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My Sob Story

Discussion in 'Custom Chips General' started by wspnut, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. wspnut

    wspnut Member

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    Hey all!

    I've been a lurker for a while, some because I have little to show, but mostly because I had a little trouble getting my email registered (thanks again abby99!). I can post now, though. Happy day!

    I figured I'd break in my username by sharing my sob story - but don't worry, it has a happy ending! (I think.)

    It all started when I got my first "real" set of chips a little under ten years ago, in college. Please notice the strategic use of italics and quotation marks in that sentence.

    I knew I wanted clay chips. I knew I wanted what the casinos had. I knew I wanted to be THE guy for poker nights. And, I knew if I was going to host the best damn poker games in town, I was going to buy the best damn chipset..HOLY JEEBUS I do not make that much money.

    Plan B!

    So, I went looking - again - for some more...bargain...choices. And, what's this now? A 500-set of "clays" (more quotation marks) for $100? AND they're 13.5g? That's amazing. I didn't even know casinos made chips that heavy. Lead insert? That must feel so great when you splash the pot. Order button pressed. I even expedited the shipping.

    After all, look at how much I was saving for these amazing chips.

    I held my first poker game and everyone was super impressed with my new chips. Everyone except this one guy - let's call him Dave, since that was his name. Dave didn't say anything bad about my chips, he just... didn't say anything at all. I thought this was weird, because everyone else loved my new chips. It didn't bother me that much, it's just one of those things you notice, you know? That night actually kicked off our regular poker rotation, and, by the time we got to Dave's house, I found out why he was so - uh, polite.

    Dave pulls out this set that made me realize what a poker chip was. I had never actually been to a casino. I had only seen chips on TV. Dave puts these glorious Paulsons on the table, and - I think they even sparkled a little - like a cheesy '80s movie.

    I didn't even know what a Paulson was then, but what I did realize, even in my poker nooblet stage, that my chips were playing little league and Dave had been batting heavy in the majors for some time. Or he just had a lot of spare cash and no kids, I don't really remember.

    Anyway, I make up for this by building the most delicious, 10-seat, race-track poker table that is still my pride and joy. It's our go-to table for playing over the next two years - dragging all 110 lbs. of pure oak joy from house to house every once in a while... but that's a story for another day.

    The entire time, Dave couldn't have been nicer about the whole thing - he never once mentioned anything about his chips, or our try-hards, and we played with both sets plenty. One thing it did do, though, was get wheels turning. I was determined to work my way into a decent job, do some saving, and buy myself a better set when I had the cash.

    So I got started on it, which is why I ended up moving to Chicago. And since I moved to Chicago, I stopped playing my regular games. My metal, clunky chips still sit around, but they don't see much table light. It takes a while to get a good, regular group playing, and even then, my apartment is too small to host a proper game with more than a couple players.

    So, I keep saving. I jump around a bit and now am ready to finally move into a new, 10-seat-poker-table-friendly apartment. I think, you know, maybe I start getting the gang back together. Heck, some of my old poker buddies even live in the city now and have been talking about the exact same thing...

    IT IS TIME!

    So, I jump online and scroll way, way.. way down to the bookmark I saved forever ago. I click the button, and open the site, all giddy with anticipation to find it... gone. A 404 where my dream was. My google searches fruitless. Paulson - the only name I remembered - not being sold any more, or being sold for double what I was expecting. Stabbed in the heart.

    ..

    It's probably right about now that you're both crying and getting curious as to why I'm posting this in Custom Chips. Or maybe you forgot which forum you were in. Or possibly you're just bored, in which case, hello! and thank you for reading my story! The truth is, I don't have a design or anything to share. Yet.

    While I got distracted from poker, one thing I kept up with over the past decade (and more) is my tenacity to just build stuff. I've made tables, lamps, smoking pipes, guitar pedals - you name it, I've probably built it. Most pieces I've given away over time, but that poker table is still in my storage, waiting for my new home. So I figure, if I can't buy myself a set to match my pride table, I'll just make a set worthy to go with it.

