John turns 50

We celebrated John's 50th birthday this week.  (In case you are counting that makes two major milestones in less than four weeks.)

I called John's friend, Gary, back in January to brainstorm a party. By July, we had settled on a Texas Hold Em tournament.

John isn't big on surprise parties, so I told him the date and activity keeping a few things back, such as:

1) That Gary was flying in.

2) That there would be professional dealers. (Supplied by 3 Aces Casino parties who also provided tables, chips and handled everything for the tournament!).

3) That I got a  face cake. (Which made me laugh so many times throughout the evening each time I walked by it and saw John looking back at me.  As a cake.  Which was his face.)

Side note: there was a moment where the vast number of candles on the cake set off the smoke alarm.

The party was designed to be a "guy" party.  There was not one vegetable on the menu which consisted of:

1) Pizza.
2) Potato chips with sour cream dip.
3) Beer.
4) Previously mentioned face cake.

As the tournament rolled on, Chase was the first one out. For the record, Chase can be a very impatient poker player which either works out crazily well for him or results in his crashing/burning. It has earned him the nickname "Wildcard" with his friends.

Gary had this great idea and had purchased "consolation prizes" for people as they left the tournament. He had wrapped them all in gold paper and made stickers out of the knock-off logo I designed for the party which mimic'd the World Series of Poker Tournament.

Chase got a pocket watch that had cards and a suit on it.  Bethany got a can of Spam. (Which she had actually never seen

Other gifts included a romance novel titled, Deal Me In (because really, what else are you going to do when you get out that early), Japanese playing cards and other poker themed gifts.

The last table included John, Gary, Eric, Steve and Rick.  In the end Steve won with Eric coming in second and Rick 3rd.  (We had cash prizes and a commemorative set of playing cards for the winners.)

John's friends were super generous and he got a lot of really great gifts--gifts that showed how well his friends knew him.

One of my favorites was given to him by his brother, Troy.  A new headset for his iPhone. I can't wait to see the looks John gets as he drives down the road.

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Maira Gall