Black Cat Club

Black Cat Club

Owner: Toby

I started getting into poker back in 2009 and began looking into getting a nice set of chips for my game. I soon found that product available at the time in the UK was extremely limited, which led me to discover Chip Talk - something of a revelation and that fueled my desire to import a chip set.

Having spent time researching available casino chips and not finding anything that really rang my bell within my budget, I settled on the custom route - a decision also largely inspired by sets like C U Next Tuesday.

Minimums and QC horror stories at BCC made me opt for ASM. I went with non-standard colors, going with colors I liked. I carried around the ASM color sample set for weeks and tried different color combos alongside one another until I settled on Yellow/Orange/Black/Green/Purple bases (latterly extended to include an Imperial Blue nickel chip).

I'd heard great things about J5, so I approached him to see if he was interested in collaborating on the set. I chose the 'black cat' as the theme based on how, in different cultures, a black cat crossing your path represents good or bad luck. I believe that in America it's bad luck, whereas in the UK (where I'm from) it represents good luck.

I thought was a good metaphor for a poker club, this notion of the dual nature of luck, which everyone experiences at the table.

The Latin script:

"Qui cum fele atra lusitat, is ut radatur exspectet"

Translates as:

"Let he who plays with the Black Cat expect to get scratched"

Which is a variation on the old adage "When you play with fire, expect to get burned".

It's a playful reference to the friendly competition of the game, and a nod back to the luck theme.

The scratched idea and variance/luck theme is also reflected in the double-sided bounty chip - one side is the mouse with the cheese, which is face up while the owner is in play and is flipped to the 'scratched' side once it has been won by an opponent. Once you've been busted, you've been 'scratched' from the game.

I wanted a background pattern/bleed after I'd seen the Chelsea Club chips. Lovely set. The pattern is a nod to my interest in Japanese art and video game animation (cf. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Okami). If I did the chips again I'd ramp up the visibility of the background, as it's hard to see unless you look closely/in good light.

The original bounty chip was 414 Light Blue base, Black spots. I upgraded these to a full ASM solid sample set later on as I wanted all the colors in the bounty set. I also wanted to individualize the colors, so that each player's bounty chip color was unique. I wanted regulars to choose the same chip for their bounty each week. The idea here was to personalize the bounties, so that players would 'be' the same color and be associated with that color. If you were after someone's scalp, winning their bounty was made more obvious by the unique chip color and additional value was assigned to some of the more colorful/sought after players. Plus it makes busting them easier to wave in their face.

I added 'UV security' as a gag with a UV pen, as I'd bought black lights for a party. The artwork was ripped off by an unscrupulous [CT] forum member and the subject of brief debate.

Michael Dambach also made himself up a set and case using J5's artwork.
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