    *cue eye roll*

    And rightly so! Holy crap what am I getting myself into?

    Meddler - I saw your homemade chips and was super-impressed. I loved your method and tried to expand upon it. I ended up making a rubbery, plastic poker chip that wouldn't find it's way into a dollar store, much less out of one.

    But that's one attempt of many to go... I've bought 10 more types of material, and I'm going to keep trying. I figure if anyone's interested, I'll post my progress here from time to time if anyone cares to follow along. I'm even going to attempt building my own molds! I'm pretty handy with metal casting, and I know my way around a CNC. Let's do some testing!

    I figure, worst case, I'll have a bunch of red, plastic, super-flimsy chips that I can force my T1000 players to use as their high-denominations, just to keep their egos in check.

    :wink:

    Wish me luck!

    -Andrew
     
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  2. Payback

    Payback Well-Known Member

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    Great story and glad to see you're trying to improve your set up. You said your in Chicago so come join Abby and I and a lot of other CT/PCF people for a game sometime. Our meetup group name is Chicagoland Home Poker. You'll get to play with Paulson and CPC sets every week. Shoot me a PM or email at pissdnbrokepoker@gmail.com and we can chat more if you want.
     
    #2
  3. wspnut

    wspnut Member

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    Thank you for the invite! Maybe I'll shoot you something soon, when I get a little more settled in and get to know folks. I just figured I'd say hello and share an interesting project for the time being.
     
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  4. gostumpy

    gostumpy Well-Known Member

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    I've been on here for years, and just this past week I finally pulled the trigger and ordered some real Paulson's :) Will be arriving next week!

    Welcome!!!
     
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  5. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    Cool story, enjoyed the read :) GL with your chip venture.
     
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  6. abby99

    abby99 Admin / Chip Magpie
    Staff Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Thanks for a great read, which reminds me of my introduction to the chip scene. It seems like a lifetime ago.

    ^^^ This. I also have a set of BCC customs, which I will be taking with me when I move to Iowa next spring.

    Welcome to Chicago!
     
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  7. wspnut

    wspnut Member

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    Looking forward to it, and thanks for the warm welcome! I just joined the meetup group - looking forward to a good game sometime soon.
     
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  8. lnlver

    lnlver Well-Known Member

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    My story is completely different, but ends on the same note.

    Twenty years ago, when I had made annual trips to Las Vegas for vacations and before the poker boom, I happened to drive by the Paulson store on Industrial Road. I always took the rear streets to maneuver around the Strip.

    I decided it would be nice to have my own custom chip set for home games. I was able to get a 500 chip hot stamped set for $250. I used standard casino colors and denominations, since I wanted it to resemble the style you would find in a casino.

    My regret is that, if I had known better, I would have gotten at least 1,000 chips. Do you feel my pain?
     
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  9. legend

    legend Well-Known Member
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    Chips are cool
     
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  10. wspnut

    wspnut Member

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    I feel 1/2 of it :happy:
     
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  11. wspnut

    wspnut Member

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    Figured I'd share my latest. I've tested two types of polymer clay so far: Sculpey and Kato. The Sculpey resulted in the red below - a bendy, plasticy mess. The Kato was *much* stronger, and smelled like body odor for some reason, yuck.

    I'm definitely going to be getting into making my own mixes, but this is good for starters. The one on the right in the photo I mixed a handful of talc in with the polymer. It resulted in a plastic that was much firmer and had the texture of a soft rock or clay... getting somewhere. I may even try putting some edge spots in this to see how it ends up!

    The chips are about 6g at 39mm... meaning I need to weight it a bit. I'm still waiting on my brass powder to get in to give it a try.

    I'll be doing trials of about 5 more materials, including a few 2-part epoxies, more polyclays, and some homemade mixes. Making some progress, though!
     

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