The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a series of poker tournaments held annually in Las Vegas and is one of the most highly anticipated events on the poker calendar. WSOP is the longest-running, largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world and has paid more than $1.6 billion in total prize money to date.

This year marks a particularly special occasion as it’s the 50th Annual WSOP. The event will be running from May 28 to July 16 and the prize pool is a healthy $5 million guaranteed.

With such a large amount of money at stake and so many eager poker fanatics viewing the event, tournament participants are finding inventive and creative ways for their fans to be involved in the action with them. WSOP is to poker what E3 is to gaming.

Daniel Negreanu AKA ‘Kid Poker’ is a Canadian professional poker player who already has six WSOP bracelets to his name and so is vastly experienced at these events. In order for fans to “own a part of the action”, Daniel created various WSOP packages with no markup. What this essentially means is that people could buy a piece of him, much like a share, and his success at this year’s tournament. If he wins money – you get paid out based on which package and how much you bought.This is a fairly common product within the world of poker and the demand is palpable.

On the 25th May, Daniel set his site live ready to start receiving payment for his offers. Within the first 15 minutes the site had been overwhelmed and fans had reported all sorts of issues and errors such as Bad Gateway 502, incorrect confirmation pages and confirmations with the wrong number of shares to name a few.

Whilst this seemed fairly innocuous and is in fact quite common amongst websites going through heavy traffic (think concert/festival tickets), it transpired that the packages had sold out within 3 minutes and a glitch in the server meant that Daniel continued to receive funds for an additional 9 minutes.

What later turned out to be an SQL database server error had meant that the site had taken in $1.8 million when the cap was only 275k. In fact 90% of all purchases during this time ended up having to be painstakingly manually refunded.

Whilst Daniel handled the situation incredibly well, promising exclusive one off group packages for the people being refunded and other benefits, this situation could have been entirely prevented with the correct use of blockchain technology.

We have recently seen a drastic increase in the popularity of IEO’s, Initial Exchange Offerings, amongst many prominent exchanges. These IEO’s work on a first come first serve basis and use smart contract conditions in order to properly cap a sale of tokens within a set time limit, ensuring that when the cap is reached no more deposits can be made.

This same method could have been applied using the RedFOX Labs technology stack in the case of Daniel Negreanu’s WSOP packages and would have prevented all of the issues that he later faced.

As RedFOX Labs is part of the Komodo Ecosystem it directly benefits from the products and features that KMD produces. Although built on the Bitcoin protocol, Komodo has developed “Custom Consensus”. CC is a feature that allows smart contracts to be developed on top of Bitcoin-protocol based blockchains. Using Custom Consensus, RedFox Labs would have been able to deploy a smart contract based system for Daniel to run his auction style sale on, using the RFOX token, and guarantee that the cap would have been hit correctly. This is a feature RedFOX Labs will introduce in their upcoming gaming project, which will comprise of a marketplace as well as games and streaming.

Poker and online gambling has often been earmarked as an ideal candidate to reap the rewards of blockchain technology due to the sheer amount of transactions taking place, many of which involving large sums of money. These transactions are also required to be made secure and agreed upon by all parties involved. It is because of this that an immutable ledger would be a perfect use case for a game such as Poker as the blockchain is able to keep a record of every transaction between two or more parties allowing the players to fully trust the platform they are playing on.

RedFOX Labs is in the perfect position to enter the online gambling arena as it is a full technology stack with go to market products – it’s powered with Custom Consensus, secured with the hash rate of Bitcoin and able to facilitate an interconnected network between all KMD chains using technologies such as atomic-swaps, cross-chain smart contracts, chain interlinking, and more. RedFOX Labs has a clear mission to make gaming safer and fairer.

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Alex Libertas

Founder, The Daily Chain