Alt-Currency Breakout Gaming Site Debuts ‘Old School’ Lineup
A large number of familiar “old school” poker faces were presented on Monday as spokesplayers for a soon-to-be, alternate-currency online gaming site that plans to offer online poker, fantasy sports, and other games. Breakout Gaming announced itself to the gambling world with a wave of splashly graphics and high-profile promotion from of its sponsored pros, even if real-money action on the site won’t begin for several more weeks or months.
Exactly what Breakout Gaming is remains something of a mystery as well, though it is being pitched as an online gaming site that will use its own private currency called Breakout Coin (BRO), and that it will offer poker, casino games, and fantasy sports all under one virtual roof. According to a press release issued by the company:
An in-house, web based, exchange seamlessly converts Bitcoin (BTC) to Breakout Coin (BRO) with a cold storage solution to protect the currency, avoiding the opportunity for hackers to enter the servers. Breakout Gaming’s site will feature 88 different casino games including the popular Texas Hold ‘Em, Open Face Chinese Poker, in addition to a custom built Fantasy Sports betting platform.
One other “fantasy” offering mentioned on the Breakout Gaming site is a fantasy-game format which appears to be designed to bet on the varying fortunes of various crypto-currencies themselves; a company spokesman posting on a discussion board described the last as “a Fantasy ‘CRYPTO’ game that will allow alternate coin investors to now use their skills/knowledge of coins against one another.” The concept, while intriguing, has not to date been fleshed out with details.
Breakout Gaming splashed across social media sites yesterday with several posts promoting the planned site, with several of the site’s sponsored pros (and possible investors) also calling attention to the new offering. A splashy banner (below) highlighted ten largely “old school” poker players who have now been publicly associated with the new site:
In order, the banner depicts Johnny Chan, Todd Brunson, Ted Forrest, David Benyamine, Layne Flack, Jeffrey Lisandro, Huckleberry Seed, Toto Leonidas, Vladimir Shchemelev and Jennifer Harman. Promotional materials for the site already proclaim the 38 combined WSOP bracelets won by the group, led by Chan’s ten. Las Vegas gaming attorney David Gzesh, who has expanded his range of practice into various alternate-currency and i-gaming matters, is also associated with the group.
As for Chan, press materials for the startup identify him as a “core partner” of the new company, while Ted Forrest was linked to the startup as early as June, donning Breakout logos at the WSOP. Recent Facebook posts promote the arrival of Brunson, Seed, Chan and others, though the group as a whole is believed to have been in place for several months, at least since the site’s late-June debut on Twitter, Facebook and other sites.
Curiosity remains over the announced “initial coin offering” of the site, which according to a heavily moderated thread at Bitcointalk.org is scheduled for some time in October. According to a poster called BreakoutGaming, one of several in the thread posting on behalf of the site, “We are still in discussion of a fair distribution and the final announcement of coin details and ICO price will be on our official announcement page coming on Sept. 20-22.” A separate BreakoutGaming post detailed that, “The purchase window is tentatively scheduled for Oct 4 – Oct 18.”
Exactly how that purchase offering and the process for “mining” of BRO for use on the site remains to be clarified. The Breakout Gaming site claims to have incorporated several recent conceptual enhancements regarding the nature of crypto-currencies themselves which will make the site’s new BRO house currency more secure. A more technical explanation of the site’s planned crypto-security is available on at least one alt-currency discussion forum.
A PR quote credited to Chan declares that the creation of a “dedicated ecosystem” on which to spend the virtual BRO currency is what will set the currency apart from most other virtual offerings. According to the quote, “We are going to shake up the gaming community with the world’s first cryptocurrency that has a dedicated ecosystem for its coins. We felt there was an untouched niche for digital currency enthusiast to play digital games such as poker, blackjack, and fantasy sports, all while investing in the long-term opportunity of Breakout being the next go-to gaming destination.”
Even with the spashly rollout, a few marketing gaffes complicated the debut. Social-media watchers were quick to note that both the Facebook and Twitter accounts associated with the site were stuffed with fake users, seemingly designed to inflate the apparent fan base and related interest. The Facebook page for Breakout inexplicably contained over 40,000 “likes,” many of them seemingly generated from a click-bait farm in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the site’s Twitter page claimed to have over 11,900 followers, though a check via ID-verifying site TwitterAudit showed that only 72 (less than 1%) of the site’ apparent followers appeared to be real, with those 72 real ones including several of the poker players associated with the site itself. FlushDraw asked a Breakout Gaming press representative for information on several aspects of the site’s rollout, including the seeming marketing gaffe, but did not receive a response in time for publication.