Holidays and Poker: Family or a Card Game?

November 26th, 2015 | by Brian Corlisse
Thanksgiving football betting.

There are many football games worth betting on this Thanksgiving weekend. (Image:

The holidays are upon us. For poker players, that means a time to get away from the card room and spend some quality time with the ones you love, the ones that love you, and the ones you tolerate once a year.

Or does it? That all depends on your priorities, your relationship with your family, and the quality of your mom’s cooking.

Holiday season can be a difficult time for poker players.

It’s tough to step away from the poker table, but in order to find an opportunity to play poker, you’ll probably either have to make up an excuse for why you’re leaving or anger the entire family, assuming they actually do want you around.

So what’s the right decision: spend all your time with the family or sneak away to play some cards part of the time?

That’s a difficult answer that needs to be looked at in-depth.

No Poker on Holidays

Spending quality time with the family and avoiding poker at all costs during the holidays isn’t something many poker players are cool with.

Although taking a break from poker from time to time is smart, doing so over the holidays could put you on tilt.

Family gatherings bring about drama. Uncle Mike will spend the holidays drinking and flirting with your wife. Cousin Becky recently got dumped and will go on and on about her heartbreak.

Mom and dad will brag to everyone non-stop about your brother’s promotion at work.

When asked by relatives about what you’ve been doing with your life, the folks will respond with, “He still thinks poker is a real job.”

And let’s not forget about the drama that will inevitably ensue at the dinner table. When Aunt Jean brings up Uncle Mike’s drinking problem, a whole bunch of awkwardness will occur, and possibly a fist fight (hopefully).

Getting in a Card Game

Playing poker during family holidays will be frowned upon. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in an occasional game.

Once the turkey comas settle in, bust out the laptop and play some cards. Everyone will be too bloated to even realize what you’re doing.

Don’t play any multi-table tournaments. They take too long. Eventually, the relatives will snap out of their comas. Stick to quicker games such as 6-player SNG’s and HU matches.

Another good time to sneak away to play is during football games. The relatives will be more focused on dudes in tight pants than your poker addiction.

With that said, you should spend some time with your family over the holidays, even if you despise them and they think you’re creepy. Family time should be treasured.

Poker can wait. There will always be a game available. Enjoy the holidays. Eat plenty of food, drink enough to make your family tolerable, and don’t forget there will be a poker game waiting for you once the holidays are over.

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