Sunday, April 30, 2006

KEM Playing cards

By now you should have almost everything you need to host poker night at your house. You've got a nice poker table and nice poker chips. Heck, you've even got drink holders. That last thing you absolutely have to have is a nice deck of playing cards. Ask any longtime Poker player what the best brand of cards is and they will say KEM. KEM playing cards are printed on Cellulose Acetate, which is a strong and flexible plastic. That means that the cards will hold up extremely well over time unlike standard issue paper cards. We've played with KEM cards in our home game for over two years and they still look great. There are no markings on them whatsoever. You can even wash KEM cards if you spill something on them. You definitely can't do that with paper cards.

Buy KEM Playing Cards at Amazon.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tony Parker's Poker Room

AT&T Home Turf has an interview with San Antonio Spurs Point Guard Tony Parker. During the interview Tony takes Kenny Smith on a tour of his home in San Antonio. It is basically one long AT&T add, but the cool thing about it is that we get a glimpse into Tony's poker room. For most of the video Tony and Kenny sit around a poker table with Spurs players Tim Duncan, Bruce Bowen, Robert Horry, and retired all-star David Robinson. It was surprising to see that Tony's table is nothing more elaborate than a cheap folding table top. That was somewhat disappointing. But then again, I guess we wouldn't expect Doyle Brunson to have a room for full court basketball in his house. At most he might have a goal in his driveway. Still I think Tony could easily afford an upgrade. The cost of a really nice table would basically amount to a rounding error in his paycheck.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Poker Table Drink Holders

Let's face it, if you are hosting poker night, your guests will need a place to rest their drink of choice in between sips. They can either set the drink directly on the felt of your brand new table, or you can give them a better place to set it that won't leave a mark. You have essentially three other options you can offer them: built-in drink holders, movable drink holders, or a side table.

Built-In drink holders are somehow affixed permanently to the table. Lackley tables have slide out drink holders. B&V Poker Tables have their drink holders built into the racetrack. Both of these options look great. Some other tables have holders built into the padded rail.

If you already have a poker table, but don't have built in drink holders, you can offer your guests drink holders that slide under the rail. If you've ever played blackjack in a casino, you have probably seen these. They aren't nearly as attractive an option, but they are functional.

Some of you may not be comfortable with the idea of drinks being on your table at all. Not everyone has a stain resistant playing surface like B&V offers. In the casinos they often offer a nice side table about 18" high for you to set your drink on. I've looked all over the web for one and can't find what I want. It's hard to even find something with the correct dimensions. The closest thing I've found is actually an outdoor deck table. If you know where I can find a nice side drink table like the ones in the casinos, please let me know.


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Monday, April 24, 2006

MAME Arcade Cabinets

Here are some resources for those of you interested in bringing the sights and sounds of the arcade into your game room. An increasingly popular option is to purchase a MAME capable arcade cabinet like the Diamond Plate Games Upright or the Classicade Upright Arcade System. MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. These systems effectively allow you to have literally thousands of games in one cabinet. Commercially available MAME cabinets typically come preloaded with anywhere from fifty to a couple hundered games. You can always find more game roms on the internet and add them yourself. I suggest checking Wikipedia's MAME entry for a pretty comprehensive list of MAME resources online. Once again, if you don't want to shell out $4K and are so inclined, you can build your own.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

World Poker Tour Texas Hold'em Pinball

I found this over at the Card Squad, a World Poker Tour Texas Hold'em Pinball Table. From the Stern website:
Travel from city to city playing Texas Hold 'Em until you reach the WORLD POKER TOUR® final table. A dot matrix display is located in the center of the playfield, showing players their Hole cards, as well as the Flop, Turn, and River cards. The player gets the Flop, Turn and River cards successively by making ramp shots located on the left and right sides of the playfield. WORLD POKER TOUR™ pinball also features 5 Card Stud, where the player needs to hit cards on sixteen drop targets to get all the poker hands, such as two of a kind, three of a kind, etc … all the way up to a Royal Flush. WORLD POKER TOUR™ pinball also offers a second level playfield, and a "mousetrap" that holds and releases balls for exciting Multiball play.

WORLD POKER TOUR™ pinball features the voices and images of the television show's color commentators, Vince Van Patten and Mike Sexton, as well as Courtney Friel, the WORLD POKER TOUR's sexy host.

Boxed dimensions:
H:56"; W:31"; D:31"; Weight: 285lbs

Unboxed Dimensions:
H: 75 1/2 ", W: 27 ", D: 55", Weight: 250lbs

I think I'll add this to my wishlist for my dream game room.

