Table of Contents
- World Championship Poker 2: Featuring Howard Lederer
- Poker Night at the Inventory
- World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets
- Prominence Poker
- Stacked: With Daniel Negreanu
World Championship Poker 2: Featuring Howard Lederer
You might not recognize Howard Lederer right off compared to Daniel Negreanu, but once upon a time, Howard was a renowned poker professional aka “The Professor” for his analytical style of play. Lederer became a celebrity on ESPN late-night poker shows until a messy scandal with Fult Tilt poker took him out of the screen. Regardless, his name promoted the World Championship Poker 2 game, one of the best video poker games in the market, but still not good enough.
This is a sequel game to “Cash-in”, by Crave Entertainment. The game improved by adding online play and more sophisticated NPC’s. Computer players would play with you instead of always asking for action.
World Championship Poker 2 is one of the first video games to have online poker back in 2006. Players could engage in small tournaments across their PCs, gaming laptop, Playstation 2, and the first Xbox. It also had other poker variants outside of Holdem, and although the game would be overshadowed by other bigger titles, this was a great game for beginners at a low price.
Poker Night at the Inventory
Poker Night’s is not a faithful poker simulation like other games in this list. It is perhaps, the most video game type of poker game. Its appeal is to play with a cast of internet poker celebrities; each has its own style and chat banter. The game is charming and very funny.
There is a sequel but it was taken out of the market due to expiring licenses. The original still remains on Steam.
This is not a video game for any of the consoles, but you play online for real money. 888poker remains as the best online poker website to play socially and professionally around the world. This is one of the oldest poker websites that still remains online with a fast payout policy. If you wish to switch your game to real life after playing one of the video poker games, then 888poker is the safest place to do so.
World Series of Poker 2008: Battle for the Bracelets
So the WSOP Battle of the Bracelets was supposed to be the best thing ever in poker simulation games, but we can only vouch for the third title of this game to be something similar to the event itself. What separates this game from the others is the list of poker celebrities you will have to battle against. More than 20 pro poker players with their likeness and voice over’s, and major endorsements from Vegas major casinos like Harrah’s entertainment. The experience is pretty much how poker tournaments were back in the 2000s.
The gameplay is good with decent NPC play and additional game features. You can play cash game variants and special challenges like “Beat the Brat” with Phil Hellmuth Jr. What the game lacks is more variety during each tournament. You will see the same opponents over and over again in the final table. If you play enough times, soon you will learn what opponents will do and can eliminate them easily.
Prominence Poker made its debut a few years back with a free to play RPG style model and bluff mechanics. It did not come out very well with very little to offer in terms of the video game. The 2019 version whoever, is more complete and has solved many of the issues from its predecessor. In one-player mode, there are now more levels available with a new affiliation system for some extra rewards. The NPC’s have also been improved to a playable degree. One of the best improvements has been online play. The game dropped its RPG approach and instead shifted to 6 player tables, sit n go style tournaments. This online version is perfect to sharpen skills and earn rewards.
Another major advantage from Prominence Poker is that it is from this time and can be played on the latest consoles with the best graphics, while the rest of the titles are now classics (except for Poker Nights). Considering how poker games are not as popular today as they were back in the 2000s, this is a rare game to have.
Full House Poker
Full House Poker might not be the most popular poker variant out there, but this video game was once the only one that allowed players to play against each other online, exclusively for the Xbox360. The appeal of the game is its chill-out nature. Small size 30-player tournaments, along with Texas Heat matchups, players only take 30 minutes of play to finish the games. The game is fast-paced and loosed; a perfect game for those who are not grinded in training themselves to be pros. No NPC’s in this game, it can only be played online through the Xbox.
Stacked: With Daniel Negreanu
This game is the total opposite of Full House Poker. Stacked is the top of our list as the best video poker game ever made? This is the closest simulation to a professional poker tournament, mostly thanks to its advanced Poki AI.
The Poki AI was developed by the University of Alberta after a decade of research. Using sophisticated stat-tracking, this is the only AI that adjusts the NPC player style, instead of defining a style for each NPC as all other games do. Surprisingly, the game hypes on the AI and flaws in everything else. From player customization to poker variants, the fun element is almost non-existent. It was designed to be a simulator and not a game.
So not one game from this list can be called excellent. The fact that poker is not in its Golden Age anymore probably has a lot to do with it. It would be great to see console video poker games that serve the same enjoyment as playing on online poker sites.
As a bonus, let’s not forget the poker playing inside games, like Red Dead Redemption 2 where you can play poker in your cowboy camp and it town ins. Not a faithful poker simulation, but great side games from the Wild West era.