HoldemX, a new poker variant that seeks to reinvent the game for the Millennial generation, has arrived in alpha testing form, courtesy of Mediarex, the company behind the Global Poker Index (GPI) and the forthcoming Global Poker League.
HoldemX is part of Mediarex CEO Alex Dreyfus’ bid to revitalize poker by reimagining it for the new generation of gamer. Dreyfus wants to appeal to a larger market by adopting elements of social gaming, video gaming and turned-based role-playing strategy games, as well as “sportifying” poker by establishing leagues and city-based franchises.
So how does HoldemX work? Well, the basics are the same as Holdem: two hole cards, flop, turn, river, etc. But in HoldemX players have 15 “Xcards” at their disposal, which allow them to (hopefully) trump their opponents by manipulating the course of the game.
Each card has a specific function; there’s a “re-deal turn” card, for example, and a “re-deal river” card, as well as cards that can turn a heart to a diamond, or a club to a spade, and so on.
Meanwhile players have the ability to block three of their opponent’s Xcards from the pool of 15 on each round.
It is, says Dreyfus, a game that “brings more drama, more action and more fun without straying from the skill-based foundations of what makes poker unique,” and you can check out the video at www.holdemx.com.
Mediarex is anxious for feedback about the game and urges you to contribute your points of view.
Dreyfus believes that HoldemX provides the “missing link” between, poker and Hearthstone, a digital turn-based game whose stupefying popularity, he says, poses a major threat to online poker’s ability to thrive.
Hearthstone is a kind of pied piper to poker’s Hamelin, according to Dreyfus, whisking away the next generation of players from under our very noses.
“Daniel Negreanu, regarded as the best poker player in the world, has publicly said that he is addicted to Hearthstone and plays every day,” said Dreyfus. “Recently, I met the number one Italian poker player and he told me he is now spending more time on Hearthstone than poker. Do they make more money? No, but they enjoy the game and the experience.”
Poker is no longer a “young man’s game”, as was the case five or six years ago. The average age of poker players in the US regulated markets is 40, and to Dreyfus the choice for the poker industry is simple: innovate or stagnate.
“We believe that after 12 years, the online poker industry, across social, freemium ‘real money’ corridors, needs to adopt new, fun and innovative games in order to bring back disengaged players and effectively target new generations of gamers,” he said.