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Speakeasy Poker Chips Review

Discussion in 'Poker Chip Reviews' started by UW85, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. UW85

    UW85 Chipaholic
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    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Manufacturer: Blue Chip Company (BCC)
    Retailer(s): Holdempokerchips Website
    Average Price: $1.12 - $1.25
    Material: Compression Molded Clay

    Recently a new chip came on the market that caught my eye – it was the Speakeasy line developed by Holdempokerchips.com (HPC) and produced by the Blue Chip Company (BCC). I’ve never been a fan of super complex edge spots so these “Quartered” chips stood out as very unique. To add icing on the cake, they were made on my absolute favorite type of chips (BCC). I spoke with Michael at (HPC) since he is the exclusive owner of this line of chip. The Speakeasy's were born from Michaels own love of a period in time in US history when prohibition ruled the land. He designed the chips and had CT's own Johnny5 do the artwork. Here is what Michael had to say:

    "I have always been intrigued by the 20's and 30's and Speakeasy's.
    Jan 16th, 1920 was the first day of prohibition hence the Est 1920 date.
    The font for "Speakeasy" came from and old 20's movie, so it fit the era.
    The scroll work was from the "21 Club", it sat on top of the gate in the early part of the century.
    [​IMG]
    The 21 Club is probably the most known Speakeasy of the era. Click here for the HISTORY.


    [​IMG]

    Pros

    * Superior overall quality
    * Unique design
    * Fantastic customer service

    Cons

    * You get what you pay for but they are expensive
    * Must oil them to see their true colors

    Price

    Only available through Holdempokerchips.com (HPC) right now. Pricing depends on the quantity you order.
    1-99 Chips 1.25
    100-199 Chips 1.23
    200-299 Chips 1.21
    300-499 Chips 1.18
    500-999 Chips 1.16
    1000+ Chips 1.13

    Feel

    At 9.5 g weight some might think these chips feel light, but I’d beg to differ. I find them very well balanced and coupled with the hardness of Blue Chip Company (BCC) chips and sharp edges they feel & play much more like a heavier chip. The chip surface and inlay have a textured feel to them – as opposed to something like a Pharaoh’s Club, TH&C shaped inlays or Desert Palm inlay, all of which are satin smooth.

    If you own Pharaoh’s or other Paulsons I think you’d clearly notice a significant difference in the hardness of each chip. The Speakeasys are way harder and the edges seem a bit sharper as well.

    Stacking

    The sky is the limit, literally. These chips are absolutely phenomenal when it comes to stacking. BCC has really made a top end super flat chip with very sharp edges. There are NO signs of warping whatsoever that I could find. For fun I stacked up 240 and at that point the stack started to get a bit unstable – I’m pretty darn sure I could have stacked at least 20 more without much trouble, probably more.

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Sound

    BCC chips have a unique sound that I love. I picked up on this sound when watching the Poker Superstars series where they use BCC chips as well.

    I had my daughter drop 8 chips from a variety of different chip lines compared to the Speakeasys. First, were the Speakeasy chips and a sample of Samurai chips – both from BCC. I could not tell these two from each other in a blind test. Next were original Desert Palms (not the Pure Clay version) – these are also from BCC. I was able to hear just a slight difference – the Desert Palms had a bit more of a hollow sound and the difference was hard to pick up.

    I then tried the Speakeasys against some new Top Hat & Cane chips. It didn’t take me long to be able to nail 100% which chip was which. The Speakeasys had a slightly, and I do mean slightly higher “clink” to them compared to the TH&C. I also tested the Chipco Classics vs Speakeasys and being that the Chipcos are ceramic and Speakeasy compression clays I found the difference even easier to discern. The Chipcos have a significantly higher pitch to them when dropped on top of each other.

    Looks

    These chips are made on the interlocking “T” mold from the BCC -– this mold is very classic and perfect for the Speakeasy theme. If you get a sample or order some of these in you simply must be willing to rub them down with 100% Mineral Oil. Another option, and one that Mike of the Blue Chip Company says they have used for 40 years, is THIS spray on product. I have not used this yet but it looks like it would be a lot less messy but at a higher cost. You will be blown away by how much this will enrich the somewhat muted original colors you’ll see “out of the box.” I was a bit disappointed when they first arrived but after listening to advice here on CT, I oiled a rack and WOW! Talk about a change of heart!

