The largest social poker tournament ever is happening online and in a casino simultaneously

doubledownHere’s a great example of blending the online and physical worlds, but with a little poker twist.

Seattle-based maker of casino-style games DoubleDown Interactive is teaming up with Arizona’s Casino Del Sol to put on the world’s first cross-platform video poker tournament.

Players can use their mobile devices or desktop computer to participate, and those who are playing in person at Casino Del Sol can join the tournament as well. More than 250,000 playing DoubleDown’s Game King Video Poker have qualified to play in the Game King Championship Tournament, which already makes it the largest mobile and social poker tournament ever.

casinodelsolThe field will eventually be cut down to just five players, who will receive an all-expense paid trip to Casino Del Sol on August 24-25 where they will compete for a chance to be named Game King Champion.

This isn’t the first time Casino Del Sol has joined forces with DoubleDown. One year ago, it became the first land-based casino to offer online gaming through its website thanks to Double Down’s games.

DoubleDown was gobbled up by Las Vegas-based International Game Technology for as much as $500 million last year. It saw its 2013 second quarter revenues increase sequentially by 31 percent to $54 million. This comes after the company pulled in $128 million within 12 months following the IGT acquisition.

DoubleDown is also now available in French, German and Spanish. Previously, players from more than 30 countries used the Double Down platform in English, but that has since changed.

Double Down Interactive president Glenn Walcott and CEO Greg Enell.

Double Down Interactive president Glenn Walcott and CEO Greg Enell.

John Clelland, VP of Global Marketing for IGT and DoubleDown, spoke to us last month about the success of DoubleDown, which is impressive considering the fact that players of its casino-style games are only betting with virtual currency. The merger of IGT and its massive games library, he said, has helped in providing a more authentic Vegas gaming experience. Then, there’s the consistency aspect of it.

“We are able to bring a new slot game to players every other week,” Clelland said. “That kind of focus on new content has been one of big differentiators in allowing us to continue to grow.”

Things could get really interesting for the company if online gambling becomes legal in the States, however, only New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada have approved online gambling legislations up to this point.

Clelland said Double Down remains focused on being a social gaming company first and foremost.

“It is not something we are building our platform around,” he said of online gambling. “Our core business is very strong and we see plenty of runway for continued growth, regardless of regulatory environment in United States.”

Seattle has become sort of a hotbed for casino apps. Earlier this year, GameHouse launched its own casino on Facebook with more than a dozen games and also released a new iOS app. Then there’s Jawfish Games, whichrecently debuted the first-ever real-time social gaming platform that supports live tournament play for more than 100,000 users on iOS, Android and on the Web.

Jawfish CEO Phil Gordon.

Jawfish CEO Phil Gordon.

Jawfish CEO Phil Gordon said there are reasons why you’re seeing so many casino games on the market while other social gaming companies like Zynga struggle.

“Casino-based games monetize at four times the rate of a standard casual game,” said Gordon, a former Netsys exec and computer scientist who is perhaps best known as a professional poker player and commentator. ”It’s easy to get people to pay for virtual slots than virtual farms.”

For more on Double Down’s business growth, check out this Q&A we did with CEO Greg Enell.

Editor’s note: DoubleDown Interactive is a GeekWire annual sponsor. 

  • http://www.fzchips.com/ Buy Facebook Zynga Poker Chips

    That kind of focus on new content has been one of big differentiators in allowing us to continue to grow.

  • Pauli Sminth

    Poker is a different game from the rest of the games in a way that this casino game is played with the other players and that decides the lot of the game. It is not one of those Casino games which are played against the house. You are required to produce poker ranks in this game and the player who is able to produce the highest rank wins the lot of the game.