This year was the worst.
The stress, worry, and isolation that was a big part of the global pandemic seemed to affect every part of everyday life. And while online poker received a renaissance of sorts, all of the biggest and best live poker tours were put on pause. The World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour, and the European Poker Tour have all gone dark and the one “poker tour” that got away with a live stop, the Midway Poker Tour, tried to pay its players with gold bullions or some shit.
So, yeah, all around this year sucked. But before anyone gets to break through to the other side and see what 2021 has in store, the 2020 end boss still has to be defeated – the holidays. Looking to gain weight? The holidays. Uncomfortable political talks? The holidays. People attempting to defend the stance that Die Hard is NOT a Christmas movie? You get it.
But one thing that will surely not let you down is all of those presents that will be given and received. They couldn’t possibly disappoint, right? Normally right now you’d be reading the standard yearly ‘poker players gift guide’ which might include some elite headphones, a pair of expensive sunglasses, an autographed photo of Phil Ivey, and maybe even a fold-up poker table with LED lights incorporated around the rail…that’d all be cool right?
Sorry. This is 2020. And as such, this isn’t the poker gift guide you want, it’s a poker gift guide befitting the year it was written in. The kind of poker gifts that when received that poker player in your life will not only feel like they’ve taken a bad beat, but they’ll vow to quit the game entirely.
So enjoy, here’s the official poker gift guide of 2020 – the worst year ever.
A Garbage Gift
These little guys don’t wait for pocket aces, they’ll play any garbage hand. In fact, the trashier the hand the better for these FOUR STUFFED RACOONS playing poker.
Whether trying to furnish a young grinder’s bachelor pad or stage the perfect setting for a nosebleed Las Vegas private game, these four – once alive raccoons who are now immortalized in death with cards in their hands – might elicit a polite chuckle and a headshake from all who see it.
The best part is it will run you just ninety-nine cents…over $3,300. Produced by a professional taxidermist, every creepy setup is unique, which means if you want to surprise your loved one with poker’s musteloid massacre for the holiday season you’d better order soon as it takes 2-3 weeks to arrive.
Not The Hamilton They Were Hoping For
What could be better than a piece of memorabilia, a piece of history, from a World Series of Poker Main Event Champion? Well, when that champion is poker pariah Russ Hamilton, the answer is just about anything.
This Binion’s “Authentic Collectable Casino Chip” with 1994 WSOP Main Event winner Russ Hamilton is the perfect lump of coal for the toxic online poker player in your life. This is especially true for those old enough to have played on UltimateBet where Hamilton allegedly was the mastermind behind online poker’s biggest superuser scandal which stole roughly $22 million from the community and gave online poker a black eye that, for some, it still sports today.
The sales pitch for this poker chip insists that this poker chip “will bring you good luck”. Good luck or the ability to see your opponent’s hole cards in real-time? You’ll have to spend $19.99 for this $2.50 chip to find out.
Bagged and Tagged
Many poker players will never have the opportunity to play in the WSOP Main Event, much less make a deep run. For those that do, they celebrate the opportunity to “find a bag” at the end of a long day of play and place their chips in and write their name on a plastic bag, which they will tear open the next day when play resumes.
For those who want the rush of adrenaline that comes with looking at that bag once it’s done its job, place this gift under the tree. It’s the official discarded chip bags of Peter Eastgate and Ivan Demidov from the 2008 WSOP Main Event final table. “Bags were opened after being sealed to place chips on the heads up table of the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event” and was then sold in a charity auction soon after.
But now, these bad boys are back on the free market for a scant $9,995. (That’s a comma in that number, not a decimal point.) Just a cup of coffee under $10K will get you the very bags that held the chips that were handled by Eastgate and Demidov. Honestly, it’s the next best thing to playing the Main Event yourself.
Ticket To Ride
Speaking of playing in the Main Event, could there be anything more exciting than boarding the flight that takes you to Las Vegas to play in the best tournament of the year? Just because the traditional Main Event is canceled this year doesn’t mean that the poker player in your life can’t feel that same thrill when they open this used, authentic American Airlines first-class boarding pass autographed by 2009 third-place finisher Dennis Philips.
No, it’s not good for actual travel and certainly not for a seat at the final table but when paired with St. Louis Cardinals cap and a GTFOutta here ‘truck horn’, you’ll get PRIORITY ACCESS to hours of cosplay of one of poker’s most lovable everyman.
Dress For Poker Success
When playing poker live, one needs to focus on two things: comfort and style. Look good, feel good – right? Of course, you could hit a holiday home run by picking up some RunGood Gear. Or…if you want to go full 2020, here’s the very latest in poker accessories to turn the poker player in your life into the very pros they watch on TV.
If it’s good enough for Andy Bloch, it’s good enough for you. Forget about everything that happened after you “knocked out a pro” and remember when the good times were never going to end with this official NEW Full Tilt Poker “One size fits MOST” Cowboy Hat. So, if you have a normalish sized head then just $200 will give you the old-school cred you need to definitely not be labeled the fish at the table.
Intimidate your foes with this authentic USED hand cast that former Oakland A’s slugger Jose Canseco wore at the poker table after he literally shot his finger off while cleaning his own gun. This is the very cast that he used to protect his hole cards and also the finger that Sports Illustrated described as “hanging against the back of his hand from an unsevered blood vessel.” Plus a signature from Canseco himself – the ultimate shot taker. That’ll be $10K, mate.
If you want to get into those juicy private games, it’s all about who you know. And there will be no doubt that you know absolutely everyone when you stroll into Blitz’s pad wearing this collared shirt from the Bicycle Casino absolutely covered with famous poker player’s autographs. All of the greats are represented: Chip Reese, Phil Ivey, Joe Sebok…you name it!
Honestly, there may be no one in the world of poker not plastered on this wearable canvas – Erik Seidel, Matt Damon, and the great-granddaughter of Bob Hope, Amanda Hope! Don’t miss the chance to wear the authentic signatures of Johnny Chan, David Sklansky, and CEO of French-based shoe line Eden Shoes, Frederique Banjout! Sure, it’s going for half a million U.S. dollars, but just think of all the +EV situations Bill Perkins is going to give you while you’re wearing it.
Looking for more great gift ideas? You’re out of luck and we’re out of space. This is 2020 and you get what you get. You may want a trip to the Main Event, a custom poker table, or a private lesson from Phil Galfond but all of those will have to wait until 2021.
The good news is 2021 is right around the corner. And isn’t that a gift all by itself?