CryptoPunks3

Poker Players Betting on CryptoPunk NFTs

Non-fungible tokens, otherwise known as NFTs, have been all the buzz over the past year. One of the reasons why this is the case is how divisive they have proven to be as investment assets. There is a group of people who swear by it and believe that it is the future of both art and gaming. An equally large number of people see it as nothing more than a gimmick and a bubble that will fade away just as quickly as it rose.

Now, objectively speaking, nothing is cast in stone at this point. Still, the amount of interest in the sector is worth paying attention to. Several mainstream sectors are getting involved and one of the most notable ones is the poker industry. Recently, poker pros like Ryan Daut, Jeff Gross, Mike McDonald and Dan Smith have gotten in on NFTs. In total, the players have CryptoPunks NFTs worth about a whopping $400,000 as their Twitter profile pictures. Bill Perkins, another high-stakes poker player, has a World of Women NFT.

A Perfect Match?

Crypto and blockchain have found use cases in the world of online gambling and continue to thrive in the sector. For poker, especially in live dealer games, this has mostly been limited to payments. NFTs seem to be changing that. High-stakes poker professionals have a reputation for being risk-takers which makes NFTs a great fit for them.

The goal is profitability, something that is not always guaranteed. That is often overridden by the idea of the Expected Value (EV). NFTs present a rather unique opportunity for this as seen from their mind-blowing price surges in the past year. As it turns out, this fusion of poker and NFTs is already being explored on other fronts.

Next-Gen Poker

Recently, a new and innovative version of poker that brings together the loved game and NFTs was unveiled. Polker, the game, has been built using Unreal Engine 4 and is expected to usher in the next generation of online poker gaming. It is the first free-to-play and play-to-earn poker game that takes immersion to new heights. Most notably, Polker will be the first game of its kind to integrate NFTs throughout the game structure.

The gambling industry has always been known for its dynamism. Now we are at the tipping point in the way we gamble online and such innovations promise to take the poker experience we know and love to the next level. It will take a bit of time but it will certainly be worth the wait.

atari-casino

Atari Launches Crypto Casino on Decentraland

Atari is arguably one of the most iconic and most recognizable brands in the world of gaming. However, the company has had some ups and downs over the past decade or so, a situation that has forced it to find other ways of keeping the business going. A few years ago, crypto and blockchain would seem to be the most unlikely of places for the company to venture into but that is no longer the case. Now, it is full steam ahead for Atari’s new blockchain division.

In early March, Atari announced its plans for an Ethereum blockchain casino in partnership with Decentral Games. For this venture, the video game-turned-casino company planned to feature a range of nostalgic games and Atari non-fungible tokens (NFTs), both of which its users can be leveraged to earn more digital currency. This, they projected, would bring over $150 million in 2021 and $400 million over two years.

Last Thursday, all those plans finally paid off when Atari finally held a virtual launch party for its new crypto casino project. The branded casino launch party featured DJ and Produce Dillon Francis who played a live set and went to participate in a huge sale.

The NFT Sale

One of the biggest highlights of the launch party was the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which, as mentioned above, Dillon Francis also participated in. The special NFTs that the DJ sold was a collaboration between him and renowned visual artist MERDA. All three NFTs that they collaborated in creating were inspired by Gerald the Pinata which, as it turns out, contributed to their value immensely.

The auctioning of the NFT was done on OpenSea as well as other platforms where they fetched thousands of dollars in crypto. The “3D Pixel Gerald,” for instance, sold for 6.42 ether (ETH), the equivalent of $17,788.

What Next for Atari?

While this is an exciting new venture for the Japanese video game company, it has no plans to abandon its roots. According to its officials, Atari will continue to operate and develop its successful free-to-play mobile games. They will, however, be shifting new development to console and PC, with “an emphasis on revitalizing classic Atari intellectual property for the modern era.”

That said, it will also leverage the unique position of its brand name in both gaming and non-gaming-related fields (including hotels and casinos). If the success in licensing the Atari-related brands for use in NFTs over the recent past is anything to go by, this might just work.