Thursday October 23,2014 : NEW COMPETITOR HEADS FOR THE NEVADA ONLINE POKER MARKET
Z4's HDPoker real money online poker launch scheduled for early 2015.
The usually reliable poker writer Steve Ruddock reports that the Nevada online poker market is set to see not only the debut of the All American Poker Network, but a new competitor in the form of Z4's challenger, HDPoker.
Z4, a sister company to Gaming Arts, has developed the online poker site for operation under the Siena Hotel and Spa Casino in Reno licence. Z4 had earlier been approved as a manufacturer and distributor of interactive gaming systems and as an interactive gaming service provider.
HDPoker exec Matt Kaufman told Ruddock that the new site will have an advantage in competing in a tough market due to its platform, which he claims makes use of "…technology and visual advancements that have been seen in video games but for some reason simply haven’t entered the online poker world.”
Delays have occurred in the site's debut due to the development team's constant striving to incorporate the latest technology and gaming trends, designing both play and real money capability in tandem. The result is "….a fully cross-platform social poker app, available on iOS, Android, Facebook, Desktop, and Mac” that is now in the final stages of preparation for a Beta launch within the next few weeks.
Kaufman says that players will be able to multi-table on their mobile devices, tiling up to four tables on a tablet, or use the side-sweep option to multi-table on a smart phone without running into formatting or space issues.
Visually, the game is very high quality 2D, with around 50 detailed table themes, and a range of customisable avatars in two categories – ‘specials’ which can’t be changed, and standards which are highly customisable.
At present, the only game available on HDPoker is No-Limit Texas Hold’em, but there will be a larger selection when the product launches in real-money mode, with the addition of Limit Hold’em, Omaha 8 or Better, and Pot-Limit Omaha planned.
Ruddock writes that after the beta phase the plan is to launch a full social rollout by December 2014, followed by a mobile (iOS and Android) launch in Q1-2015, and finally a real-money launch in Nevada, with an anticipated timeframe of six months to a year from now.
After examining a preview of the software, Ruddock reports that he was impressed by the functionality and aesthetics of the product, which he characterises as "…not your father’s online poker software."