World Series of Poker is available for virtually every system on the market from the PSP to the PC - too bad the game is Pee Pee.

This is a lousy simulation of the televised version. It looks terrible with its blocky graphics and herky jerky animation. The poker gameplay is about as average as you can get. There are better, more realistic poker games available on the net for free. Go ahead and look for one now. I promise I won't change my mind later in the review if you don't feel like reading it.

I originally learned about this game at E3 2004. The booth dude told me that it would be out in the fall. When I didn't see it last year I imagined that the developers were up to something special. I could hardly wait. The booth dude also told me that this game would feature online play with the ability to use the Eye Toy camera so that you could see all the players' faces. This is incredibly important for any aspiring professional or Tuesday-night warrior as it enables you to read "tells" which is something you can't do with digitized characters.

So vast is the subject matter that I could write a book on "tells." The first thing I would do is not put the word "tells" in parenthesis every time I type it. The second thing I would do is ask for a huge advance and spend it on burgers and whisky. That's just the kind of guy I am, you son-of-a-bitch.

Tells are subconscious ticks that players display involuntarily; body language if you will. If you can read these subtle signs you may be able to ascertain if the player is bluffing or really has a good hand. I'm not very good at distinguishing tells. One time I was playing poker with a guy with Turret's who would shout out "#*%!" each time he had a good hand. I still couldn't read the bastard and he walked away with my down payment for a house. I came down with Turret's for about four hours afterward, until the police told me to shut up.

Quick Play, Career, Main Event and Multi-Player modes all basically contain the same thing - poker. The biggest differences are between the multi and single-player modes. Do you want to play real people or the computer?

The AI is no better than your average GBA game. It really all depends on the luck of the draw since you can't read tells. Some of the characters talk smack with you but it's so corny and forced that I'm surprised that the developers left it in. It sounds like it belongs in Big Mutha Truckers. On the other hand the commentary isn't bad. Norman Chad offers a few laughs and makes you go from hating the game to just disliking it.

Using the Eye Toy does have its advantages and is the only way to play this game. You can see the other players but not as clearly or as large as you might like. It's not a totally useless feature but its potential hasn't been reached, only broached.

World Series of Poker is getting closer to the real thing but it's not even close enough to the virtual internet poker thing where many of the young superstars are cutting their teeth. Go there now, but you'll have to find it yourself since we don't promote other websites unless they pay us gobs of cash. One day I'm going to see some of that cash when I challenge Dave to a poker match.

System: Xbox, PS2
Dev: Activision
Pub: Activision
Release: Aug 2005
Players: 1 - multii Online
Review by StewXX