Av8tion Poker: A Photo Story

Av8tion

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Hi all,

As I've finished the chip purchasing phase of the Av8tion Poker chip sets I thought it would be cool (and possibly instructive) to turn it into a photo story thread with pictures documenting the progress. As most of you know, creating a custom chip set from scratch is a very long and complicated process filled with second-guessing and mind-changes, as my previous threads have demonstrated.

PHASE ONE: What Chips Should I Buy?
This is a multi-part question. Should I get a fully custom set from CPC or should I buy a bunch of Paulsons and have custom labels created? If I go for the Paulsons, what design? What mold? The list of questions goes on, and there are other threads that deal with the pros and cons for each. The bulk of my set ends up being re-labeled Paulson RHC mold chips taken from several different casinos, pictured below:
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Chips and Denominations of the above are:

Cash Set
25c: Horseshoe Cincinnati $1 Chips (200 chips)
$1: Santa Ysabel $1 Chips (500 chips)
$5: Isle Cape Girardeau $5 Chips (600 chips, 200 pictured)
$25: Aransas Queen Casino $25 Chips (300 chips)

Tournament Set
$100: Kash Casino (Full Tilt) $100 Chips (240 chips)
$500: MGM Springfield $1 Chips (150 chips)
$1,000: Santa Ysabel $2 Chips (200 chips)

In addition, to give the tournament set a more upscale feel to it, I decided to make the $5,000 and $25,000 denominations plaques instead of chips, courtesy of MSK Gaming:
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Thanks to many of you, I have completed purchases for all the required chips to complete this set, and as I am typing this first post, I just received word from MSK that the plaques are on the way from Korea to arrive the first couple days of August, about a week before my birthday (great present for myself). I still have 400 of the $5s still to come in this week or next, but there's still plenty to do while I wait for them to arrive. The next post will begin the next phase, preparing the chips for custom labeling.
 

Av8tion

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PHASE TWO: Extreme Makeover: Chip Edition

Now that the wallet has been depleted, here's where the real grunt-work begins. The chips have almost all arrived, and it's time to begin the transformation process.

Step 1: Cleaning and Oiling
Several of the chip types weren't bought in mint condition, so those chips were treated in a mixture of Dawn and warm water and given the old toothbrush treatment until any dirt and grime was removed and the chips were clean. After that, the cleaned chips joined their new-conditioned counterparts in an oil treatment. I used the same method of chip oiling that Apache Gaming uses: I add the chips to a large pot containing a solution of 2 gallons of warm water and 2 tablespoons of food-grade mineral oil. They are mixed around by hand for about 30 seconds and then removed, toweled off to remove any excess water/oil, and left to air-dry overnight.
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Some of you might ask why I bother with this process before removing the labels and replacing them with the custom ones. The answer is simple... I want to see how the chips look together cleaned, oiled, and polished up to look their best. If I don't like how they look together, I still have the option to sell/trade for a different chip without losing any value... now that I'm satisfied that the chips look good and look good together, we move to the hardest and most tedious part of this phase...

Step 2: Removing The Existing Inlays
This is going to take a long time, but I have a lot of free time.. and it's something you can do while watching Netflix or talking on the phone. Once the chips have been cleaned, oiled, and dried off, they make their way to my de-labeling station:
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It is here that I use an X-acto knife to carefully remove the previous inlay in order to create a blank canvas for the new labels. Any chip whose label does not come off with the laminate covering is treated carefully with non-acetone nail polish remover to the offending label fragments to get them off. With nearly 2,200 chips in the set, this means that I need to remove almost 4,400 labels. Needless to say, this process will most likely take a week or two to accomplish, but it's something I'm happy to do as I feel like I'm not just buying a custom set... I'm helping to physically build it from the ground up... and there's a sense of accomplishment with that...

The next posts will likely have some more pictures of the chips after they've been de-labeled.
 

Av8tion

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The chips are all cleaned and oiled, and day 1 of the de-labeling process has begun. I have a little under 2,200 chips in total, which means 4,400 labels to remove one at a time. I managed to do a little over 200 on the first day. The kash 100s are nearly impossible to remove the inner label for some reason, so I decided to go for the other chips at a rate of 2-3 racks a day, then when I'm done I'll do a barrel or two of the kash chips.

For now, the $25 chips are all completely de-labeled and ready to go for when my labels get ordered and shipped.
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Tomorrow's plan is to de-label all the MGM Springfield chips (my T500) and maybe do half of the Santa Ysabel $2's (the T1,000's.. the flagship chip of the set in my opinion) as well as 1-2 barrels of the infamous kash 100s...

I was able to average a little over a minute per chip on average... so I'm hoping to have the whole set done and labeled by the end of next week...

Tomorrow's post will introduce the third phase of this project, which is the selection of the inlays. There have already been a thread or so on this, so I'll link that in tomorrow as well as include design photos from the early prototypes to what the current design is...
 

mattross1313

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This set works really well together, good work putting them all together.

