Reindeer Poker

Saturday night brought around my monthly poker game. I am not sure why I haven’t blogged about these games before as they are hilarious episodes that really deserve their own entry and there is always a litany of stories to come out of each night.The basic recipe is this ; Last Saturday of each month somewhere between 8 and 10 guys meet at a pre-arranged “site” – usually Paul’s house . Regular players are;

Paul Gager ( Australian, works in IT )
Chris Brown ( English, works in IT )
Luke Bezett ( Kiwi, Pilot for the Royal Family)
Temu Jantunen (Finn, dirty deals done dirt cheap)
Jeffrey Himmel ( Canadian, works in IT )

and then we have a random floating pool of players including a mixture of Scots,more Finns,Poms and Kiwis depending on who is in town.Everyone brings their own beer ( or if you are a Finn- flavoured vodka ) and we play No-Limit Texas Hold Em. Two games with a $10 buy-in each time. Winner takes all so each game is worth about $80 or so for a win.

So Saturday night rolls around we immediately have a problem -As a result of last month’s out of control drunken game ( which saw us swap venues half way) , we have somehow lost the entire poker set. No-one knows where it is or can remember who had it last so Paul rushes out and buys two decks of cards and packets and packets of coloured plastic tea spoons and tooth picks. Embarrassing and highly unprofessional but we can all live with it.Just.

A surprise is also in store for us all as Teemu has had some Reindeer flown in from Finland and has also bought his Finnish mate Markke with him and Markke happens to be a bloody good chef ! So whilst we imbibed and played a few rounds of warm up pontoon, Markke delivered firstly an entree of some kind of herring on crispy rye bread ( delicious ) and then a reindeer casserole which was absolutely amazing. If you have never had reindeer made by a Finn….well…you have missed out. The meat is quite gamey and not unlike liver in its texture but when done with red wine and slowly. MMMMMMM. Onwards to the kitchen Donner and Blitzen.

With the eating out of the way and the boys already half pissed by now ( it is 9pm ) we commence the card game. AC/DC is blaring, the jokes and banter is thick and the spoons look just plain silly. Now it should be noted that the statistics for winners ( in order of first game winner / second game winner ) for the last 5 months go like this ;

January ; Jeff/ Justin
December ;Luke / Justin
November ; Luke /Justin
October ; Luke / Justin
September ; Chris / Luke

So coming into my 6th game, Luke and I am now being eyed suspiciously by everyone. We are clearly the guys to beat and we revel in rubbing it in. I can happily report that for the month of February the stats read ; Justin/Luke.

As all the other lads headed out to the bars, I headed home with my winning safely in my pocket. I must be maturing.

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