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Old 11-29-2008
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Mark Twain Casino Paulsons Review by dennis63

Mark Twain Casino Paulsons Review
by dennis63

Click the image to open in full size.

Manufacturer: Paulson
Retailer(s): The Chip Room (The Chip Room - Texas Hold'em and other poker supplies)
Average Price: $1.09 to $1.59 per chip, varying with denomination and availability
Material: Compression-molded clay

This year, the Chip Room acquired the reserve chips of the Mark Twain Casino in LaGrange, Missouri and was able to offer them for sale. These real casino chips are mint, uncirculated and available in denominations of: 50 cents; one dollar; five dollars; twenty-five dollars and one hundred dollars.

Pros
  • Real casino table chips manufactured by Paulson with tophat and cane design
  • Exceptionally beautiful base and edge-spot color combination
  • Large, shaped inlays with crisp artwork and clear, easy-to-read denominations
  • Pro-quality security features, including micro-printing (on the $25 and $100) and color flecks molded into the $100 chips
  • All are mint condition, uncirculated
Cons
  • Limited denominations available, with no 25-cent chip, and nothing larger than $100 for coloring up.
Price
Initial sales prices were $129 per rack for all denominations except $100s, selling for $159. In a special protracted sale, The Chip Room offered 500 chips for $525, and quickly ran out of $100 chips. Other denominations are being auctioned. Prices vary.
Feel
The weight and feel of this chip is superb. The tight patterns in the chips’ outer edges give the chip a “feel” identical to other Paulson chips made only for casinos and unavailable on the retail market. These chips feel a bit harder than the “soft-clay” feel you get with Paulson Classics, probably due to the larger inlay and smaller exposed chip area.
Stacking
The chip edges feature a tight background pattern of tiny rings or dots, depending on the chip. This feature gives the edge a rough feel, and adds to the stability of the stack. Mark Twain chips will stack 40 high or higher with no problem.
Click the image to open in full size.

Sound
The sound is virtually identical to other clay casino chips, including Paulson Pharaohs, Classics and World Tophat and Cane.

Looks
Mark Twain Paulsons get highest marks for looks, with base colors that are tweaked a bit from the traditional Paulson palate. The colors are a bit softer and easier on the eyes, like the colors of salt-water taffy, with an exceptionally beautiful 50-cent chip. Other standard colors are not as stark as Paulson can be – white $1s, red $5s, green $25s; and black $100s. They sport shaped inlays that vary with the denomination, from plain circles to a hexagon to gear-shaped circle. The edge spot colors vary with the denomination, too, growing more complex as the value increases.
Click the image to open in full size.

Security/Originality
Micro-printing on the $25 and $100 chip, and color flecks manufactured into the $100s make this chip the best in category on the retail market.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


Durability
Made for an expected casino-table life of two to five years of round-the-clock play, these chips should last a lifetime at home.

Reviewers Comments
When I ordered a supply of Mark Twain Casino Chips, I wondered if they would be noticeably better than Paulson chips retailed for home games, like the Pharaohs and Classics. These old standbys are, after all, a respected standard in the chip market. I’ve read on Chip Talk about how real casino Paulsons are a world apart, “like butter,” and other superlatives.
When they arrived, it was clear that the Mark Twain Paulson chips edge out their home-game cousins in nearly every area. Sure, they look great, with unique colors and big shaped inlays stretching across more of the chip. The inlays are all white, with crisp artwork and clear denominations.
But they also feel great, with tight, small patterns on the raised outer edge of each chip. The larger inlay and patterned edge has a whole different feel than the Classics or Pharaohs, less slick, a little rougher. These chips make stacking a breeze.
The chips have security features reserved for only the casino licensees -- a microprinted dot on their $25 and $100 chip, and color flecks in the larger denominations.
There are no very small or very large denominations, with no quarters, $500 chips or $1,000 chips. Meanwhile, The Chip Room’s existing supply is selling quickly and original buyers are already offering sets for sale at prices higher than Jim at the Chip Room. Price and availability could be immediate issues with this chip.
Meanwhile, the Mark Twain Casino Paulsons really do show what the best chips are – unique and beautifully executed. They're the whole package, priced only slightly higher than home game chips. Given their features and quality, these chips are clearly worth the investment.

