Play With the Dead

Saturday afternoon, the wife and I were running around Oakland Cemetery in a big, public game of Tombstone Hold’Em, which was great fun. In this game, you get the whole board at once — five community cards, dealt face-up for all players — and then players race into the graveyard in pairs to locate the best pocket cards, using death dates, headstone shapes and your reach to hold the hole cards that’ll give you the nuts. The strategies that go into it are almost wholly different than those involved in traditional Texas Hold ‘Em, but fun is fun, so what do you care?

After the hands of Hold ‘Em, the game turned into something of a scavenger hunt, with a pistol holster full of handwritten notes, tombstone searches and a collection of pictographic clues drawing on Victorian cemetery symbology (which I happen to have read a bit about, but nothing helpful, as it turns out). It’d been a while since I got out and actually ran around a cemetery, but it felt great. Recommended.

The whole event was handled by Jane McGonigal, who designed the “I Like Bees” game you may have heard about. Read more about the live graveyard events that she’s been running all over the country at the blog chronicling these events, and be sure to follow some links. It all ties in to Last Call Poker.

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