Ah, the holiday season. So many colors! So much food! So many special sounds! Hmmm. Thinking of it that way, Christmas is just like one big casino.
Well, OK. That’s probably taking it too far. But when it comes to good times and hoping either Santa or a slot machine delivers the goods, one must admit there’s more than a little in common between the two. Which means that Christmas is the perfect time to think of that special gamer in your life–even if that special gamer is you yourself. Whether you want to give gifts like a whale, or want to operate on a smaller budget, our annual gift guide is back to showcase some of the most interesting and (hopefully) delightful presents you can sneak under the tree just in time for you-know-when.
Ready … Set … Shop!
Christophe Claret Gaming Watches
True, you may have to win some jackpots yourself to put one of these under someone’s tree, but when to watches for gamers, none comes close to matching the engineering marvel and aesthetic sophistication of these gems.
The firm offers watches based on three primary casino games: poker, baccara and blackjack, each of which have two other games built as well. The watches are limited-edition and contain close to 700 individual pieces each.
Here’s a description of the blackjack timepiece:
To start there is Dice. This game features a pair of miniature dice, which are located in a cage at the 4 o’clock position on the side of the case and visible through a sapphire crystal, offering the oldest game of chance.
Next, Roulette: on the back of the watch the winding rotor, which is visible through a glare-proofed sapphire crystal, serves as the roulette wheel. Once set in motion by one or two undulatory movements, the wheel turns for a few moments before stopping. Then Blackjack. On the lower part of the dial, between 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, the player’s four cards appear in windows. Two are visible, the other two hidden by shutters. On the upper part of the dial are three additional windows for the dealer’s cards, one of which is visible, the other two also hidden by shutters. Each time a shutter opens, whether for the player or the dealer, there is a gong, whose mechanism is visible through a side window at 2 o’clock.
Optional: A special crystal that reveals an etching of a dealer when it’s breathed upon. Around $200,000. Yes. $200,000. www.christopheclaret.com
Lighten the load for your favorite golfer with the DivPro, an ingenious multi-tool that performs the functions of six different gadgets. It does everything from opening cans, cleaning heads, marking balls—even holding stogies. The DivPro can be customized with a company logo or other image, for those who may want to share the love with larger groups of golf lovers. $12.95. www.readygolf.com
The secret is their “dual anti-reflective dielectric” lens coating technology combined with the scotopic filter system. Best of all: Unless the player holds cards directly in front of the lenses, they won’t show in reflections to other players. Maybe that’s why their favorites of pros such as Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott and our own Phil Hellmuth. $89.95-$14.95. www.royal-eyewear.com
Slot machine charger and dock
Know a gamer who still lugs around an iPhone or iPod Touch 4S or earlier? Help them charge their tech in casino style with this slot-machine charger and dock. A slots app can be downloaded for realistic play, and the lever works to help release the device from the cradle. They may not win any money from it, but at least they may not feel so bad about being two iPhone generations of iPhone behind. $34.99. www.newpotatotech.com
King of Clubs Umbrella
It’s bad enough walking out of a casino a loser when it’s not raining. Throw in some precip, however, and suddenly the whole night can become a wash. Not so if your gamers stays dry in style. This premium double-layer umbrella features a traditional beech wood shaft and handle with a metal runner and tip cup. The plate is stylishly engraved with the London Undercover logo. $150. www.londonundercover.co.uk
Ammo Can Poker Set
The genuine NATAO spec .30 cal ammo case provides an air-tight, waterproof and virtually indestructible home for some truly top-notch poker gear, including two decks of custom playing cards and 300 casino-weight (11.5 grams) composite chips with a custom chip insert. Ideal for someone who wants to let the world know just how seriously he takes his poker. $99.99. www.mancrates.com
Vintage-style sign: Poker Bluffing
This nicely naughty vintage-style sign will look great in your favorite guy gamers poker den—and serve fair warning to visitors that the player in chief is a man to reckoned with. The enameled paint on the 12.5” x 16” tin sign is attractive and very durable. $14.99. www.posterrevolution.com
Live-Size Elvis Stand-Up
Nothing says gaming like Las Vegas, and nothing says Las Vegas like Elvis Presley. This 70”-high portrait of the King in his full Strip regalia can stood on its own or mounted on a wall. Even better: He speaks from beyond! With an optional motion activated speaker, he’ll greet amazed guests with messages like, “Well thanks for letting me talk to you,” “Hi, this is Elvis Presley” and “Thank you very much,” all from actual Elvis voice recordings. So far, no word on when “Please hand me another doughnut” or “Are you going to take that pain pill?” will be added to the repertoire. $48.11. www.nilimahome.com
Royal Poker Glasses
Most shaded lens help darken bright environments. These stylish and functional glasses actually help brighten dark views, enabling poker players to better see their cards and chips when gamers are operating in subtly lit rooms. $89.95-$149.95. www.royal-eyewear.com
LLF 24K Gold-Foil Plated Playing Cards
Available in a black or mahogany box, these beautiful and emblazoned playing cards are 999.9 24K gold foil and arrive with a certificate of authenticity. The cards are handcrafted using the latest gold-plating techniques, so you don’t get Gold Finger-ed playing with them. $18.99. www.amazon.com
Travel Roulette Wheel
When your favorite game is subject to being outlawed from time to time, you find way to take it with you. Such is the history behind the portable roulette wheel. This style of spin-on-the-go game was popular with the Imperial Army in the 1700s. Simplified with fewer numbers, it still allows for fun gambling. A sophisticated travel version of the elaborate Monte Carlo table mounted wheels, it dates back to the Victorian era, made to order for the Army & Navy stores. Place lid on bowl, spin the ebony shaft, drop in the wood ball through the hole and wait for the wheel to stop spinning. Place bets and open lid. Win or lose! $110. www.shopfactorydirect.com
The Poker Face
The company motto for OppoSuits is, “Worn to Be Wild,” and this two-piece suit-and-tie combo guarantees a reaction from passersby and other players alike. Hilarity will most assuredly ensue. The suit, available in sizes 36 to 52, works perfectly during any Hollywood, James Bond, showbiz or mafia-themed party. $99.95. www.opposuits.com
Harley-Davidson Poker Chip frame
You don’t have to have a Harley to appreciate the rugged American individualism the brand has come to represent. In fact, the revered motorcycle name fits quite nicely with the sporting lifestyle also associated with casino gaming. Combine both worlds in this poker chip colletor’s frame. It’s a free standing display for table or shelf and features an attractive Willie G. skull and Bar & Shield graphics. The frame holds 88 poker chips (not included), and the middle picture can be replaced by 4” x 6” photo. $139.95. www.wisconsinharley.com
Lucky Dog Slots treat dispenser
Hey, just because you’re a loser at slots doesn’t mean your poor dog has to suffer, too. This clever treat dispenser has three chambers you can fill with different or the same tasty nuggets. Fido comes up to the device and can dispense his own morsels by stepping on the tray. How long will the treats last? Probably about as long as your credits lasted the last time you the one-armed bandits. $24.99. www.outwardhound.com