Since their inception, NFTs have had an impact on more than just art, prompting big brands and companies from all industries to jump on board with new initiatives in order to avoid being left behind.
The gaming industry is also employing NFT technology to provide gamers with new gaming experiences and the opportunity to get additional advantages in previously unseen ways.
It is the example of PokerGO, the global leader in poker television and entertainment, which recently announced a partnership with full-service NFT marketplace NFT Stadium to launch its Genesis NFT collection.
The PokerGO Genesis NFT collection includes 1,326 stylized NFTs, each of which represents a different starting hand in Texas Hold’em. Each NFT comes with its own set of benefits, such as free PokerGO subscriptions, merchandise giveaways and discounts, and access to online community events and poker tournaments.
Following that, we speak with Sam Simmons, former PokerGO President and current Web3 Advisor, for an eye-opening look at the use of NFTs in poker and how Web3 technologies may revolutionize poker tournaments in the future.
1) How did you first get interested in the NFT space?
I first got into the NFT space amidst the summer boom of 2021. Much like a lot of others, I came in originally for financial gains, but the use cases for NFTs as technology and mechanism for brand engagement captivated me, so much so that I shifted my career into the industry.
2) What inspired you to mix poker and NFTs?
Unlike any other game or sport, poker has a unique aspect of accessibility. Anyone with the bankroll can sit down at the table against the best in the world to do battle and prove their skill. Unfortunately, poker media has historically fallen short in truly providing access to the game and lifestyle that surrounds it. We sought to utilize NFTs to open up the world to fans with unprecedented access.
3) What are the key benefits of your NFTs? Why should anyone buy them?
The PokerGO Genesis NFT is designed to super-serve poker fans of all types through its utility. Benefits include access to freeroll tournaments in the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas, money can’t buy experiences with the world’s biggest poker personalities, future VIP experiences at poker tournaments around the world, and other community benefits such as watch parties, meet and greets, giveaways, Merch, and more.
4) On which blockchain did you decide to mint your NFTs? Why?
Ethereum was selected as the chain where the vast majority of NFT activity exists. Because we are catering to many first-time NFT buyers, we didn’t want to overcomplicate the onboarding process, and with network traffic, down gas fees have no longer presented a material barrier to entry.
5) Did poker enthusiasts react positively to your NFT initiative?
The vast majority of reactions from the poker community have been positive. Admittedly, like any non-Web3 native industry, there are some naysayers who are critical of NFTs at large and thus are critical of PokerGO’s activity in the space, but we aim to eventually win over those individuals through education and smooth onboarding experiences.
6) Do you want to tell us about any of your achievements since launching your NFT project?
We are currently over 90% minted out, which is a massive achievement amidst bear market conditions. Better yet, we’ve seen only 2% of the total collection listed, indicating that current holders are here for the long haul without an intent to flip. We also have a 41% unique holdership, which we hope to improve over time, but serves as a strong foundation for a diverse community.
7) Can you imagine poker tournaments hosted entirely in the metaverse in the future?
Absolutely! We see this as a when rather than an if. The question boils down to the fidelity of metaverse experiences in creating gameplay that reasonably replaces that of an in-person tournament. I’d personally love to see the capability to sit at a poker table as your metaverse-compatible avatar. Imagine being check-raised by a Bored Ape!
8) Where do you see the NFT market in the next 3 to 5 years?
We’re already seeing it, but a continued shift away from speculators investing towards the use of case-driven innovation. We’ve only scratched the service of NFT technologies and their ability to disrupt consumer behaviors across existing industries.
Further, this will come in tandem with improved user experiences. I think in the not-so-distant future we see NFT as an acronym nearly retired as a meaningless catch-all that oversimplifies a diverse array of digital assets or experiences. I liken this to the early internet which was originally addressed by name as a tech novelty, whereas the conversation has now shifted to websites, e-commerce storefronts, games, and other programs that live on top of it.
9) You regarded your company, PokerGO, as the first well-known poker content provider to launch an NFT collection. Do you think the poker industry will embrace NFT and metaverse technology on a larger scale in the near future?
I believe so. The poker industry has historically been the earliest adopter of new technology, especially crypto. Users will adopt as they find superior value delivered, and that’s what we ultimately hope to provide in future Web3 pursuits.
Want to see more content like this? Follow us!
This content is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute educational/teaching advice. Although we strive to provide accurate general information, the content presented here is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice.