E3 06: World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions

Activision's World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champions picks up where last year's game left off - namely, at the poker table. This year, the gambling sim features a story mode, where you become the card-playing protege of bearded card shark Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, slowly building up your reputation and winning record to the point where you get invited to the exclusive, titular tournament.

You'll find yourself among some famous company, including professional players like Scotty Nguyen, Phil “Unabomber” Laak, TJ Cloutier, defending World Series champ Joseph Hachem, and Academy Award-nominated actress Jennifer Tilly, herself a WSoP champion.

The focus is on realism - the pros have submitted to voice recording, 3D scans of their likenesses and extensive interviews to inform their virtual play styles. For instance, if a player has certain personal quirks like superstitions or cards they always play regardless of “traditional” poker strategy and logic, all those elements will supposedly be modeled into the AI for their player in the game. A sports-style ticker displays info about other players and events during your tournaments, while your success will unlock poker tools like the ones many online players use - things that let you calculate odds and track stats on your own play, as well as that of your opponents.

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