It's rolling around to that time of year again. Dad sometimes doesn't get the adulation from the family that Mom gets, but on Fathers' Day you have the opportunity to make up for all those ties and bottles of Old Spice that have come in years past. If Dad is a poker player, there are a few items that can bring a smile to his face.
If, for example, he's a 21st century dad and has the dexterity to play with the latest gaming systems or the computer, you can surprise him with the latest from the video game world. On May 30th, Daniel Negreanu's "Stacked" is finally ready to hit the shelves (Daniel promises, according to his blog!). The game itself has been in the works for well over a year now and is promising some revolutionary aspects to it that should make it the premier poker video game on the market.
The game will be entering into the market on all the important systems (XBox, XBox360, PlayStation, PSP, GameCube, etc.) and has not only Daniel's name behind it but also a heavy promotional push from MTV as well. Daniel has called for some of his friends from the professional poker ranks to join him in the game as well, with Jennifer Harman, Evelyn Ng, Erick Lindgren, Josh Arieh, Carlos Mortensen and David Williams all helping to provide additional challenges to players. What is the true "brain" of the game, however, is what everyone is waiting to take a look at.
The University of Alberta's "Poki" artificial intelligence (AI) has been adapted for usage in "Stacked", which should give the game a firm advantage over some other video game productions. The "Poki" AI has been called perhaps the best artificial intelligence that has been developed for computers to play poker. It has played Phil "The Unabomber" Laak heads up (with Phil taking the computer down) and has been partially used in other computer games before. Perhaps tinkering with the "Poki" system is what has delayed the game so far, but if the video game can actually provide a serious challenge for poker players, then "Stacked" could be a game to have for your video game or computer system.
Married poker professionals Chip and Karina Jett have also come up with some poker memorabilia that will make Dad's next home game a more special occasion. Through their company, JettPoker, Inc., their 'Poker's Most Wanted' series of poker memorabilia promises to have something that Dad may want to use in his next home game or put on the poker room wall.
The 'Poker's Most Wanted' series is anchored by the standard deck of playing cards that feature the photographs of fifty-four of the greatest players in the game today. The deck is stylized after the 'Iraq's Most Wanted' cards that were distributed to the coalition forces at the beginning of the Second Iraq War and make an interesting conversation starter as to who is included and who isn't while a home game is going on. Also available is a full color wall poster that features each of the cards in the deck and the 'Poker's Most Wanted' baseball cap that is fashionable for wear at the tables.
All of the items from JettPoker are reasonably priced and you could get each of them for Dad for Fathers' Day. The deck of cards costs $7.95, the wall poster runs for $19.95 and the baseball cap is $15.95 (each item has shipping and handling charges as well) and are available at pokersmostwanted.com. Having seen these items when Chip and Karina had them in development, I can state that a poker playing Dad would enjoy them tremendously.
Finally, the World Poker Tour has anted up some items that will definitely catch Dad's fancy for Fathers' Day. From wireless games for the cell phone (in addition to the WPT Texas Hold 'Em game they now offer a Seven Card Stud version), accessories for outdoor grilling (barbecue grill covers and accessories), jewelry (gold WPT bracelets) and automobile accessories (seat covers and various other items), the WPT has Dad covered away from the tables. They also have quite a bit of poker merchandise for Dad to employ at his next home game.
Dad can decorate the poker room after Fathers' Day with WPT Bar Mirrors, chip sets, poker mats and even the World Poker Tour pinball machine (a very nice gift for Dad on Fathers' Day for only $4,995). There are also a wealth of informational poker material, with Antonio Esfandiari's new book "WPT: In The Money", DVDs and the WPT Video Game (for all gaming systems) all available. All of these items can be found at worldpokertour.com or in various stores in your area.
There are many gifts for a poker playing Dad as you can see! Hopefully somewhere among these gifts could be just what you are looking for as Fathers' Day approaches.
Ed Note: Or, just buy Dad a cheap tie, and put your hard earned money into play at Paradise Poker. If he's a poker player, he'll understand.