|Sexton's Corner, Vol.70, Part 3
"NLOP President Is Inspirational Leader"
Vincent Zaldivar is the President of Zen Gaming, New Poker, and the National
League of Poker known as the NLOP. We have learned of his entrepreneurial
versatility and his climb up the ladder of success between Part 1 and Part 2 of
his story.As we ended last week’s story we left off mentioning some key
members of Vince’s business team that now surrounds him as President of
Zen Gaming, the umbrella corporation for both New Poker and the NLOP. The
last name we mentioned on his dream team of associates was the legend
himself, Ernie Moody! Ernie is a major investor in Zen Gaming today who is a
game inventor, who may be the most admired man on the planet by those who
aspire to emulate him. His story from rags to riches has always intrigued
Vincent Zaldivar. In fact, Vincent said, “Ernie Moody is my idol. He was broke
and told over and over it can’t be done. He followed his dream and ended up
being one of the most revered game inventors in America, in a very short
period of time.” The point is…… if Ernie has invested in Zen Gaming,
everyone else should pay close attention! He has an eye for having vision
about new ideas that are about to explode into success beyond other people’s
imagination, and Zen Gaming has caught his eye big time!
Vincent says “Ernie Moody is the number one game inventor in the world.
Basically Ernie in 1993 couldn’t rub two nickels together. The “Ernie Moody
Myth” is this man was working out of his car, and ended up being the number
one gaming developer in the video poker world of all time! He was able to
work a deal with IGT, which controls a lot of the video poker space. Ernie is a
true innovator……..he has done it all at 60 years old. The fact he has become
a shareholder and believes in Zen Gaming, New Poker, and the NLOP, with
the new games we are coming out with…… reinforces our belief we are a
company headed into the winner’s circle. Ernie Moody is an extraordinarily
talented and sharp guy.”
In truth, Ernie Moody is the brains behind Triple Play poker video machines, and has become successful beyond belief! In a
great article in the Jan/Feb 2003 issue of Cigar Aficionado by Michael Kaplan called: Gambling: The Greatest Slot Machine
Designer in the World, A former stockbroker creates a lucrative new video poker game, Ernie’s up and down struggles are
vividly recounted, until he comes up with his brainstorm one night at his house on the beach. The article highlights a period of
time when he is running out of money. He borrowed from his father, refinanced his home, and kept plugging away. Typically he
would brainstorm by dealing out hands of poker and try to invent variations of the game. It was late one night when he dealt
himself three rows of five-card poker hands. “I was half asleep when I figured out I could deal one row face up, two rows face
down, and whatever cards you held in the first row would be in the second and third row as well,” recounts Moody, sitting in a
wood-paneled study right on the beach, just a chip’s throw from the rolling surf. “I lay in bed, thought about it some more, and
wrote it down before falling asleep.” The article highlights how the game developed from there and it looked like a winner.
Moody ultimately released it through a company called International Gaming Technology, the number-one casino game
distributor in the world. Neither Moody nor IGT were prepared for the popularity this new game found in casinos across the
There are two new games that Vincent Zaldivar, President of Zen Gaming, New Poker, and the NLOP have developed, that
have been approved by Nevada Gaming, and after several years has gained exclusive 20 year patent rights to each. They are
called No River Hold’Em and Royal Hold’Em. I wanted to find out just how these two new games worked, so I asked Vincent to
tell us about them in a recent interview:
Sexton’s Corner: Vincent, I know how excited you are about the future of the National League of Poker, the addition of Mike Sexton as your primary
spokesman, and having Ernie Moody as one of your major investors. Combine all of this with the sharp people that you have around you today, running the
day to day operations, Zen Gaming appears to be on the verge of climbing the highest mountain of popularity and success. You also own the rights to two
new games under your DBA Company New Poker. They are called No River Hold’Em and Royal Hold’Em. With approval from Nevada Gaming now secured,
as well as the difficult task of gaining 20 year patents on each game, tell us why you are so excited about these two new games, how they work, and what the
differences are between them?
Vincent Zaldivar: I just got the news from Washington DC that a full 20 year patent has been issued for Royal Hold’Em. Now it joins No River Hold’Em, not
only with Nevada Gaming approval, but both games have full patents issued. It took us one year to be approved by Nevada Gaming and four years to receive
a full 20 year patent on each game. I’m very excited these two games are about to be available soon on NLOP. No River Hold’Em is a cross between Stud,
Omaha, and Texas Hold’Em. It has elements of all three, and creates more betting and less folding. You get dealt three hole cards instead of two. Remember,
in regular Texas Hold’Em you have 1326 starting hands, while in No River Hold’Em, due to the three starting cards, you have 22,100 starting hands. The
players have so many more combinations that they want to see that flop. They might have three to a flush or straight or a set of Aces for their starting hand.
In No River Hold’Em you can actually use all three hole cards in your hand. You have to use at least one card, but you may use all three to make your hand.
