Monday, October 20, 2008

Governor of Poker

There aren't very many sites out there with a ton of Mac content, but Big Fish Games seems to be making a concerted effort to bring a lot of casual gameplay to the platform with a minimum of fuss.

My current addiction is Governor of Poker, a Hold 'em game that combines table skills with stake management, heads-up, tournament and cash games. You play a diminutive man or women who speaks softly and carries a big hat. In the game's "quest mode," you start with $300 and a dream, and by the end of the game (in theory) you own the entire state of Texas. The progression from dirt farmer to wagon-owning tycoon is very reminiscent of the old lemonade stand games, and is pretty dang fun (plus, duh, poker).

My only quibble is that I have yet to identify a marked difference in AI/computer play styles based on the difficulty level selection. The AI is fairly sophisticated (for example I have seen intelligent check-raises from computer opponents), but the starting hand standards never seem to get much better than "pretty dang loose." You have to account for that in your own play style, but on the other hand, that's probably excellent practice for all those charity casino nights or your Saturday game...

Thank heavens I'm free of my terrible Fairway Solitaire addiction, but now I'm afraid that Gov. of Poker will occupy just as much time and space...

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