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Web site deals online poker with NASCAR stars

Web site deals online poker with NASCAR stars

Web site deals online poker with NASCAR stars
bostonherald.com 

NASCAR fans can now learn when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em against the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and five other top drivers thanks to Framingham-based Power Play Development Corp.

Launched recently - and in collaboration with its parent company, Poker Creations - Victory Lane Players Club (www.vlpclub.net) allows members to play poker at virtual tables against Earnhardt, two-time Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Dale Jarrett.

Instead of cash prizes, members use a points-based system to win autographed merchandise, tickets to upcoming NASCAR Nextel Cup races and more.

“These are the biggest names in racing, and VLP Club will make these racers more accessible to their fans,” said Michael Clebnik, chief executive of Power Play Development.

The Framingham software, marketing and online gaming company focuses on so-called “advergaming.” VLP Club uses the new CUPID2.0 platform, an advanced game engine created by Power Play Development that sets up a virtual gaming environment between the six NASCAR drivers and the site’s members.

Although free play is allowed, membership has its privileges.

For example, a $20 subscription gives members advance notice when drivers are playing online. Club members can also meet drivers at exclusive VLP Club events and are given first priority when customer service questions arise.

Race fans can choose their own avatar character from the VLP Club library to represent them during interactive play.

Bruce McMeikan, chief executive of VLP Club, said his online poker site is the first to give NASCAR fans this kind of access to some of the top names in the sport.

NASCAR drivers, meanwhile, are no strangers to the popularity of poker. Earnhardt, Stewart and Sadler have all played charity games in Las Vegas in conjunction with SPEED-TV.

“We wanted to give the fans a completely new and unique experience that they can’t get anywhere else,” Stewart said.

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