Another Paulson vs Paulson comparison: Mark Twain Casino Paulsons and Classics, with smaller inlays and darker backgrounds:

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by TenPercenter; 11-30-2008 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 12-01-2008
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Re: Mark Twain Casino Paulsons Review by dennis63

Dennis,

Did you try putting them under black light? I'll bet they have black light security, but my black light bulb is busted.

Thanks for the great review!

Jim
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Old 12-01-2008
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Re: Mark Twain Casino Paulsons Review by dennis63

Jim:

I haven't tried the ultraviolet light yet. (Don't have one, but I know a local business that will let me check them.) I have no doubt the color flecks in the hundreds will llight up, and and there may be other other features built in.

I was anxious to get the finished review out to all of you.
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Old 12-03-2008
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Re: Mark Twain Casino Paulsons Review by dennis63

They look very nice to me. I like the colors, inlay shapes, and especially the edge spots. Very cool
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Old 12-06-2008
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Re: Mark Twain Casino Paulsons Review by dennis63

Good review, one thing you should correct though. The inlays are actually faux shaped, not shaped.
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Old 12-06-2008
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Re: Mark Twain Casino Paulsons Review by dennis63

SECURITY FEATURE UPDATE:

JM is correct. As with other casino Paulsons, there is no "inlay" with an edge you can feel. The image is formed into the chip during production, to make one surface. Some other findings, since the original review:

UV IMAGE SECURITY
Each denomination of these chips is imprinted with an image visible under ultraviolet light. The 50-cent, $1 and $5 chips have the trademark "hat and cane" symbol. The $25 and $100 chips have "PAULSON" across the inlay, and the edge spots light up. (Photos below.)

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

ALPHA DOT SECURITY:
The microprinted dot to the right of the denomination on the $25 and $100 chips is an "alpha dot," a multi-layered holographic image that requires a lenticular lens, "keyed" or made of a specific combination of lenses, to read that image. Even with 100 x magnification, you may only see part of the image.

LASER LOCK TECHNOLOGY:
Paulson also uses this patented method, which uses a special pen laser at a very specific frequency. Without one of those pens, the existance or absence of laser lock engraving on these chips can't be determined. I tried two different common lasers on the chips, but got nothing.

OVERAL CHIP SECURITY CONCLUSIONS:
These chips are secured tighter than money. Anyone would be a fool to try to pass off fakes in a casino.
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Old 12-08-2008
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Re: Mark Twain Casino Paulsons Review by dennis63

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis63 View Post
JM is correct. As with other casino Paulsons, there is no "inlay" with an edge you can feel. The image is formed into the chip during production, to make one surface. Some other findings, since the original review:
On casino paulsons, the inlays generally don't have edges that you can feel, even on true shaped-inlay chips (since the inlays are pressed flush to the surface of the chip). JM was referring to the true shaped inlays that you find on many casino paulsons (and also on Proteges), which are in fact shaped like hexagons, cogs, gears, and so on. Twains have grand inlays, which are circular, but with a color-matched border that gives the impression of a shaped inlay.

Great review! It was interesting to read about your impressions of the difference between homemarket and casino paulsons.
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Old 03-17-2009
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Re: Mark Twain Casino Paulsons Review by dennis63

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis63 View Post
Stacking
The chip edges feature a tight background pattern of tiny rings or dots, depending on the chip. This feature gives the edge a rough feel, and adds to the stability of the stack. Mark Twain chips will stack 40 high or higher with no problem.
Click the image to open in full size.

I just stacked 100 with no problem (and the stack was still movable although only very carefully). These chips are awesome!
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Old 08-17-2011
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Re: Mark Twain Casino Paulsons Review by dennis63

I can vouch the Mark Twain chips are indeed great casino gems. The colors are much better in person, and the chips have great feel and sound. They are in line with the quality you find in the casino chips from vegas. I own only a few of each denom, but would rather have a set of MT's over a set of PCAs.
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Old 08-17-2011
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Re: Mark Twain Casino Paulsons Review by dennis63

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXGoodfella View Post
I can vouch the Mark Twain chips are indeed great casino gems....
You're only two years and five months late with your support.
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