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Old 12-05-2008
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"Haven't Found a Bad Casino Chip" by dennis63

Haven't Found a Bad Casino Chip
by dennis63

It was a scant two years ago when I learned you could buy real casino
chips. I don't recall the exact moment I stumbled upon this fact, but I think my banker or the UPS guy could narrow it down.

Back when I had hair (the 1980s), I enjoyed playing at Atlantic City's casinos, and the casino
chips were always a fun part of the whole experience. I would drive the 75 miles from Philly to AC in my old '77 Chevy Malibu with rusted holes in it, all the while knowing that I might -- just might -- make the return trip in a Jaguar convertible, my hair blowing in the breeze.

The casino
chips were always the key. It was a simple plan, really: get enough chips, push the Chevy into the ocean and take a limo to that luxury car place on the edge of Atlantic City. I got plenty of practice pushing the car, and ogling new convertibles. Getting the chips was always the hard part.

I've owned many casino
chips, usually in small piles, and only very briefly. I never thought to take one home, preferring instead to use it to try for more chips. ("Coloring up?" What's that?)

The night I won the most
chips, I was playing blackjack at the Playboy Casino in 1981. I traded $100 for twenty $5-chips. (Yes, they really did have $5 tables back then, and on a Friday night, too.) Oddly, I started winning, and quickly doubled my chips. Good cards and more casino chips came my way. A bunny stepped up and offered to get me a drink.

"Wow," I thought. "I'm winning at blackjack at a posh casino and a Playboy bunny is getting me a drink. Life doesn't get any better than this."

It turns out I was right. Life didn't get any better. The drink, the bunny and the casino
chips all disappeared in about six minutes, and my tailpipe fell off in front of that luxury car place as I drove past. I got a speeding ticket on the way home, and most of my hair has fallen out since that night.

Twenty-five years later, I learned you could BUY real casino
chips. You could own them, treasure them, take them home, even have them delivered, like pizza or Viagra. It was almost as good as winning them. (Almost.) "What a great thing," I thought. "If a man can own real casino chips, maybe a cure for baldness is not far off."

Like most of you, I wanted to piece together a set of the perfect casino chips. (I'll wait while you laugh.) You know the one -- it's the most beautiful
chip you've ever seen, in exactly the denominations you need, made by the best company, just for you (and nobody else) for half of what you thought you'd pay. I guess we're all looking for that casinochip, and it's harder to get than that Jaguar ever was.

For me, I wanted some
chips just like the ones in the casinos of the 1980s. I began sending for samples, amassing a reference collection of around a hundred -- real clay, faux clay, Paulson, Chipco, Bud Jones, Nexgens, ceramics, coin centers, Cartamundi, even a few real chips from casino tables. I studied each one, comparing it to that elusive "perfect" chip in my head.

Click the image to open in full size.

I settled on a thousand Paulson classics (above photo). Later, I connected with a dealer in Hernando, Mississippi and bought 500 of the Playboy casino
chip hoard discovered under somebody's parking lot in April 2008. I figured those chips got on the wrong side of some Jersey union guys. They have a total face value of over $13,000. "If I'd only had those in 1981," I thought, "I'd have lasted another five, maybe six minutes at the table."

Today, I still drive an old Chevy. (No, not the one from paragraph 2.) My wife frowns on any cavorting with Playboy bunnies at all, and I don't really want that Jaguar anymore.

But I do want more casino
chips. And while I've found some chips I like more than others, I have yet to find a casino chip I don't like. They each have their unique traits, and each one carries a tiny bit of fantasy inside -- that one we all had -- of being James Bond for a night, where you win without looking at your cards, where you leave the casino in a new tuxedo, in a new car, with a shiny tailpipe. You get the picture.

At least we have the
chips.

Fresh from 1981, the writer's collection of Playboy Atlantic City Casino Bud Jones casino chips, from the Hernando find:


Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by TenPercenter; 12-24-2008 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 12-08-2008
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Re: Haven't found a bad chip by dennis63

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am trying to put together a set of these chips now. Great story!!!!!!
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Old 12-08-2008
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Re: Haven't found a bad chip by dennis63

great story mate
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Old 01-05-2009
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Re: "Haven't Found a Bad Casino Chip" by dennis63

I have read your story twice now. you should consider writing blogs, it was a very touching story, i wish we could all find a hoard of casino chips from the our "first"

thanks

sg
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Old 01-05-2009
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Re: "Haven't Found a Bad Casino Chip" by dennis63

Hilarious! Very well done and thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-05-2009
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Re: "Haven't Found a Bad Casino Chip" by dennis63

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis63 View Post
Later, I connected with a dealer in Hernando, Mississippi and bought 500 of the Playboy casino chip hoard discovered under somebody's parking lot in April 2008. I figured those chips got on the wrong side of some Jersey union guys.
I nearly shot milk out of my nose with that quote! Excellent post, sir, and eloquently expressed!

bjjensen
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Old 01-17-2009
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Re: "Haven't Found a Bad Casino Chip" by dennis63

Fantastic story Dennis. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 01-19-2009
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Re: "Haven't Found a Bad Casino Chip" by dennis63

Wow, I just re-read this story, and it's a really good read, thanks man. My favorite line is the very last one "at least we have the chips". i share some of those dreams, and even if they don't come true, I will have chips Thanks again for a great article!
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Old 01-24-2009
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Re: "Haven't Found a Bad Casino Chip" by dennis63

Great post...you put smile on my face and brought back some wonderful memories.
The first time I went to AC was when I was 8 in 1979. May parents took us to Seaside Heights/Toms River NJ for vacations every other year and we would take a day trip to AC every vacation. I don't remember the Casino names but I do remember I would play video games with my older cousins in arcades that seemed enormous while our parents gambled.

In 1992 I was in university and I took a few friends down to Seaside Heights/Toms River NJ during the summer break. Like the earlier trips we also took a day trip to AC and had a great time playing BJ and slots (this is before I knew that you could play poker in the casinos).

In 1996 or 1997 I went back to AC to play poker at the enormous Taj room and now go back every few years. I feel a strong connection to Seaside Heights/Toms River, AC and the casino chips of Atlantic City.

Click the image to open in full size.

Taj roulette


Click the image to open in full size.



Click the image to open in full size.

Two AC snappers at the top of the picture

Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.

two chip at the top right


Click the image to open in full size.

Balleys & claridge
Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.

I also have a few more playboys that just arrived...I think I just need the $500 now.

Thanks again I enjoyed reading your post!

Steve

Last edited by Mason; 01-24-2009 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 01-25-2009
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Re: "Haven't Found a Bad Casino Chip" by dennis63

Wow! Incredible photos. We could all use some $500s.

The seller I bought my Playboy chips from was lucky enough to be there when they were found in April, 2008. He told me that not all the denominations were pulled out of the hole -- very few $1 chips and no 500s to speak of. The 500s have maintained their value as collector's items.

Thanks for sharing your AC chip pics.
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