Austin is no stranger to jaw-dropping events. From the ever-evolving South by Southwest parties – equipped with celebrity artists, out of this world design and unforgettable performances – to ACL’s two-weekend spread, to the never-ending list of Austin-based festivals. We all know Austin is home to great events, where, really, anything goes.
With the help of local business, Texas Poker Supply, Vegas too has found its way to Austin. Custom-built casino tables, casino-style games, trained dealers, showgirls, fire-eaters and a girl on stilts are only a slice of what Texas Poker Supply offers. Always Keepin’ Austin Weird, right?
Texas Poker Supply: A History
Between 2003 and 2006, the world witnessed the “Poker Boom” – a stretch of time when poker became significantly more popular worldwide.
The boom rubbed off on Nick Streeby, co-owner of Texas Poker Supply. In 2004, Streeby found himself spending more and more time huddled around a makeshift poker table with a handful of friends. Renting out every room in his house to keep afloat during the recession after his time in the Army, Nick Streeby and his roommates found solace in their weekly poker games.
When the kitchen table and plastic patio table conglomeration no longer fit the growing game, something had to change. Luckily, Streeby’s roommate Mike Blair had an idea.
With a poker table design in hand, Streeby and Blair made their way to the wood shop of one a Blair’s family friends. Once the table was built, two aspiring master-builders emerged with the mindset of “fake it until they make it.” A few days later, a Craigslist ad was posted. It claimed two master poker table builders had 30 tables for sale. In reality, there was only one – the one housed in their living room, covered in poker chips and cards.
Their first sale came quickly. With that income in hand, they purchased the tools and supplies to build their first table. Eyeballing the table that was built for them, they started cutting. Two weeks and one completed table later, Texas Poker Supply was officially born.
Bringing the Vegas Experience to Austin
Building custom tables and selling game supplies was only the first chapter of Texas Poker Supply’s history in Austin. After 7 years of building tables in their house, garage and finally a warehouse, they began a new venture: Vegas-style entertainment and rentals.
Texas Poker Supply in its present form can bring Vegas to you, transforming any event into a scene straight from the infamous Bellagio. So what makes a great casino party?
- Professional Casino Tables: Texas Poker Supply has a wide range of custom casino tables – including blackjack, poker, craps and roulette – that are all available for rent. According to Streeby, a high quality table is important – not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for playing. Each table can also be branded, allowing you to customize tables specifically for your event.
- Vegas-Style Games and Decor: In addition to casino tables, Texas Poker Supply also has raffle drums, bingo, a prize wheel and a “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign for rent. For those who prefer a different type of Vegas game, or really want to feel like they are spending an evening in Vegas – these are for you.
- Trained and Energetic Dealers: If you want to feel as though you are in Vegas, having a legit dealer is a must. Texas Poker Supply has a local staff of trained casino dealers who are highly energetic and enthusiastic. Streeby knows a great dealer is vital for a fun poker game. He also likes to say, paired with a little giggle, “We bring Vegas, not the VFW.”
- Vegas Entertainment: When I think of Vegas, images of beautifully dressed showgirls, Cirque de Soleil and bright lights flash before my eyes. Texas Poker Supply has just that – an entire entertainment division to add more “Vegas” to your event. They have fire breathers, show girls, stilt walkers, fire dancers, a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, and even an Elvis impersonator. Because what would Vegas be without Elvis?
The closest casino is 3 1/2 hours away from Austin, so why not transform your next event into a Las Vegas extravaganza?
Doing Good in Austin
Since their start in Austin 10 years ago, Texas Poker Supply has been part of many different events in Austin. From birthday parties, to weddings to corporate events – anything is possible.
For Streeby, the most rewarding events have been those done with local charities and other local vendors. With the help of Texas Poker Supply’s tables, $1.2 million was raised for Austin Children’s Shelter and over $15,000 was raised at SXSW for Charity: Water. They have also been part of charity events for Ride On Center for Kids (ROCK). Each year, they are also part of the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball.
Streeby’s involvement in the International Special Events Society (ISES) and his recent Texas Star Award for “Best Event Entertainment,” have allowed for many memorable events to take shape in Austin.
Ten years later, Streeby still shines when he shares his history in Austin. From a falsified Craigslist ad, to building tables in his home as if following a color by number, to a full-blown entertainment and rental company. Needless to say, he no longer has to fake it. He’s made it.
What’s your casino game of choice?