Saturday, April 5, 2008

Poker Tables

So I've decided it's time to add a poker table to my basement (referred to as The Dude-Zone™ from here on out). I've not yet decided what I'm going to do, and would love some opinions on my various options.

1. Buy a pre-made table from Ebay. Ebay scares me. I'm mainly worried about dropping a ton of money on one and having it snap in two after a day of use, with no way to get my money back. Is there a certain type of table I should look for? Anything to avoid?

2. Repurpose an existing table. Ryan suggested I take a cheap table that's not being used and cover it in foam and felt. That way you can still use it for purposes other than poker. I really like how Martin made his own rails and felt tops. That said, I don't really plan to use this table for anything other than poker.

3. Make my own. The burgeoning handyman inside me really, really wants to buy a bunch of wood and power tools and just make one. However, this appears to be a pretty serious endeavor. That said, I'm completely up for it, but I'm concerned about price (I own no tools) and my own complete lack of experience with anything related to woodworking.

Anyone have experience with any of these options?


Marshall said...

lol at this donk trying to link farm us..

To the point:

Joe I think buying a premade poker table is out. Just scratch that off the list.

That leaves two options, and I think you should probably do a combination of them. Since the table will be for Dude-Zone use only, I think its worth your while to build the rail part like Martin has done for the Surreal table and others. I am sure he would be glad to help with that. Also he has the know-how concerning the foam/felt combo for the top. So those tasks I would say are pretty straight forward.

That leaves the table itself. I would basically say that it depends on the room you are putting it in. If you have an odd space requirement or something, you may want to consider building your own table. "How hard can it be?" My dad is fantastic at building stuff from wood, and he would be a very valuable resource as far as planning and being able to ask basically any question. Also he has lots of wood working tools and a shop to do it in, and I am sure it wouldn't be a problem to use any of it. That said, it might be cheaper and certainly would be easier to just buy a table, and then build a rail and top for it. I think that you could find some ugly but sturdy table and just use that. But if you want the ultimate in custom awesomeness, then start measuring and we will have a Q and A with my Dad.

I love building shit.

royalbacon said...

I wanna hang out with Marsh’s dad and build shit with you guys. Seriously — keep me posted!

Sushi Cowboy said...

Joe, seriously, you have played poker eight times in the past year. Do you really want a dedicated poker table? I'm not trying to talk you out of it or anything because I'd love to see it but in terms of practicality you have to be realistic with what else you would use that space/table for. I have seem many a pool or ping pong table essentially become nothing but a place to keep junk off of the floor. Though I will say that poker tables apparently double as Magic tables quite nicely.

I mean if it were my place I'd make a mondo cool perma-poker table with a dealer tray, drop box, built in shuffler (half kidding on this one...but only half), rail, etc. But the entire room would be dedicated to nothing but hosting poker.

Where are you going to put the seating for when you are hosting movie night? Or do you have a separate home theater room?

I think we are going to need a tour of this supposed "Dude-Zone" in fact I would even say let's play over there this weekend. I can supply a card table with my small oval, padding, and cloth and we can suss out the situation with real world conditions.

Once we have that done then we can start thinking about what the best solution is for you.

And when it comes time I say that we all invade Marsh's dad's shop since I still owe Jeh a table top for his new place as well.

We are going to need a router, circle jig (I think Royal has my old ones), a few sheets of plywood, utility knife, staple gun (can do it manually but you will regret it later). And if anyone wants a racetrack then it that is going to be a whole 'nuther ball of wax requiring stain, nicer wood (TWSS), polyurethane varnish, brushes, extra time for drying, etc. My personal preference is for no cup holders built in and to just use the slide under types but if anyone wants built in cup holders then we would need an oversized hole drill too.

I'm all for doing the build but I think we are going to need to see Joe's place first to help him decide which way he wants to go on this.

Marshall said...

Martin = wet blanket.

Sushi Cowboy said...

"I'm all for doing this..." = wet blanket?

Marshall said...

No, Joe, seriously have you played poker 8 times in the last year, is.

The man wants a poker table. If he doesn't play that often, maybe he could play more if he had his own table?

jsola said...

Gentlemen, please, let's not fight over this. We'll settle this argument over an old fashioned game of No Limit Hold'Em.

I'll host if you can bring the table top and chips and cards, Martin.

Sunday alright for everyone?

jsola said...

By the way, the current Dude-Zone™ *requires* a dedicated poker table to meet the stringent USDZA regulation standards.

I've got plenty of room, and even have a little area that's *perfect* for this purpose and could comfortably fit a standard 96x42" table.

I'm leaning towards making my own table, because honestly it sounds like a ton of fun. I'll definitely take you up on access to your dad's tools and expertise Marsh, thanks for the offer!

Marshall said...

lol@ USDZA regulations.. sounds good.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Sunday works for me but is generally a lull in the poker vortex. We might be able to scrounge up some players though. At least enough for some Chinese Poker!

Marshall said...

what about friday?

jsola said...

Friday's fine for me as well. BTW, how many people can your table top fit, Martin?

Sushi Cowboy said...

It's my shorthanded table so not the full ten. Eight would be about the practical limit. Seating capacity actually is more chair driven than one might think, wide chairs (including legs) eat up table real estate more than players do. This Friday works as well I think though I'd better check my calendar to make sure...yep, Friday works. I can supply all equipment except chairs.

Marshall said...


What about making two smaller tables that could be put together for one bigger one? Maybe if you have enough room for them that would be good Joe, just an idea. You could leave them together for the most part, but if needed, could be split into two. Cause what Marty said certainly rings true once you get to around 10 people, its gets tight, fast. (TWSS)

Sushi Cowboy said...

You actually don't need that large of a table to support a poker table top and you would actually need two pretty small tables to fit under even a large table top. Banquet tables are usually 60x30 and the corners just stick out from underneath the table at TuNP. A little 4x2 table would work for a large table top. If you want a semi-permanent table we could bolt on folding legs but for the money I think that having a separate table and a poker top is the way to go since it gives you more flexibility and makes your table lighter for putting away.