PARTY THEME: CARD SHARK POKER NIGHT PARTY

So the guys asked for some new ideas for their monthly poker party. I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. All you really need for a good poker night is a hall pass from the wife, right? Guys are so simple. (don't take that the wrong way) They don't need a lot of fluff and extra stuff for a get-together. They simply want good food, good friends, good drinks and a good hand at the card table. We can't help out with the cards but here are a few ideas to help you add some style to your next boys night in party--- complete with a stunning rack! (hey-- I'm talking about ribs)

DECORATIONS

We know you don't want to go to much trouble. But you can easily "decorate" for your party by using some of the supplies you have on hand to add a little pizzaz to your party. Dice, decks of cards, poker chips and poker accessories you can find at a party store are all easy party decorations. Use coordinating paper plates so the host home doesn't end up with a sink full of dirty dishes after the gang calls it a night. And while I usually don't like them, disposable cups are a good choice for this party. Set up your bar just like bartender does by displaying one of each type of booze and beer available. Keep the beer cold in a cooler or fridge near the action. Put out large bowls of m&m's, trail mix, peanuts, cashews, popcorn and other salty bar nibbles and provide small bowls or snack bags so the guys can mix up a bag of their favorites.

 Use playing cards and card colors of red, white and black to make the room look like a poker den.

Use playing cards and card colors of red, white and black to make the room look like a poker den.

Guys Night In Poker Party theme Martie Duncan

FOOD

Some of my guy friends tell me they like to cook a steak at their monthly poker shindig. They are all so "Bobby Flay" these days! Some of my more serious poker playing friends say they prefer to get something sent in so there's more time for the cards. We opted for a bit of both. We ordered ribs and BBQ pork sandwiches from a favorite rib joint. (make sure to ask for plenty of extra sauce) While waiting for those to arrive, we popped some huge potatoes in the oven to bake after rolling them in a little olive oil and kosher salt. Make a baked potato bar with all of your favorite condiments. Jalapeno peppers, shredded cheese, sliced olives, sour cream, bacon bits, etc can be put in small bowls so everyone can build their own super spud. Next, mix a tossed salad or cut a head of iceberg into wedges---men always love the iceberg wedge! Top it with bacon crumbles and bleu cheese dressing. For dessert, we ordered the world's best homemade lemon meringue pie from our rib joint. If you aren't that lucky, keep it simple. A scoop of ice cream on a warm brownie with a little hot fudge sauce is perfect. Pizza, pasta, good dogs or brats, or meatball sandwiches are all safe bets to keep the guys happy on poker night. 

THE ENTERTAINMENT

Have video games or your Wii system ready to go when there's a break in the action. Other than that, it's all poker--- all night!

Make sure to have a cab company's number readily available in case over-served guests need a ride home after the party is over.