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NBA Poker Chips

In honor of the playoffs starting this weekend, here is something for you NBA fans out there. If you want to host poker night while you watch the game, you can put your team spirit right on the table for all to see with these NBA Poker Chips. Whether your team is the Spurs, the Mavericks, the Cavaliers, the Heat, or the Pistons, you will leave no doubt where your team loyalty is.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Harley-Davidson Pool Table

Some brands just seem to have "cool" written all over them. There is no better example of this than the Harley-Davidson brand. "Cool" and "Harley" are nearly synonymous. Now you can bring that image into to your game room. Olhausen Billiards offers three different Harley-Davidson branded pool tables: Midnight Chrome, Traditional Mahogany Finish on Maple, or Harley Davidson Flame. All three are available as 8ft tables. The Mahogony is also available as a 7ft table.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

B&V Poker Tables

If you are looking for a nice custom poker table check out these sharp looking tables from B&V Poker Tables. B&V Poker Tables are based out of Fremont, CA and will ship anywhere domestically. All tables are custom made with race track style tables starting at $799 and casino style tables starting at $599. The playing surface is both padded and stain resistant. Padded arm railing is 4" wide with 1" high-density foam. The tables are supported by 30" chrome finished folding legs or you can upgrade to hand crafted single or double wood pedestals. See their website for the full list of customizations. You can get a good feel for what each of the options looks like by browsing their image gallery. Your game room would certainly look first rate with one of these tables at the center of it.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Dynamo Gold Medal Foosball Table

Here is my one of my favorite foosball tables, the Gold Medal by Dynamo. We've had one of these tables in our break area at work for over 5 years. It looks nice and plays great. But I have to say the thing that impresses me the most about it is how sturdy it is. It has seen a lot of action and taken a lot of abuse, and a mean a lot of abuse, but still looks great and it still plays as good as it did the day it arrived. We have occasionally broken the pins that hold the men in place on the rods (maybe 3 or 4 times in 5 years), but they are easily replaced and we are back playing again in a matter of minutes. I would easily recommend this table to anyone in the market for a high quality foosball table for their game room.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Brunswick Limited Edition Marquette Pool Table and Bar

A couple of weeks ago I decided to do a little "research" for Game Room Gear by heading down to my local game room store, The Billiard Factory. I wanted to get ideas for my new site. I ended up spending well over an hour drooling over several items in the store. I spent most of my time looking at the wet bars they had on display. The one that really stood out for me was the Marquette Bar made by Brunswick. It was absolutely gorgeous. Its long list of features includes a "reversible return, a refrigerator cavity, two insulated stainless steel wine chillers, a stainless steel sink, granite cutting board, adjustable shelving, drawer, and a lockable cabinet."

When I got home from my little field trip, I logged on to the Brunswick website to see what else I could discover about this great new find. Low and behold there is a matching pool table! As it turns out, the table is really the star of the collection. It is a limited edition table created in celebration of Brunswick's 160th anniversary. Each table will be "numbered on an engraved brass table plate and certified authentic." To put the finishing touches on this incredible collection there is a matching cue rack and a limited edition reproduction of classic 1912 Brunswick art.

Overall, I'm really impressed. There is something inherently classy about this entire collection that I absolutely love. If I'm going to be building my dream game room, I'm definitely adding all of these items to my wish list.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Poker Tables

One of the essential elements of my dream game room is a poker table. There are tons of places online where you can purchase Poker Tables.They can range in price from ~$30 for the cheap table top variety to ~$150 for a folding poker table and on up to several thousand dollars for your high-end custom luxury tables like the ones from Lackley. Who wouldn't love to have one of those fine Lackley tables sitting prominently in the center of their game room? Keep in mind, I'm dreaming big here.

If you'd like something nicer than your standard fold up, but can't afford to shell out some serious cash, you can always atempt to build your own table. There are several resources online that describe how to build your own table. Home Poker Tourney has a great list of links to poker table designs that will walk you through the process. If you are skilled at that sort of thing, you can get some pretty impressive results. Some of the finished products actually rival some of the tables in the $1500-$2000 dollar range but can be made at home for a fraction of the cost.

If you have a nice poker table that you would like to show off, I'd love to see it. Send me a picture of it and I will post it here.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Introducing Game Room Gear

Welcome to Game Room Gear!

My Photo For a few years now I've dreamed of creating the ultimate rec room in my house. My dream game room would at least have a poker table and a nice wet bar. But why stop there? If we're talking dreams, I'm throwing in a pool table, a foosball table, and maybe even a few arcade games. And don't you dare forget the wall mounted plasma TV hanging neatly behind the bar!

You can see how this might get out of hand quickly. It's unlikely that I will be able to afford my dream room anytime soon. But that won't stop me from dreaming. Which, brings me to the motivation behind Game Room Gear. This is my forum for researching and sharing ideas about the ultimate recreation room. Hopefully I can find others out there with similar interests and we can share our ideas on how to make our dreams a reality!

I also know that there are many of you out there that already have an awesome game room set up. I'd love to hear about it so I can get ideas for my room. If you'd like to share your game room with the world, please send me a picture and I'll post it. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Foosball Skills

I've played a lot of foosball, and I think I can play pretty well, but I'm not quite there yet...

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Amazing Foosball Shot

This is an amazing Foosball shot...

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Can you do this on your pool table?

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