Holdem X was finally unveiled last Tuesday by poker entrepreneur Alex Dreyfus. Holdem X combines games such as Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering with tradition Texas Hold’em. It is a new twist on Hold’em poker with a specific purpose.
Alex Dreyfus believes poker needs to be reinvented to survive, and that why Holdem X was created. Dreyfus aims to attract players from the millennial generation or Generation Y, a generation that that grew up in an increasingly online and electronics-filled world.
Currently Holdem X is in the alpha testing stage. The goal is to merge e-sports, social gaming and real sports with poker. In Dreyfus’ own words, the goal is to present poker to the “next generation of gamers” and “bridge the gap between poker and Hearthstone”.
Dreyfus, the Mediarex chief, explained his goal in a canned statement:
“We believe that after 12 years, the online poker industry, across social, freemium ‘real money’ corridors, needs to adopt new, fun and innovative games in order to bring back disengaged players and effectively target new generations of gamers” […] “HoldemX brings more drama, more action and more fun without straying from the skill-based foundations of what makes poker unique.”
Dreyfus believes that games like Hearthstone are a threat to online poker. In just 18 months, 30 million players registered to the World of Warcraft universe. This is the equivalent of 40% of PokerStars user-base.
It seems Generation Y is less interested in poker and Dreyfus wants to change that.
The rules of HoldemX are the same as Texas hold’em, the difference is that Holdem X players can use 15 special ability cards, “Xcards”, to confound their opponents and manipulate the game. Each Xcard has a special power, such as re-dealing the river cards or changing a heart to a diamond. In addition, players can also block other players from using three out of the 15 Xcards pool.
Mediarex wants to organize a Global Poker League and a Global Poker X League, which top e-sports players would play against top poker players to popularize the HoldemX games.
In the future Mediarex also plans to license the Holdem to online poker operators.