Poker with the Pros... what's not to like? With a little more polish, this game could really take off.

User Rating: 7 | World Series of Poker PSP
I'm not really a big poker fan, but I do play with friends once a week. I rarely watch games on the TV so I really don't know all the poker pros (except for Gus Hansen, Chipp Jett, and a few others) and how they play. Beyond the rules of the game, I don't have a clue so I have no way of figuring out how authentic "World Series of Poker" is and if the players really do look and move the way they do in the game.

So, I won't even give it a try.

Nevertheless, I have to say... I like this game. There's nothing like going all in with 300,000 dollars before the flop with a low pair in the pocket while hoping other players don't have something decent . There's nothing like leading all the way on another all-in play before losing on the river card as well. Betting is a game of chances, and its nice that World Series of Poker seems to excel in creating this environment. The A.I. isn't perfect all the time though, since there are periods wherein lucky and losing streaks are pretty obvious. These don't happen all the time though, so you still feel that every deal is a different situation.

If there's anything noticeably flawed in this game, its the presentation. The graphics are dated, with people somewhat blocky and robotic. Sound quality and script are likewise not cutting edge -- the players keep saying the same things over and over again deal after deal. The default gameplay setting is also too slow, deliberately done so that the tournament atmosphere can contribute to the suspension of disbelief. The problem is since the graphics and sound are not good, the slow interactive play becomes arduous. You're probably better off with taking the speed to the next level.

Another beef I have with the game is that tournament play is somewhat monotonous. There are no differences between individual WSOP events and the actual World Series Tournament at all. Shouldn't the world championship be a lot more exciting? Shouldn't there be other stuff to do at the tournament? Wouldn't a more alive, more active playing environment bring a lot more to the table.... literally?

As it is, World Series of Poker is fun to play and successfully creates a good betting simulation. With substantial improvements in the graphics, sound, and in-game departments, this game could jump to the level and become a good World Series of Poker simulation instead.