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Can you see the difference between the oiled rows and unoiled rows?
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The most unique look you’ll notice with the Speakeasy line is that they all, with the exception of the $0.25 chip, have “quartered” edge spots. This means the area around the inlay is cut into four equal pieces, like a pie, and the two opposite sections have a unique color for each denomination (see pics). In this age of very complex edge spot progressions I find the Speakeasys a breath of fresh air.

    (note: UNoiled pics)
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Here are scans of the denominations I do NOT own but HPC sent me.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    One other nice thing, for the over 40 crowd, the denominations are large enough to be clearly seen and are well placed. You might think that sounds funny but trust me, you’ll appreciate it someday!

    Finally, I discovered one of the COOLEST things ever while doing this review. On about one out of every 15 chips the inlay and the chip texture itself line up in such a way as to create an amazing effect. The inlay literally looks 3-D. Do you remember those pictures called Magic Eye – where if you stared at it the right way and image would pop out? Although with the Speakeasys it’s more like the inlay background is dropped deep into the chip and the words, graphics and denominations are floating above it. I did ask Michael about it and he said, “It is caused by the inks on the inlay and the inlay being crosshatched (textured) by the mold.
    In the right light you get this effect.” It’s very cool but I could not do justice to the image with my camera. Somebody with tons of money should pay HPC to separate out all these chips and sell as truly a unique set!

    Security/Originality

    To the best of my knowledge there are no built in security devices with this line of chips. At this time you can only find them at HPC – this realistically means the common market is not flooded and so concerns about security in your home game should be at a minimum. Also, according to HPC’s website, these are the “only home chip available with “Quartered” edge spots. That with their exclusive “interlocking T” mold makes them very exclusive.

    Durability

    Honestly I didn’t want to put any of my Speakeasys at risk so instead I used a sample set of Samauri chips for this part. I dropped them repeatedly from about a meter to a ceramic tile floor that had been laid on 6” of concrete – about as hard of a surface as you’re going to get. I did see after a few drops some very minor chipping on a couple edges. IMO this was insignificant as I think it’s pretty unlikely anyone owning these chips will make it a habit of dropping them (especially on concrete or tile). I did speak with Michael at HPC and he did say that the two chips lines were very comparable but there was a slight chance the quartered edge chips could be a bit more at risk to break than the Samauri chips.

    Reviewers Comments

    In summary, I cannot recommend these chips enough. The sound, feel and overall looks are fantastic. Beware though, oiling these chips is mandatory IMO and that takes a bit to do. Once you do, you’ll have a unique set of very classy chips that will be handed down to your grandkids.

    Additional Pictures
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #1
  2. RussB42

    RussB42 Faux Clay Nation
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    I want to say that the above review is "SPOT ON". These are some of the best chips BCC has ever made. I have 3 other BCC sets and these are the best I've seen, felt or stacked.

    I have only the 25c, $1 and $5 chips and will get some more larger denoms as soon as I can.

    Again, Great Review..
     
    #2
  3. gatorman1122

    gatorman1122 New Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what kind of poker case is that? It looks pretty classy/durable. Where'd you get it?
     
    #3
  4. Meddler

    Meddler Well-Known Member
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    Russ, thanks for the chips. The review is totally accurate. Great chips.
     
    #4
  5. Lucky Dog

    Lucky Dog Creativity Alliance
    Lifetime Supporter

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    The Speakeasy is an awesome chip set. If you want a classy vintage look and feel then this set is for you. The only knock I have is that the quarters, 5's and 500's are too much alike. I don't worry about the 5's and the 500's as they are never on the table at the same time. As for the quarters, I had Michael from HPC stamp some charcoal gray solid t-molds with his "Speakeasy" hot stamp. I use the solid charcoal non denomination hot stamps as my quarters and they fit in beautifully with the set. I did not buy any quarters from the set as I thought they would be confused with the $5's since those two chips are in play at the same time.This is my travel set and I use it all the time. They are Awesome!!!
     
    #5

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