This ain’t your average poker game.
For months, HoldemX has been touted as the “new dimension of Texas Hold’em” and a “new experience” for poker players and gamers alike, something to connect the two communities and draw new players to the gaming world. And it is finally here.
What is it?
Mediarex Sports & Entertainment CEO Alex Dreyfus launched the alpha version of HoldemX on Tuesday, and players are scrambling to try the game, described succinctly as “poker, enhanced.”
Dreyfus was careful to explain, however, that HoldemX is not a new poker format. “This is a full meta-game based on the principles of poker with an exciting added strategic layer. That said, one advantage of this is that it means we don’t have to educate the existing Texas Hold’em player base – only to guide them to discover the X factor that this game brings.”
The key to the game is xCards, which gives players the power to manipulate the game play, hole cards, or community cards. At the beginning of each hand using a single basic xDeck, players can choose three xCards, which bans their opponent from using those particular strategies or cards, i.e. sixth street, club-to-spade, or re-deal flop. There are 15 options altogether, but all three cards can only use a total number of points within their particular given limit.
Each player can then able to choose up to six cards to take into the game for their own advantage, also using only the points allowed. The game then begins as a normal Texas Hold’em hand, and xCards can be used throughout the action to influence the action.
Dreyfus hopes the game will garner the attention of players from the poker world, as well as from games like Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering.
Version 1.0 is available at HoldemX.com, and anyone is welcome to register at no cost to play during the alpha testing time period.
HoldemX has been available to dozens of “the most advanced poker players in the world and top players from games like Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering.” Their input is being combined with that of the general public to build an even better game and work out any glitches.
Ultimately, Dreyfus wants HoldemX to form the basis for an offshoot of the Global Poker League called GPL X. That series of tournaments will feature the new game, after the online multiplayer mode is introduced and is able to rank players. Early plans for GPL X are similar to the upcoming GPL, in that tournaments will be livestreamed on Twitch and end with a live final event in “The Cube” arena.
Mediarex has already raised $4.9 million in June of 2015 to prepare for the launch of HoldemX, and the company now hopes to reach a market of more than 100 million casual poker players and more than 205 people who watch eSports worldwide.
The overall purpose of the game is to expand the market with a new product, not to compete with or take away from traditional poker. The platform is based on a real-money game, which will allow it to expand further into the land-based casino market down the road.
The HoldemX website is up and running, and anyone interested can sign up and log in to play immediately. There is an introductory video and a downloadable list of game rules. The forum portion of the site is not yet available.
As of the time of this writing, poker pro Jonathan Little has livestreamed several sessions of HoldemX via his Twitch channel, which is a good opportunity to watch the game and some initial strategy in action.
Let us know what you think of the game! We’d love to talk to you about your initial opinions and experiences.