While online and televised poker has really taken off since 2003, the one place where it still has struggled to really find a real niche is console gaming. While astute players have figured out how to play Online Poker with the XBox Kinect, there are still very few games for XBOX 360 and PS worth your time. The one exception to that rule would be Full House Poker.
If you have never played Full House Poker, the best way to explain it is poker meets The Sims. In this game, you interact in a computer generated poker world where you try and work your way through the ranks to become a top pro.
Unlike many poker games where you can setup a basic avatar and then just play poker, Full House Poker allows you to interact with your avatar on a much deeper level. You can actually control the emotional state of the avatar while at the table. If you want him or her to look weak, you can cause them to act timid in an attempt to fool your player. As such, no two avatars will be the same in regards to how they act and play.
The other great feature that has made this game popular with casual fans is the fact that you continue to gain XP regardless of your results at the table. Even if you get your teeth kicked in and leave the table broke, you will still gain at least some XP and this allows you to still progress through the game.
If you get tired of playing in the offline career mode, you do have the option to play online against live players where you will test your true poker skills. You can play in tournaments, cash games, and sit and go events.
It is doubtful that console poker games will every reach close the level of popularity that their online counterparts enjoy. However, games like Full House Poker are a strong start and hopefully we will see more games learn from the success this title has enjoyed.