Red-hot PKR

Online poker is a phenomenon. People can’t get enough of logging on and having a dabble, sometimes even outside of those hallowed hours when drunk, ov

Online poker is a phenomenon. People can’t get enough of logging on and having a dabble, sometimes even outside of those hallowed hours when drunk, overzealous Americans sign in to their preferred virtual casinos.

This is why a British company famed for its 3D constructions has entered the game with a mission to slay the competition with PKR.com.

The idea is simple: take the good elements of current poker websites (ie accessibility and playability) and combine them with a little semi-real-world interactivity.

To this end it provides an animated 3D front-end in the vein of a quality first-person shooter, which offers a variety of immersive environments in which to lose your hard-earned buck.

In the brief preview we had, we were blown away by the standard of the graphics – not quite Half-Life 2, but definitely some stiff competition for FarCry.

Initially, there will be six playing environments, including casino, cruise ship and beach. If you get bored of sitting around the table, you can go outside and check out the glorious sunshine glistening on the pool.

Chances are, though, you won’t get bored, as there’s plenty to do inside. You get to customise your character’s clothes and look, right down to accurate facial characteristics.

So, you can have your own poker visage at the virtual table. The 3D environment allows you to interact with opponents like never before – you can chat with gestures and facial expressions, and once you’ve proved yourself you can perform tricks with poker chips.

Oh, and you can also play poker for real cash or for fun. PKR claims there will be tournaments on a scale not yet seen in online poker, so it’s clearly taking the gambling aspect seriously.

Head to PKR.com to check out the video footage and more screenshots.