Since I announced I would be covering Zynga’s PokerCon, I’ve been asked “What is Zynga?” Zynga is a multi-billion dollar game developer based out of San Francisco. They’re the tech company behind Farmville, Zynga Poker, Mafia Wars and recently acquired Words With Friends. Their latest addition, RewardVille, was launched at SXSW this week. RewardVille is a cross-platform for Zynga players.
Zynga games are integrated with social networking platforms. That’s a big deal, that’s Zynga’s niche. Their games are played on facebook and MySpace using gamification. They also have apps for the iPhones and iPads. Being that poker is a social game, it was only a matter of time before poker became socially assimilated within social networks. Personally, I find the evolution of gaming rather fascinating, as it has come a long way since I played games on my Atari or Commodore 64.
Confused by the Con in PokerCon? True, combining the word “con” with Las Vegas and poker doesn’t exactly produce a positive mental image. However, PokerCon isn’t a con, but a two-day CONference. This isn’t a new spin on words, as there are many Cons out there… PubCon, Wired Biz Con, Add-On-Con, Comic-Con and so on. There’s even a ShakaCon which is different from the singer Chaka Khan.
The 2011 PokerCon kicks off Friday morning with ZyngaPoker’s General Manager, Laurence Tony, in attendance. The convention offers poker training by Annie Duke, hands-on poker table labs, player’s lounge, meals, prizes and a VIP party featuring the singer B.O.B. Other top poker pros expected to be in attendance: Doyle Brunson, Mike Sexton, Scotty Nguyen, David Williams, Vanessa Rousso and Gavin Smith.