The rise of NFTs and digital tokens knows no bounds – love it or not, and poker is the latest ‘industry’ to jump on board with the trend.
The World Poker Tour (WPT) has overseen the development of the Poker Heroes Club, an NFT collection that features artwork depicting some of the most famous names that game has ever seen.
Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan are the latest stars to be immortalised digitally, alongside the likes of Maria Ho, Joe ‘Daddy’ Stevenson and Patrik Antonius. The tokens are the result of a link-up between the WPT and ‘web 3.0 innovation studio’ GAMAVRS, and while they have value in themselves they also unlock a number of other perks at WPT Global, the World Poker Tour’s new online platform that was launched in April.
There are three tiers of Poker Heroes – Humans, Cyborgs and Gods. The benefits of ownership include access to $100,000 freeroll tournaments, sponsored seats in Millionaire Maker contests, the chance to enter WTP Live VIP events and even the opportunity to take your seat at celebrity tables in WTP tournaments.
Those with one of the various avatars may also be able to play against the DJ, Steve Aoki, who for some reason is also part of the Poker Heroes Club collection. According to the NFT-Stats website, at the time of writing five of the NFTs had sold in the previous seven days, with an average sale price of $465 (around £378).
That pales in comparison to an NFT devised by GAMAVRS of Phil Ivey’s so-called ‘Legendary Bluff in Poker History’. That exchanged hands for a cool $117,000 (around £95,000).
How Long Will NFTs Be Legal?
For those not in the know, the NFT space is completely unregulated and decentralised, and the issue with that is that some people have been scammed out of their hard-earned money by fraudsters – with no legal recourse.
That’s one of the reasons that some countries are considering the legality of NFTs and whether or not to introduce legislation protecting buyers – many authorities have learned their mistakes the hard way after allowing the cryptocurrency space to become something of a Wild West.
Just a matter of weeks ago, law-makers in two US states – Texas and Alabama – actually prohibited the sale of NFTs in metaverse casinos, with authorities alleging that an ‘illegal and fraudulent securities scheme’ was being run under the auspice of a legitimate digital token campaign.
Millions of dollars have been forked out on fake NFTs and scams already, and two high profile court cases in America – one involving Playboy and the other the music executive Damon Dash – have cost all parties involved a lot of time and money.
There’s also an ongoing case between Quentin Tarantino and film studio Miramax. Tarantino has been hawking NFTs of handwritten pages of his script for Pulp Fiction – Miramax claims this infringed their copyright.
And so you can feel free to invest in a Poker Heroes Club NFT or another piece of digital artwork in the casino space. But make sure you do your homework first, and be aware that the legal landscape covering the sector could be changing in the near future.