|Next Year, I'll Have These|
Four years ago, we started a side pot for Player of the Year, and then the cash game started to spin off into Omaha and Pineapple and other variants. Basically, stuff to provide more action, bigger hands, more fun. It's a home game. We rabbit hunt, trash talk, engage in weird running gags, and while there is some really good poker played, that's secondary to having a good time. My goal is to keep the same people coming back, because it's a my home. No need for a million strangers running through, if I can help it.
Last night was a Sit and Go night, which is as loose as we get. Six person tables, $25 buy ins, hold 'em to start but variations later, just so long as you get everyone at the table to agree. And since we've all done this sort of thing before, and my players indulge me in flights of fancy and weirdness...
Well, last night was Krampus Night. (Which, if you aren't familiar with it, you should just scroll down and see the rest of the blog. Plenty of stuff about Krampus.)
So I decorated the room with lots of Krampus photos. My kids drew Krampus pictures on the white board that I use to communicate tournament information. I pulled up a Colbert clip from a few years ago, in which the host welcomed Krampus and had him wreck some milk and cookies, to make sure that everyone knew that I was not, in fact, making this up. And then I made sure that everyone in the room knew, and that I wasn't kidding on this, that a hand of 6 6 6, three sixes -- not four, just three -- was going to be the absolute nuts tonight. (If it appeared on the board, players chopped. You weren't going to be able to lose with the Beast, or tonight, the Krampus.)
One guy, a new player who came in late, seemed a little put off by this, but soon came around. My regulars took to it like a duck to water, and Krampus jokes were part of just about every hand for the rest of the night. No one lost a hand to Krampus without being well aware of it. People stayed in with a single six just for the possibility, sixes appeared on a truly ridiculous number of flops, and the end of night cash game started to sound like odd NFL plays.
And sure, on some level, That's Not Poker, and what we did was no better than wild card nonsense. Rather than stay pure with our love for the game, we engaged in an egotistic need to be creative, rather than just, well, play. But on the other hand, it was an absolute blast, unique to the home game and friends, rather than something you can get from a casino or online game, and that's coming from a guy who dropped about as much cash as I ever drop on any night of poker during it.
Next game will be a crazy deep stack hold 'em game, no Krampus, no weirdness. Probably a lot less table talk, and a lot more of what goes on in a usual game. I'm sure it will also be great, because, well, my regulars are great. And after that, every third Friday, for as long as they want it.