Live Poker

Live Poker is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Live Poker First Look

Zynga, the leading publisher of games on social networks, just released Live Poker, adding another major platform to a poker community that already numbers 1.4 million players across Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, and Hi5.

There are two versions of Live Poker available to download. The free version grants you 1,000 free chips to gamble with a day. If you’re a high-stakes, player you can also shell out $9.99 to buy 40,000 chips right off the bat. This is the first in-game transaction on the App Store that we’re aware of.

We messed around with Live Poker a bit, and we liked what we saw. The app links to existing Poker accounts on Facebook with ease, although you can also create a new one. From there, you can dive right into a live game populated with real rivals playing on their iPhones or computers, and start taking their money. The game automatically fashions an avatar out of your Facebook profile picture, and you can invite more friends to join to earn extra chips.

Social gaming is clearly going to be a very, very big deal on the iPhone. We wonder how many rival networks the platform can support, however. Now that Zynga’s jumped into the fray, do companies like Newtoy and socialDeck stand a chance? We’re about to find out.

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Live Poker Ups The Ante With $49.99 Version

One of the main conventions established for iPhone games over the past six months is that they never, ever cost more than $9.99. We’ve asked numerous developers large and small whether they would consider breaking this informal (yet seemingly ironclad) rule, even for really big games like Need For Speed Undercover, and they’ve all demurred. Funny thing is, social games maker Zynga has actually been flouting the rule for some time–and now they’ve quintupled their defiance.

Zynga’s excellent Live Poker App comes in five flavors: Free, Deluxe, 40K, 100K, and now 300K, priced at zero, $1.99, $9.99, $19.99, and a whopping $49.99, respectively. All of the paid Deluxe versions grant a stipend of 2,000 chips a day, instead of 1,000, and the more expensive versions start you out with a major bankroll, too.

We realize that these Apps may not fall in quite the same category as typical games, since you are basically trading money for a service that provides increased social value, rather than an expanded product. Still, it’s interesting to note that Zynga has offered larger and larger denominations of Live Poker on a monthly basis. That tells us that their market segmentation strategy is working.