Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Wilmington, Del.
"Haven't Found a Bad Casino Chip" by dennis63
Haven't Found a Bad Casino Chip
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.
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:
Last edited by TenPercenter; 12-24-2008 at 10:34 PM.