Most of us have been to a casino or two in our adult life. Some of us love to gamble, some of us absolutely despise it. I’ve always landed somewhere in between those two camps. I love the thrill of gambling, but I hate losing money I can’t afford to lose. It’s a frustrating feeling because I know that if somehow money were to be eliminated from the equation, I’d be hooked.
A few months ago I suddenly got the random craving to play some poker. I recalled how Jake and I used to play it at sleepovers all the time. We’d divvy up some chips, while eating chips, and play hand after hand—simply because we enjoyed the game. There was always something so cathartic about it. We’d frequently hold conversations or listen to music while we played, and the hours would fly.
I realize now that when you take the actual betting of money away from the game of poker, it can be rather soothing, in the same way any other card game might be. And so there I was, stuck in the conundrum of wanting to return to that innocent, easygoing poker experience of my younger years, and not wanting to spend any cash.
That’s when it hit me—thanks to modern technology and the amazing invention of mobile gaming, I can finally live the fantasy of being a high roller, without having to forfeit any real dough. Well, sort of.
Excited by this shocking revelation, I headed to the app store to see if I could find a reputable poker game. That’s when I stumbled on the World Series of Poker app, and my life was instantly changed.
Since downloading it, I’ve played the game religiously, every night before bed for the last several months. The app is just about what you’d expect; you’re given a decent amount of free chips, which you can then use to access a variety of different styled poker games. At each virtual table you play online against other real people. The biggest thrill comes from the insane amount of free chips you’re granted, which equates out to $65,000 per day, with bonuses and special surprise chip gifts that’ll push you well into the millions quickly. It’s an insane and hilarious high that comes with seeing those seven figures in your account, and an even bigger thrill when you can flaunt the depth of your pockets to your fellow poker-addicted peers.
Because it’s fake money, I also find myself taking bigger risks, and more frequent chances in my strategy. Nothing is more intense than bluffing with big money, and holding your breath, clinging to all hope that the rest of the table will fold. Nothing is more satisfying than watching the rest of the table matching your big bids as you hold a royal flush.
Occasionally I’ll lose a big hand, and find myself staying awake for hours on end just attempting to reclaim my honor, and my money. I’m not exactly sure if this is what the real deal feels like, but man do I love it. I’ve found plenty of worthy adversaries, and I’ve taken advantage of plenty of unsuspecting suckers who assume they have the upper hand. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions, and an experience I find myself returning to time and time again.
Conveniently enough, just as I was getting heavily into mobile poker, Rockstar Games released Red Dead Redemption 2—which features poker as a playable mini-game. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve spent hours of that game just playing table after table, trying to clean out every cowboy I see.
But I digress—the real action is in the mobile world. However, I find myself flying maybe too close to the sun of late. I recently succumbed to one of the most notorious mobile gaming facets of them all: in-app purchases.
To set the scene, I was working on retrieving 1.2 million in chips I had lost to a player we’ll call Cool Stu. Stu had been winning hand after hand—calling my bluff when I had nothing, and miraculously besting me when I had decent hands. I watched as my cash stash quickly drained, and panicked at the thought of running out of chips, and having to wait a full 24 hours just to collect my daily free chip gift again.
Suddenly, something on the screen caught my attention—I could restock, in an instant, with just the press of a button! And a small monetary fee, of course. So this is how they get you. The app itself is free—the game offers you daily free gifts, but if you don’t wager those chips properly, you’ll end up not being able to play.
Once you’re hooked, you’ll stop at nothing to ensure the show will go on. I quickly scanned my thumbprint to confirm the purchase, and watched as my chip stash quickly skyrocketed once more. It was totally worth it, if only to see such a beautiful stack of chips piled up in my account.
I ended up using those purchased chips to slowly trick Cool Stu into blowing all of the money he had managed to win from me, and all was right in the world again. I’ve gone on to continue my status as a high roller in the World Series of Poker app, and that’ll likely be what I’m doing as soon as I finish this article.
The app features some really cool gameplay options which allow you to control how much time each player is granted to make their move, and fun mini-games based around winning free bonus chips to keep the party alive and well as you go from table to table. It’s the closest thing to the real rush as you’ll get, without having to drop the big bucks. Unless of course, you really catch the fever, and end up spending just as much on the micro-transactions. In which case, you might as well be at the casino.
But don’t just take my word for it, go download the World Series of Poker app from the app store and get gambling!
Featured image by Pixabay on Pexels.