Don’t forget your suspenders and fedora!
Germany has a history steeped in traditional gaming. Playing cards and the games that use them, in particular, have long been part of the country’s history. This is perhaps made most evident by the existence of the German Playing Card Museum in Leinfelden, which houses over 500,000 cards collected from seven countries and five continents. The museum has the distinction of holding the largest collection of playing cards in Europe and has been designated as an “Especially Notable Point of Interest in the Stuttgart Region” by the Regio Stuttgart Marketing and Tourismus GmbH.
This longstanding love affair with card games continues on until today. In recent years, Germany has gained a position as a poker powerhouse thanks to such illustrious players as 2011 WSOP Champion Pius Heinz and Bwin’s PartyPoker poster boy Marvin Rettemaier. Last year, a group of five young poker pros playing under the Team Germany banner – Philipp Gruissem, Tobias Reinkemeier, Igor Kurganov, Fabian Quoss, and Niklas Heinecker – posted combined win totals of over $17 million via live tournament cashes and wins.
With poker’s raging popularity and the country’s rich history of making and playing card games, it should come as no surprise that vintage-themed poker events have also started to take off in Germany. Spielbank Berlin, the crown of Germany’s gaming landscape, is one of the most ardent proponents of these vintage-themed parties as exemplified by its twice yearly themed Gala Gambling Nights.
These events have become a hot topic among members of the casino’s exclusive Player Club. Twice a year, 111 lucky members get to head to the casino’s Sternberg Theater for a night of themed entertainment, dining, and gaming. The themes vary from night to night. Previous events have featured themes that run the gamut from Las Vegas Shows and Night at the Opera parties to the Roaring Twenties and James Bond nights. Since the tickets are non-transferrable and can’t be acquired unless one is a Player Club member, they’ve become much coveted and sought-after items for vintage party and old-school gaming aficionados. The casino is already planning its next gala night which is tentatively scheduled for Summer 2014.
Poker players and party goers looking for a vintage-themed event may also check out Bohème Sauvage’s Twenties-style parties. The venue changes from time to time, but the spirit of the Twenties is highly evident in each party. Charleston and swing music fill the air while the more adventurous types can bet imitation Reichsmarks on blackjack, roulette, and poker in a smoky backroom.