Phillip Duncan, a resident of Freedom, claims to have developed a new variant of poker, which he hopes will one day become as popular as Texas Hold’em.

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Duncan has spent the past sixteen years of his life developing the new poker variant, which he calls Maine Arena Poker. The game has already become popular among poker players scattered all over New England, and one of the game’s fans happens to be Governor LePage. According to Duncan, he taught Governor LePage the rules of Maine Arena Poker “in two minutes flat.”

On the surface, Maine Arena Poker bears a striking similarity to poker variants such as Texas Hold’em and Five Card Draw. Duncan’s formula can actually be used in any variant of poker.

Once the traditional poker game comes to an end, players are challenged to use dice to “attack” the leftover cards for as long as they want to game to last. This gives players who bust out of the game a chance to win back some of their money. If real money is not wagered on the game, even children can play and enjoy this variant.

Duncan has also created decks of playing cards featuring popular movie and cartoon characters, but he is unable to sell them because he does not have the rights to actually use these characters. Meanwhile, Duncan uses either his own original drawings or those sent by fans of his game to create decks of cards.

Although Duncan has patented Maine Arena Poker, he is unable to market it at the international level, which is why he is planning to auction the rights to his game to the company or individual who places the highest bid. Although the asking price is high, Duncan is sure that the purchaser will get a good deal. He said: “I’m gonna auction it off to Hasbro or it could be Oprah. I don’t know who’s gonna bid, but I’m gonna start the bidding at $99 million. And that’s 99 percent of Arena.”

He plans to donate $1 million of his one percent share to three charities—The Humane Society, the Halcyon House in Skowhegan, and the Maine Food Bank.

Duncan hopes that Maine Arena Poker will become a popular family card game and will one day be played at online casinos. He says: “There’s Texas Hold ‘Em and they sell Texas Hold ‘Em tins up here in Maine. Why not sell Maine Arena Poker down in Texas?”

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