Phil Ivey has joined cryptocurrency site Virtue Poker as a Strategic Consultant. Ivey, considered one of the best all-round poker players of all time, joins the team after Brian Rast and Dan Colman joined the Ethereum-based business as ambassadors.

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

Ivey has been absent from the US poker scene for the past few years, only making the odd WSOP appearance while limiting himself to high-stakes cash games in Asia. The Poker Hall of Famer’s legal battles have certainly been an issue; but with the court cases now settled, Ivey is expected to return to the poker scene on a more regular basis.

The WSOP bracelet-winner’s cast experience is certain to be an asset to Virtue Poker in the coming days. Ivey, over his career, has worked across various ventures. Not all have been a success though – his association with Full Tilt Poker comes to mind. However, a reenergised Ivey will be determined to get things back on track which bodes well for Virtue.

The site is expected to launch in 2018.

About Virtue Poker

Virtue Poker, though similar to most online poker portals, aims to be quite different in 2 key areas – cultivating trust in the fairness of the software and establishing the operator as a neutral party that holds player funds in escrow. The portal hopes to achieve both via blockchain technology.

Virtue plans to do away with the Random Number Generator (RNG) which has been the norm for poker websites since the beginning. Instead, it plans to implement a program called Mental Poker, a peer-to-peer card shuffling protocol.In this setup, all players at the table contribute to the card shuffling thus disallowing the website to rig the cards.

The other issue of player funds has been a contentious one since the days of the Full Tilt Poker scandal. Virtue Poker eliminates that potential issue because the site never actually controls player funds. Players use their cryptocurrency to fund a digital wallet through which they can then buy in, sending the funds into an escrow. When the game ends, the contract executes and automatically pays out winnings.

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