Now that poker has hit prime time, there’s nothing worse than inviting
your buddies over for a poker game and then rolling out the old fold-up
card table and carousal full of plastic poker chips in your wood-paneled
basement. That may have flown a few years ago when nobody really knew
any better, but today it’s different. Poker players have tasted
the good life, and there’s no going back. Even casual players are
getting used to playing on plush poker tables and using real casino chips
at the casinos, and more and more in upscale home games.
Nonetheless, when the average person started seeing the big poker games
on TV and decided it was time to dress up their own game, they did what
the average person does. They went out and bought the first “real-looking”
chips they could get their hands on for the cheapest price they could
find. Throw in a folding table top covered with cheap felt and they think
they’ve created their own private Caesar’s Palace in their
You can hardly blame a person really. Few people anticipated just how
big poker was going to get. Even the casinos were blindsided by the pace
at which poker took center stage. Now they’re literally redesigning
their casino floors to accommodate more tables, and much more glamorous
poker rooms. The high-rollers are coming, as well as the celebrities.
The poker world’s infrastructure, long limping by as a loss-leader
in many casinos, had to shed its dingy back room atmosphere almost overnight.
The class of home games has gone through a similar transformation across
the country (and around the world) over the past few years, except the
vast majority of home games did it on a $150 budget, which gets you precisely
a $150 make-over. Not much.
So what happens next is what always happens next. It is what separates
one group from another, the winners from the losers. The average person
makes peace with his plight of mediocrity. Having invested $150 in chips,
he decides he’ll make do with what he’s got because he can’t
stomach the fact that he wasted his money. And this is what the vast majority
of the ordinary poker games will be like for a long time to come.
The other group, being a somewhat extraordinary breed, either skipped
the impulse to buy the cheap stuff right off the get go, or just simply
knows when to admit their error in judgment and call their $150 purchase
a sunk cost and move on to bigger and better things. Nobody likes to waste
money, but there are two ways to look at this predicament, and the winner
always sees the apparent opportunity. Now, if the vast majority of poker
games are going to be using this crap for a long time to come, then for
a relatively small investment one could really distinguish their home
game from the masses.
What’s your move?
some nice chips.