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World Championship Poker actually came out on PS2 in the US a year ago. Thanks to Play It software, we're getting a release now. Poker never goes away, and if you've been playing a computerised form of the game recently, chances are you were doing it on an internet website and gambling real money on it to boot. But that's an awfully expensive way to practice if you're not much good at it, and your friends, if they play, are unlikely to want to play you for matchsticks while you learn the ropes.
Luckily Poker doesn't change much from year to year, so the fact that this game is nearly a year old shouldn't worry you. What it does offer, at a budget price point, is a chance to get to grips with the various styles of poker without parting with a penny more than the price of the game itself.
World Championship Poker knows the rules to more different variants of the game than you're ever likely to come across in a lifetime of gambling. There are 18 in total, including Texas Hold'Em, Five Card Draw, Pineapple, Seven Card Stud and Omaha High-Low. There are tutorials to guide you through the stock tactics of each game and give you hints and tips as you progress. Visually it makes an effort, too, with six different locations for the tournaments you enter, from a Mississippi paddleboat, just like in Maverick, to a TV studio, just like you see on some of the lesser known satellite TV channels. And even more impressive is a feature that allows you to design your players face, with 80 different options to choose from. Perfect for aspiring hustlers, World Championship Poker is a great environment to learn the ropes in.