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August 30, 2014

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New WSOP app continues social gaming trend

As players vied for millions of dollars at the World Series of Poker Main Event on Tuesday, a free online version made its debut.

The "World Series of Poker by EA" app plays a hand flush with big names of the gaming and casino business into a mobile game available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. Besides the biggest name in poker, the game is developed by video game king Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) and Las Vegas casino ace Caesars Entertainment.

The WSOP app is the latest to join a virtual strip of Las Vegas gaming companies jumping into the social gaming business. Some companies, including the owners behind Station Casinos, are hoping their brands will move into real money games as online gambling laws allow.

But officials say "World Series of Poker by EA" aims to remain a free recreational pastime, regardless of gambling laws.

"This is about brand-building, letting people play the game of poker easily and introducing the game to new potential poker players," said Seth Palansky, WSOP spokesman.

Texas Hold'em and Omaha Poker players can win virtual bracelets and rings, earn entrance to VIP rooms and gain pro status levels. Different levels allow players to analyze statistics, such as frequency of raises and folds pre-flop. Players can also connect for games via Facebook.

The WSOP app is available through the iTunes store.

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