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Nova Taps Hayes To Launch PokerKard Videogame In U.S.

Posted On: 11/7/2008

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COPPULL, England -- Nova Productions Ltd., based here, has appointed industry veteran Kevin Hayes to spearhead sales of its new PokerKard videogame in the U.S. and Canada.

Based on Texas hold'em poker, the new game will roll out as an amusement-only device for one to four players. The game officially launched this month in London and might make a U.S. appearance in mid-November during the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, FL.

"I've known the principals of Nova Productions, Peter Robinson and David Jones, for over 20 years and have always admired their creativity and passion for coin-op," Hayes said. "PokerKard is the culmination of their 60-plus years' experience in the business, and is the most exciting product to be introduced for the bar market in years."

Nova Productions has produced several successful coin-op games. In the U.S., the iconic electric chair game is among its best-known products. In Europe, its new Skillball Bingo continues to gain popularity. Describing PokerKard, Robinson and Jones said: "Not since the introduction of the pool table have we seen such a staple entertainment piece of equipment for the operator."

PHOTO: PokerKard accommodates up to four players and includes a single-player game. The touchscreen system in cocktail format makes the new videogame ideal for operations serving taverns.

The new game is offered in a cocktail-table format and completely controlled by a touchscreen interface. "No buttons and joysticks makes this a very cool game," Hayes said. "It's very much for a bar environment and we welcome patrons to put their drinks directly on top of it."

Wins are stored as points alongside the player's identity and a star rating on a card that is unique to each customer. Players have the option to buy a card that can store their names and accumulated points. The star rating designates a player's proficiency. A wireless communications option will be available for the game, allowing updates to download to units and player data to upload to websites.

The ability to create a socially rich amusement experience without a gambling element, the Nova officials said, is the main draw of PokerKard. The game is testing in England with a minimum £1 play price. Players are offered 30 minutes for play, depending on their skill; it is designed to make it easy for novice poker players to learn. Big Tony, a character developed by Nova for its gambling machines, is featured in the game.

Hayes has worked in the coin-op business for more than 30 years, most recently serving as president and chief executive of Namco's operating and manufacturing businesses in the Americas. He is based in California and can be reached by calling (408) 768-5187 or emailing