, entertainment, nightclubs, lounges, avatar customization and so much more is simply limitless. From a hardware perspective, I’m eager to watch the expansion across lower barrier VR devices like Samsung’s Gear VR, which is powered by Oculus and can offer some incredibly similar mobile VR capabilities to the Oculus Rift including a hand controller and exceptional graphics. Playstation VR would also be a great addition to the list. For now, I will be logging in from my Oculus Rift and meeting up with my pal and PokerStars champ Big Chips! Hope to see you at the casino!

 

KEITH CURTIN @KFCurtin Founder of See Digital Keith Curtin is an Entrepreneur, Brand Marketing Executive & Founder of See Digital, a consultancy firm specializing in Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality & Mixed Reality. He was recently named #1 on Onayltica’s Augmented Reality Top 100 Brands & Influencers” list.Keith has consulted with hundreds of Fortune 1000 global brands to help them develop and execute first of a kind Augmented Reality activations including Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Nestle, Kraft Foods, Kellogg’s, Mondelez, Mars Foods, Disney, Nickelodeon, Walmart Target, 7-Eleven, Anheuser Busch, Heineken, LVMH, Diageo and many others.

From the Web

More on Vibe

34 black female cadets from West Point's Class of 2019 pose at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Cadet Hallie H. Pound/U.S. Army via AP

Black Women Cadets Make History At West Point Graduation

A record number of black female cadets are set to graduate from West Point (The United States Military Academy). After completing four years of education and "testing their limits," 34 black women will be walking across the stage at the 2019 commencement ceremony for the first time in the school's 217-year history.

Earlier this month, the black female cadets came together for a pre-graduation group photo. Little did they know, the photos of them in traditional Old Corps uniforms with ceremonial sabers would make their rounds on social media.

“My hope when young Black girls see these photos is that they understand that regardless of what life presents you, you have the ability an fortitude to be a force to be reckoned with,” shared one of the cadets, Tiffany Welch-Baker, in an interview with Because Of Them We Can.

Although West Point admitted its first black cadet until 1870, the academy didn’t graduate its first black cadet until the Reconstruction in 1877. In 1979, Vincent K. Brooks was made the first black captain of the Corps of Cadets. In 2017, Simone Askew became the first Black woman to lead the Corps of Cadets.

Senior cadet Stephanie Riley told The Associated Press in another interview: “I just showed myself and those who thought I couldn’t do it initially that yes, I can. And not just, ‘Yes, I can.’ I can show other little girls that yes, you can come to West Point. Yes, you can do something that maybe the rest of your peers aren’t actually doing. And yes, you can be different from the rest of the group.”

The class of 2019 includes a total of 223 women, another milestone since the first female cadets' graduation in 1980. The total number of graduation African-Americans doubled to 110, while the number of graduating Latinos became the largest, 88, in the academy's history. West Point also appointed Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams as its first black superintendent in July 2018.

Not only will West Point be graduating its 5,000th female cadet, but it will also have its highest number of female Hispanic graduates, 19. The commencement ceremony is set for Saturday, May 25, with Vice President Mike Pence delivering the commencement speech.

Congratulations to the black ladies of West Point's graduating Class of 2019!

Continue Reading
Hennessy

Art At Work: Kadir Nelson And Hennessy Unveil Marshall "Major" Taylor Sculpture at NYC's WTC3

Last spring, VIBE was invited to the screening of a Hennessy sponsored screening of a mini-commercial documentary on one of the most unsung athletic hero's of African-American history in Marshall "Major" Taylor. The seven-minute doc, explained the life and legacy of the first international African-American superstar. In the late 1800's Taylor dominated the cycling scene with power and endurance. With the viewing happening at the New York Times building, a special treat was waiting to be shown to the excited crowd. World renowned visual artist, Kadir Nelson made a monument for Taylor, the man that broke barriers with his pedals and passion.

Fast forward to May 15, 2018, Nelson was celebrated for that same Hennessy commissioned statue (which went along with Hennessy's Wild Rabbit campaign, narrated by Nas) of Taylor and it being permanently placed in New York's World Trade Center 3 (WTC3). Known as one of the world's busiest travel areas, the World Trade Center is a landmark destination for millions of visitors who will now see the immortalized cyclist's frame, sculpted  by Nelson. “The Major” will be displayed starting later this year near the north entrance of 3 World Trade Center, with the Oculus and National 9/11 Museum in the background. The sculpture will live in WTC as part of the Silverstein family’s World Trade arts initiative, entitled The Silver Project. The piece is the towers first installment of art and will shine as a beacon for all creatives and those seeking inspiration in all walks of life. Nelson will also have his first studio space in the same building.

 

To witness the amazing life of Marshall "Major" Taylor, watch the doc above.

 

Continue Reading

FX's ‘Pose’ Unveils Gripping Season 2 Trailer

Pose fans’ patience will be alleviated with the second season's premiere next month. To get viewers ready, FX debuted its 45-second trailer on Thursday (May 23), packed with an array of moving storylines.

Set in New York City’s ‘90s time period, the characters will explore life-altering changes in their careers and health. For Blanca, the status of her HIV-positive diagnosis will take precedence as the House of Evangelista begins to navigate a newfound arena of prominence in the ballroom scene.

In an interview with Billboard, producer and activist Janet Mock dished on what to expect for the upcoming season. "There's a rule in the writers' room that we do not talk about what we're going to do, but I think that it's really going deeper every episode,” Mock said. “As viewers kind of notice, we tend to focus in on a character that we may not have known as much before, right? For example, this week will really be central around Lil Papi’s character, his relationship with Blanca and things [that] have been alluded about throughout the season. There will be some of the origins stories of characters that we may not have heard as much from before, but whom people of course love because they are either on Team Abundance or Team Evangelista.”

Ahead of its June 11 return on FX (10 p.m. EST), watch the trailer above.

Continue Reading

Top Stories