When I moved into my new apartment and entertained the thought of entertaining more, I told myself that I would NOT buy a fucking poker table.
So, on game day, I was in Target and bought a felt table-topper. You know, so the neighbors in my duplex wouldn't be bothered by the sound of clay chips hitting the surface of my kitchen table.
The Tuesday game was successful, even despite the six bottles of beer I guzzled that night. Nobody was really crowded around the table, the chips fit very nicely and the 6-bottle host was the only one to spill beer on the felt.
Yet ... the call of a regular-sized table still pulled at me. Part of it is the comfort of it all, resting my arms on the padded runners of tables at countless casinos for hours at a time.
I miss the old Emory Game, and gauging your opponents across a table, as opposed to crammed up right next to them in an octagon. Drew's poker night Friday actually also demonstrated that with short tables, people tend to overdeal by getting up and throwing cards down in a manner where you can see every card that is dealt out.
A tip that I learned from the Hux in Bluff magazine: Deal with the wrist. It's like throwing a frisbee. The cards are light so there's not really much of a need to put much force into it. Plus it's way nicer to see cards glide across the felt when dealt properly.
There seems to be some strange fascination with poker tables these days. My boss' boss, a very casual poker player, was just telling me about how he has plans for a table in the basement of the new house he wants to buy. The house comes with a pool table, he'll get a table-topper to cover it. When it comes to in-house entertainment centers, a poker table is the new pool table.
Anyway, I did some research online -- I didn't want anything fancy, just something like the old Emory Game -- a felted and padded oval with collapsable legs. Nothing made of rare wood, nothing in the shape of an octagon.
I found a few places and accepted the price, as well as the $60 for shipping.
But then I noticed that one of the online sites actually had a retail store a few miles away.
I enlisted Sham, who has an SUV, and we drove up there last night.
"What if some frat orcs buy the last five tables?" I asked out loud.
And when we got there, my fear became reality. That's exactly what happened.
"A group came in, they were having a party" and bought the store's last two tables, one of the store's managers said.
A poor cat and the mayor of Sham's Town had to walk away empty-handed.
But there are other stores in the area. Hopefully today I'll be able to pick one up, just in time for Tuesday's game.
But don't even think that I'll be lining the walls with plasma screen TVs that show stock information, games and even poker tournies ala the Bellagio or Tunica's Horseshoe.
Don't even fucking think about it.