There are three rounds of betting between the first three cards dealt out, the flop, and the turn. This game builds much bigger pots and is faster for the
casino than regular Hold’Em. The difference between No River Hold’Em and Royal Hold’Em is this: Royal Hold’Em is played with only 20 cards! This is the first
20 card deck game approved in the history of Nevada Gaming! There has never been a Hold’Em poker game with less than 52 cards. The 20 card deck has
only 10’s, J’s, Q’s, K’s, and A’s. All the small cards are eliminated. This game is so exciting for the players, due to all the big hands that are possible. There is
No Fold’Em in Royal Hold’Em. This game is played just like Texas Hold’Em, except we took out all the boring cards. With a pre-flop bet, the flop, turn, and
river….. players will see huge hands by the end of the hand. That river card in Royal Hold’Em is hellacious, and it guarantees a lot of excitement on every
Vincent Zaldivar: Tom, what you just said was very articulate in explaining the value of joining the
VIP Club at NLOP. After buying out NLOP about 60 days ago, we wanted to offer something that
was exciting for our customers as well as 100% legal in the United States. Creating our VIP Club for
our customers was the answer. It is an option our free play customers have now when they want to
be able to win more cash and prizes that we are very excited about. You mentioned the NLOP
Championship held at the Venetian, and this will be coming in August of 2009. Our top 100 players
that qualify during the year will meet at our Championship to be held in the beautiful Venetian in
Las Vegas. We hold about two qualifiers per week to win a seat in this prestigious event where the
players will meet and play against our host Mike Sexton. First place will be $20,000 with a lot of
other cash prizes as well. Mike of course originally developed the popular concept of the TOC or
Tournament of Champions, where a player had to qualify to win a seat. We love that concept at
NLOP, and it is very popular with our regular players. We also have a monthly tournament where a
player can win $1,000 playing against Mike Sexton, plus sit and goes around the clock that can win
points, which will allow them to enter bigger events with cash and prizes.
In conclusion, meeting Vincent Zaldivar who is the President of Zen Gaming, New Poker, and the
NLOP was interesting as well as inspirational. Just this past week Vincent entered the Red Rock
Harley Davidson Celebrity Poker Tournament hosted by Hoyt Corkins. It was for the Diabetes
Research Foundation. Vincent was very excited as he won third place and won $6,000 in cash and
prizes, including a beautiful watch and trophy. He outlasted Phil Hellmuth, Todd Brunson, Jennifer
Harman and many other poker stars in the event. Isn’t this why we all love to play poker? On any
given day every one of us has a chance to beat the best in the world! Vincent was very excited
about this as I talked with him, because he only started playing poker about 6 months ago. He
credits the NLOP as the reason he did so well, as that is where he plays all the time. There is no
doubt that behind Vincent Zaldivar’s leadership…… all of us can look forward to the National
League of Poker becoming a tremendous success! When you look at Part 1, 2,and 3 of his
story……….you get the feeling you are betting on Michael Phelps to win a swimming race, or Tiger
Woods to win a golf tournament. Vincent Zaldivar is a winner in whatever he does in life!
The Cab Is Parked,
Sexton’s Corner: I see the difference now between these two new games you have gotten
approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Is either of the games currently being played in
any casinos today?
Vincent Zaldivar: Right now we have these games in Treasure Island, the Hard Rock, the
Colorado Belle and Edgewater in Laughlin. I’m currently signing a deal with Harrah’s Hotel and
the Flamingo in Las Vegas. With its wide popularity, I’m sure it will be expanding into a lot more
rooms very soon. This is being played in the regular poker rooms currently.
Sexton’s Corner: With these new poker games you have gotten approved by Nevada Gaming, I’
m sure you have plans to soon make them available online at the National League of Poker.
Can you tell us any plans you have to bring these games to the NLOP?
Vincent Zaldivar: Actually No River Hold’Em is going to be launching on the NLOP within the
next few weeks here. Any day now this fun game will be able to be played where we will be
offering daily tournaments. It won’t be too long before Royal Hold’Em will also be added to our lobby at the NLOP for the player’s enjoyment as well.
Sexton’s Corner: Basically it sounds like you are in the driver’s seat with these games, with Nevada Gaming approval and now 20 year patents on both new
games. How difficult is it to get patents and such when you try to introduce a new game?
Vincent Zaldivar: It took us a while to get them approved through Nevada Gaming. On the front side, you really have to have all your patents in order. In
fact, before we filed to Nevada Gaming, we wanted to wait a considerable amount of time to make sure these games were going to be issued their full
patents, before going to the trouble of Gaming. It has been about a 4 ½ to 5 year process. No River Hold’Em was issued its full patent in April of 2008, and as
I mentioned earlier, just last week we got word from Washington DC that our full patent for Royal Hold’Em was approved.
Sexton’s Corner: Let’s talk about the National League of Poker and some of the things that are going on in terms of promotions like your Championship at
the Venetian, your weekly or monthly promos, as well as your VIP Club that everyone is talking about. For example, when I joined the VIP Club for $19.99 per
month, the first thing I noticed was this pop up bar that appeared highlighting about 12 cash tournaments I would be eligible to play for the day. Truthfully, I
was astounded to see this $800 up for grabs each day which is $24,000 per month plus many other prizes, which perhaps adds up to $50,000 in value each
month. My first impression was very positive, as I said to myself, “Wow……….I can’t believe this. I’m only paying about $20 per month to be a VIP member of
the NLOP, yet look at the money and prizes I can now win! If I play a little each day during any month how can I not make some kind of profit? I can’t lose,
because I can’t gamble here. The most I can spend is about $5.00 per week or $20.00 per month!” I loved this idea about the VIP Club. I know you can win a
few cash tournaments and prizes playing free, but the VIP Club introduces any of us to a whole new exciting world!