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Phil Ivey Joins Virtue Poker

ConsenSys-incubated cryptocurrency poker startup Virtue Poker announced this week that poker legend Phil Ivey will be joining as a brand representative and professional advisor.

The ten-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner is the latest pro-gambler to lend his name to the emerging cryptocurrency trend which is set to rock the foundations of the online gambling industry.

The partnership is quite a coup for the startup – Ivey is considered to be one of the best poker players in the world and is 6th on the all-time money list with additional online winnings of over $10 million.

The signing of Phil Ivey comes only months after Virtue Poker signed up Brian Rast (3 WSOP bracelets, 11th in all-time money list) and Dan Colman (1 WSOP bracelet, 3rd all-time money lost) to help the team develop the new poker room.

Virtue Poker Co-Founder Ryan Gittleson stated “From a brand perspective, Phil is an absolute legend in the space. Having him be a part of our team will allow us to gain greater exposure to the global poker community, whether it be from Phil playing online in Virtue Poker events, or wearing a Virtue Poker patch on televised live events.”

Some of Ivey’s first tasks will be to help the Virtue Poker team put the finishing touches to their new poker platform and to use his vast array of industry contacts to increase Virtue Poker’s brand awareness and reach.

Ivey will also play a crucial role in Virtue’s longer-term strategy as it attempts to wrestle away market share from established online poker behemoths PokerStars, 888 Poker and PartyPoker which dominate the market.

In a press release, Ivey said “I’m looking forward to serving as a strategic adviser to the Virtue Poker team, I believe their new peer-to-peer solution built using blockchain technology can add significant value to the online poker experience.”

What is Virtue Poker?

Virtue Poker is a decentralized poker platform that is built using Ethereum aiming to solve two of the age-old problems afflicting online poker sites – the misuse of player deposits and unauthorized access to players’ cards.

Virtue Poker’s platform claims to solve the first issue by never actually controlling player funds. Players can use cryptocurrency to fund a digital wallet, buy in and send the funds into an escrow via an Ethereum smart contract. When the game ends, the contract executes and automatically pays out winnings.

The second issue claims to be solved by using a cryptographic peer-to-peer card shuffling protocol called Mental Poker which gives all players sat at the poker table equal responsibility in the card shuffling process, rendering it impossible for any company employee to see the cards being dealt.

Virtue Poker still remains in its development phase however and isn’t due to launch until late 2018 with the ICO (initial coin offering) planned for next month. Two other prominent crypto poker startups who are currently attracting a lot of traction in their crowdfunding phase are CoinPoker and Russian-based poker room Cash Poker Pro.

One thing is for sure that until then, momentum for blockchain poker will continue to build, especially if Phil Ivey and other poker heavyweights keep offering up their support.

Check out Virtue Poker’s website at https://virtue.poker/

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