The poker NFT craze continues this month with PokerGO the latest to bring fans some of the streaming service’s biggest moments.
The company has partnered with NFT Stadium, a full-service development agency and marketplace. This becomes PokerGO’s first foray into digital tokens with the first collection including 1,326 unique NFTs.
The agreement also involves former PokerGO President Sam Simmons. He’s now a consulting chief strategy officer at NFT Stadium and is spearheading the project, known as PokerGO Genesis.
“One of my favorite aspects of poker has always been its accessibility as an activity, hobby, and mind sport,” he told USPoker. “PokerGO has always strived to advance that accessibility via multi-channel distribution and streaming where fans of all types can enjoy the game in all sorts of ways.
“PokerGO’s Genesis NFT project serves to be an extension of this as its unique experience and utility offerings will further that closeness through a compelling fandom experience.”
What are NFTs and what to expect from PokerGO’s collection?
Those new to the world of NFTs may want a bit of background. NFT stands for non-fungible token and are digital art, video, or some other moment that can be collected like sports cards. The craze has revived the sports card industry with rare NFTs being auctioned for thousands of dollars.
Poker companies and real money online poker sites have gotten in on the act and PokerGO is giving the medium its own twist. NFT Stadium promises a “360-degree fandom experience, connecting the most engaged and passionate fans to their favorite teams, athletes, gamers, musicians, personalities, and brands with exclusive access.”
The new token line will be available to:
- NFT Stadium Genesis token holders
- PokerGO subscribers
- select poker gaming and Web3 communities (groups of users built on decentralized blockchains)
After access to these collectors, public sales then launch. Some mystery comes with a purchase. Buyers receive an unrevealed NFT and then “sweat their hand” for a week before seeing their cards.
Simmons remains bullish on NFTs’ popularity and sees them as an extension of popular poker media. In a day when poker games can be found streaming online at any time of day, NFTs only add to that mix.
“I believe NFTs will have a massive impact on how poker fans consume the game,” he says. “Since Black Friday, and with muddy waters around poker gameplay legalities globally, participation in poker fandom has proven to be a challenge at times. NFTs present a way outside of traditional real-money or social gaming infrastructures that fans can more deeply connect with the game they love.
“We aim for the PokerGO genesis NFT to not only create a vibrant community of passionate poker fans, but to also connect those fans with the greatest players, events, and destinations that the game has to offer.”
Massive poker moments
Collectors can expect big events and big names from some of the streaming service’s huge inventory of poker events. Expect to see hands from events like:
- Super High Roller Bowl
- Poker Masters
- US Poker Open
- PokerGO Cup
- Stairway to Millions
Some of those NFT moments may include huge bluffs, massive pots, and raising a championship trophy.
“PokerGO Genesis’ NFT is designed to connect holders directly to the PokerGO Tour and its annual slate of events in a direct, meaningful way,” Simmons says. “Each of the 1,326 NFTs in the collection will be represented by a unique Texas Hold’em starting hand. Every holder can be assured that only they hold the particular hand that NFT represents.”
Extras for collectors
Those NFT hands can win for token holders as well. The companies promise rewards when those hands appear in winning PokerGO tournaments and cash games moments. Prizes include cash, memorabilia, merchandise, and other experiences.
“I’m personally excited to see how fans take on the collectorship experience with that in mind,” Simmons says, “whether they choose to collect premium hands, or rather choose to target their favorite.”
Additionally, collectors can receive benefits like private events, experiences with poker stars, exclusive content, free PokerGO subscriptions, giveaways, and more.
Even the number of NFT’s offered has a unique meaning. 1,326 is the number of possible starting hand combinations in Texas Hold’em.
“We’re thrilled to partner with NFT Stadium to offer poker fans an authentic and immersive experience in a truly new and unique way,” PokerGO President and Poker Hall of Famer Mori Eskandani says.
“As PokerGO showcases the game’s elite players in the world’s most competitive tournaments, our intent is to leverage NFT technology, PokerGO’s unmatched collection of poker content, and NFT Stadium’s development skills and Web3 strategy to create a fan-driven community that gives PokerGO’s most engaged followers a stake in the games and access to exclusive spaces and perks that deliver real value and a fandom experience unavailable anywhere else.”
Beyond the NFT launch, the promotion also gave Simmons a chance to get back to the poker world for a bit.
“It’s like I never left!” he says. “The PokerGO team is comprised of some of my best friends, so it’s been awesome to be able to work together again, especially on such a new and exciting project.”