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White Elephant

“It’s not how deep you fish, but how you wiggle your worm.” – Jim Congdon

I don’t remember having this much fun playing poker. I don’t know that any one person was really responsible for the idea, but I’m sure glad we did it. 10 players came to the first edition (hopefully to become an annual tradition) of the Pablosplace White Elephant Christmas – Poker style. For those that read this and aren’t familiar with the White Elephant gift exchange, each player brought a gift with a maximum expenditure of $5, wrapped (well, save Andrew who eventually used a paper towel and tape to finish his wrapping after much encouragement). Round 1 began, and the action was fast and furious from the get go. Nobody seemed to mind much getting bounced from the game, because loosing meant; you get to open a gift.

The idea was, the first person out opened one of the wrapped gifts. The second person out had the option of either stealing the opened gift, or opening a new unopened gift. The third person has the option now of stealing two gifts, or opening a new one, and so on and so on until all gifts are open. A couple of rules, 1) No direct steal backs. If you’re item is taken by someone, you cannot immediately take the item back. 2) An item can only be stolen a maximum of 3 times. We also made a rule that the person who won would get the opportunity to steal any gift, regardless of the number of previous steals, and for the victory, had the option of opening the final gift, and then steal something else that they’d rather have if desired.

Needless to say, it was a blast. Notable gifts were definitely the white fur female coat that was opened by Tim, a singing Barney doll that danced and sang to 50 cent, and the 1995 Braves video encapsulating the teams world series run, just to name a few. It was an awesome game that lasted about an hour and a half. Andrew came in first, or last as the present opening process shook down. But with 1000 chips on the table, and presents galore, it was a whole lot of fun.

Round two was for the money. Becky couldn’t stay unfortunately, so we played 9 handed. Action definitely slowed. Eventually, after being 5 handed for quite some time, Brian busted, followed by Tay. Mike McAnn, who made his first appearance to Pablosplace since the Encino game, finished in the money in third place, and got his entry back. Tim finished runner-up to Andrew, who won $10-$30 respectively.

I’m hoping to make this a regular tradition every year. We had some discussion about how to celebrate Seven-Deuce day. It’s premature, for certain, as it isn’t until July, but the thought is that we should all play in a local tournament somewhere. The Bike and Hollywood Park have been thrown out in suggestion. I guess the basic idea is to have everyone reserve the date on the calendar so that we can get the whole crew down to play on July 2nd. I think it should be a $30 to $100 investment depending on where we play, the number of add-ons, re-buys, entry fee, etc. Personally, I’d like to avoid a tournament with anything that has any add-ons or re-buys. But I’m game for whatever as long as we’re playing.

Thanks to Jen, Mike, Tim, Andrew, Jordan, Brian, Tay, Becky, and Traci for making the game at Pablosplace such a success.

Next week looks OK for now. See you then. P

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