Poker, Anyone?

This poker craze is really getting out of control.

Oh, it starts innocently enough. A casual viewing of a few World Poker Tour episodes. Maybe a game or two with some friends. Perhaps you even win a couple of bucks.

The next thing you know, you’re in a garage somewhere in Orange helping stretch felt over the frame of a custom poker table and furtively stressing out over how best to customize it. You’re screaming at the TV because Dennis Rodman folded a pair before he’s even seen the flop, and everyone knows when you’re the big blind it won’t cost you anything to stay in.

Poker chipsAnd most of all, you’re shopping online for the best deal on your own set of poker chips. Do I go with composite or clay? Should I get 11.5s or spring for the 13.5 gram heavies?

I crossed that boundary the other day when I acquired this set from pokernstuff.com. You can’t beat the $69 price, and even the UPS ground shipping arrived next day since they’re based in Southern California. I went with the 11.5 gram clay composite set of 500 chips (200 white, 150 red, 100 green, 50 black). It’s a fairly complete set. Two decks of cards, dice, a dealer token, and an aluminum case are included in the price.

I’ve seen these sets popping up all over the place. At the Irvine Spectrum they have them at a poker-themed kiosk for more than $150. The best deals are, predictably, online. There’s quite a lot of information out there about the various types of chips. I went with composite because although the clay chips have a better sound and stack higher, the clay chips are twice the cost and don’t last nearly as long. Clay eventually breaks down, and they’re also more susceptible to breakage. Composite chips, on the other hand, are virtually indestructible.

Poker chipsI took a page from the best-selling Martinez Poker Secrets book and fabricated a poker hand heirarchy list for the newbies and got it laminated. Actually, I still have to refer to it myself, though less than I used to. Sometimes when you have that perfect hand, though, you have to sneak a look at the page just to confirm that yes, four of a kind really is pretty high up on the list and you should draw the other suckers… er, I mean ‘players’ into the pot like moths to a raging fire. It’s also helpful when two players end up with flushes and no one can remember how the tie is broken.

The aforementioned poker table should really be something to behold when it’s done. I mentioned the Green Monster to Paul, and he decided to take that concept to the next step with a padded bumper, more expensive felt, and other such upgrades. He wanted to add some airbrushed design to the center of the table, but couldn’t think of an appropriate logo.

Paul had the idea of naming each of the eight player positions with something humorous. Since we’re both huge fans of Seinfeld, we started coming up with character names from the show. Jerry, Elaine, George, Kramer, Puddy, Newman, Uncle Leo, and the final position: Dolores.

That’s when I came up with the coup de gras. My greatest idea ever. I suggested he call it “Seinfelt” and put that in the center of the table with the same font used in the show’s logo. It was gold, Jerry. Gold! Paul contacted someone via the internet and managed to get an EPS file with the logo, which I modified to replace the “d” with a “t”:

The Seinfelt!

Suffice it to say, this table is going to go down in history as the greatest homage to Seinfeld since TNT started playing four episodes back to back. We have other Seinfeld-esque ideas for the table, too. For example, instead of calling it a poker game, it should be referred to as “The Contest”. Paul also found out that when you order the first three seasons of Seinfeld on DVD, you get a free pack of Seinfeld playing cards! How cool is that?

To top this, we’re pretty much going to need to have Michael Richards, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Larry David, or Jerry Seinfeld himself sitting at the table.

Hey, that’s not a bad idea! Hmmm. Excuse me, I gotta go make some calls…

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