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Poker Chips

Poker Chips
"Where did I put those chips?"
By Andy Hughes

Have you ever gone home after a vacation in Las Vegas with an extra chip or two? You planned to cash them in before you left, but one thing lead to another and you just ended up tossing them into a drawer. Many people have, and those chips just might be worth more than the denomination on them.

The hobby of collecting casino chips has really taken off in the last 6 years. People have been collecting for years, but until the Casino Chips & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club was formed in 1988, most collectors thought they were the only ones doing so.

CC&GTCC today has over 2,500 active members and holds an annual Convention every year in Las Vegas. The Club's 8th annual Convention was held last July at the Tropicana Resort and Casino over a 4 day period. With over 100 dealer tables & collectors coming in from all over the World it was a huge success! If you are planning a trip to Las Vegas next year the Convention will again be held at the Tropicana May 30 through June 2nd. The CC&GTCC has a Web site at

I have collected chips for close to 6 years now and have a Web site at . On my site I buy, sell and trade not only chips but also other casino memorabilia such as old matchbooks, ashtrays and linen postcards. My main interest is $5 obsolete Nevada chips.

Pictured here is a $5 Wilbur Clark Desert Inn chip from the 1950's. With only 2-3 known, this is a very special chip. On the conservative side, it's valued at $3,000. It's a prime example of someone walking out of a casino and forgetting he or she still has chips to cash in. The lady who found this chip in her purse when she got home, sold it 45 years later for $5 at a garage sale. I bought the chip from the person she sold it to. A great addition to my collection!

You don't have to collect high value obsolete chips. People collect differing denomination current chips from all over the world. In addition to current or obsolete house chips, limited edition chips are VERY popular. These LE's as they are called by collectors are made for special events, holidays, grand openings, sport figures and so on over the course of a year. LE's have been made in every denomination from the 50 cent " Longhorn Days" chip from the Longhorn Casino to the $2,000 Millennium chip from the Luxor. Whatever your interest and budget will allow, there is always an LE for you!

Shown here is the "Chip of the Year" for 1999. It's part of the Harrah's in Laughlin, Nevada "But it's a Dry Heat" series and was limited to 3,000 chips.

There have been a number of LE poker related chips made over the last 6 years. One of the most popular is the 20 chip set made in 1994 by the Horseshoe in Las Vegas. It has every World Series of Poker Champion up to that point on each of the 20 $2.50 chips. The Horseshoe then does an add-on chip every year for the current World Champion and releases the chip during the tournament sometime in May. This chip shows the late Stu Ungar along with the 3 years he won the "Big" one. Chris Ferguson will of course be pictured on next years newest addition to the set. I reminded Chris about the chip after he won the Championship and it is something he is looking forward to!

So, start digging around in those drawers for the chips you forgot to cash in and let me know what you come up with. You just might find the start of a new collection!

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