Holiday gift giving is the bane of my existence. To me, the mall at Christmas is like sitting between Mike Matusow and Phil Hellmuth at a poker table. I feel over-matched, and know I am going to feel stupid at some point. I am just hoping a store clerk doesn’t scream “You donkey!” at me.

Given this ineptitude, I love it when my wife or kids just give me a list. Ideally, I would never even have to leave my computer screen to fulfill the suggestions. So I thought I would do all of you the same favor and put together a list of potential poker gifts. Perhaps you can give one of these to a poker player in your life. Or, you can give these ideas to others struggling to know what to get you. Either way, I present a community service to encourage goodwill at this time of year.

I. Poker Books

Books are always a solid gift. Poker players love poker books. We reviewed some of this year’s top new releases in a recent post.  One gem from the list is Qui Nguyen’s From Vietnam to Vegas! How I Won the World Series of Poker Main Event. This book is co-authored, of course, by APT’s Steve Blay. The book features a very interesting hand-by-hand analysis that I think you will find insightful.  If you want to check out some classic poker tomes, take a look at the APT series of the top 100 poker books started with the Top 10.

II. Poker App

We had a blog post earlier this year that reviewed some of the best poker apps. While most of them are free, a couple cost a small sum. The #1 app on our list, PokerCruncher, goes for $9.99 (there is a free version also).  Poker Cruncher is a good tool for calculating your odds in hands. Nice little gift.

III. Poker Training

OK, you knew this was coming. Give the gift of getting better at something we all love. Advanced Poker Training makes it easy by providing gift cards for the poker player in your life. You can give someone a month’s membership so they can try out APT.  Or if you know you or someone else would benefit from a longer membership, our multiple month gift cards provide deep discounts, including a 50% discount off the monthly price for a year’s membership.

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IV. Quality Set of Playing Cards

When you shuffle a deck of high quality cards, there is no going back.  Copag is my personal favorite: their cards are durable and reasonably priced. Playing at home with hearty plastic, as opposed to flimsy easily torn paper cards makes a world of difference. Copags are under $20 for a decent set, complete with dealer and blind buttons and cut cards,

V. Poker Chips

It is always good to be ready when a game breaks out. Even though my home games generally consist of my wife and kids, we still enjoy a decent set of chips. Our set is much like the one here at Amazon, currently on sale for $40 ( down from $70).  These chips come with a nice solid carrying case and solid chips tailor made for the compulsive rifflers among us.

VI. Poker Go

New on the scene this year: the poker site PokerGo. If you like watching live events, PokerGo offers a wide variety of tournament action, including parts of the WSOP Main Event.  PokerGo is also generating original content, including biographies of well-know players like Antonio Esfandiari, Vanessa Selbst, and Phil Laak.  One show I enjoyed was their version of a “sitcom” about a weekly home poker game.  Each episode is just a few minutes long, but offers funny moments.  A monthly pass to PokerGo is $10, while the annual pass is $99 (although if you look around you may find discounts for 20% off).

I wish you all a quick and painless holiday shopping experience!

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