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Putting the Play Back in Poker
Posted at 08/30/2008 09 PM in General Discussions by Sack.
With the mélange of poker tournaments on offer all around the world and online, poker has come to be seen as a serious sport. A number of novelty companies have put the fun back in the game by creating little collectibles that can be used to customize your poker experience.

A quick Google search for novelty poker items or scanning sites like eBay and craigslist can bring up an interesting array of items. The products on offer are constantly changing as they are exchanged between individuals or manufactured in limited quantities. What’s on offer today may not still be available two weeks down the road, so when you find an interesting offer, you may want to snap it up while you still can, unless it’s a mass-produced item that’s being marketed through a retailer.

One interesting item for online poker players are mouse pads that have the look and feel of a felt poker table. Taking it one step further, larger pads are also available for placement on movable tables to create a casino experience at just about any location you please. These are cheap alternatives to real casinos that keep you in touch with the atmosphere of a bricks and mortar environment.

Some retailers offer inexpensive replicas of the WSOP bracelets. The bracelets are gold or silver-plated and the wrist band comes in both a link style and a mesh style. The faceplate bears the words, “World Poker Champion” and is surrounded by the four card suits. The little crystals embedded in it add flash and finesse to the overall look.

No novelty shop would be complete without a set of baseball caps that sport your favorite slogans and logos. Poker fans have their pick of a selection of styles and colors to suit their own personal style.

Texas Hold’Em fans can opt for a special money clip (or card protector). It sits flat against the table and has the look and feel of a nickel. Designed with a pair of Aces on a colored background (where the color is your choice), it brandishes the words, “No Limit Texas Hold’Em” and two stars.

If your chips aren’t looking as flashy as they used to, perhaps it’s time to shine them up. No need for elbow grease if you use something like the Diamond Chip Cleaner. It works like a jewelry cleansing liquid. You simply drop the chips into the liquid for a few minutes, then wipe them dry with a hand towel and they’re back to being shiny and clean again. Extremely dirty chips may need to soak for a longer time.

Posters and wall hangings are always a neat addition to a home casino. It may not be the best table at the Bellagio, but it certainly adds a degree of warmth and character to your play environment. The little things that add to your comfort zone and make you feel at home will boost your confidence and show through in your game. Posters are of course available in all shapes, sizes and colors from a variety of sources. Many will sport the most popular poker slogans and quotes, such as, “If you can’t find the sucker at the table, then it’s YOU.”

Not to be left out of the usual array of novelty items are the ever popular key-chains. Everything from a single poker chip, to playing cards to logos can be turned into a keychain. Some novelty item sellers may even take special requests.

If you’re planning on playing mini-tournaments at home and really want to add some flavor, you may consider awarding trophy coins to the winners. These are quite reasonably priced and come in a set of three – gold, silver and bronze.

Poker tables come in all shapes and sizes and add to the pizzazz of a home game. If your home isn’t big enough to accommodate one, though, you may need one that can be folded up and put away or used as regular furniture during the week. The price varies according to their features and quality of construction. This could be a valuable item for a serious poker fan.

For those who like to incorporate blinds into their game schedule, tournament timers make a convenient addition to your poker collection. You can set it to beep at fixed intervals without re-setting it each time. Once again, it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and price depends on how many additional features you want on it.

The usual gift items like instructional DVDs or books and poker-themed clothing is easily available on the Internet. You can even buy the DVDs for yourself to get tips from the pros on how to sharpen your skills and improve your game.

Customized playing cards and chip sets are also easily available. There are numerous options already being manufactured, but, if none of these catch your fancy, simply request a customized set from a reputable dealer.

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