How did you find the murdering of the AQ $25's? I have 160 to do soon :nailbite:
 

Av8tion

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This set works really well together, good work putting them all together.

How did you find the murdering of the AQ $25's? I have 160 to do soon :nailbite:
They were very easy... some didnt even need the NPR... got through 200 in a couple hours...
 

toynoob

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I'm curious how many players do you have to require this many chips? This is a huge project, looks great. I dream of the day I need this many chips.
 

Av8tion

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I'm curious how many players do you have to require this many chips? This is a huge project, looks great. I dream of the day I need this many chips.
If you think about it, the chip total isn't that much... There's enough tournament chips for 2-3 tables freezeout or 1-2 tables rebuy and just enough cash chips to run a decent fixed limit game on one table...
 

toynoob

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Bro you have $7500 bank in green chips. My group has not even allowed me to use $20 HPs yet. 100 quarters 400. 1s and 160 5s, no limit. Obviously it's a small game, teach me your ways....
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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If you think about it, the chip total isn't that much... There's enough tournament chips for 2-3 tables freezeout or 1-2 tables rebuy and just enough cash chips to run a decent fixed limit game on one table...
That's what I was thinking. It's a lot of chips, but not a ridiculous number. MOAR = BETTER! I'm ordering 1600 tournament chips in the cards mold group buy and I've NEVER hosted a tournament!!! So that is a lot more crazy than this! :D
 

crussader

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Love the Ysabel $2s as a T1000.

Was thinking about going that direction with my tournament set, but it's just not in the budget.
 

Av8tion

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Day 2 of de-labeling is complete... All of the Springfield $1's have been processed (very easy to go through them). The Ysabel $2 was next to impossible to delabel... it took me 10 minutes to do only one... so that's been moved to the back of the line... I did a few barrels of the Kash 100s and I've started taking on the Cape Girardeau $5s which seem to be fairly straightforward

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Tomorrow's plan is to finish the two racks of $5s that I have and complete a few more barrels of the Kash 100s. Friday will be the Horseshoe $1s and the beginning of the Santa Ysabels (5 racks of $1s and 2 racks of 2s... and of course they're the hardest of the group to remove...) Next week, my plaques will arrive as well as the 4 racks of $5s I bought from @krafticus which will complete the set. I'm hoping to have all the labels removed by this time next week. I've already sent @Gear a preliminary email, so we'll see how long it takes to get the inlay designs finalized, printed, and shipped... I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel yet... but I'm starting to think an end may be in sight soon... more progress pics tomorrow!
 

Av8tion

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PHASE THREE: Making It Your Own

OK... so you've selected your chips and have started to strip them of their previous identity... now what? The whole point of creating a custom set is to make it a unique piece that nobody else in the world has.. and for that you need to create your own personal touch.... the inlay.

For the full story, here's the link to the thread where I went through several design styles and ideas before getting to where I am now:
https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/av8tion-poker-inlays.59455/

For this thread, I'll simply post some progression pics showing not only the changes in inlay designs, but also the changes in chip choices I made along the way until we arrive at the final layout...

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Thanks to comments and suggestions from many forum members here, I was able to change the design to something that works better as a whole set without being either too bland or too busy:

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The label order isn't out the door yet, so there may be some differences from this final setup... but most likely it will look something very close to what you see above...
 

Av8tion

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Day 3 of de-labeling is complete... and I got the bad news... the vast majority of the chips I had remaining... 500 ysabel $1s, 200 Ysabel $2s, and 200 Cinci Horseshoe $1s.. are all the type with difficult label removal... The only easy ones remaining will be the 400 Isle $5s that will come in next week...

Because of this I'm anticipating a HUGE slowdown in the number of chips I'm going to be able to process each day... The good news is that today I was able to get through 2 barrels of Kash $100s, 2 barrels of the Ysabel $2s and the remaining 160 Isle $5s of the 200 I currently have on site...
8bd6a6d57c23d7b642ac81bdff161cdb.jpg


I sliced my finger trying to remove the Ysabel labels, so tomorrow I'm going to focus on finishing off the remaining 140 Kash 100s since those already have the laminate removed and just need nail polish remover and tweezers to process, then if there's time I might do another 1-2 barrels of Ysabel $2s.

On the label front, I've gotten a reply from @Gear and I'm hoping that we will have a final design soon.

Lastly for this update, I have the tracking information on the MSK plaques.. and they are scheduled to arrive on Monday... so slim hope still exists of me finishing my dream set in time to give it to myself as a birthday gift...

Until tomorrow folks!
 

grantc54

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Day 3 of de-labeling is complete... and I got the bad news... the vast majority of the chips I had remaining... 500 ysabel $1s, 200 Ysabel $2s, and 200 Cinci Horseshoe $1s.. are all the type with difficult label removal... The only easy ones remaining will be the 400 Isle $5s that will come in next week...

Because of this I'm anticipating a HUGE slowdown in the number of chips I'm going to be able to process each day... The good news is that today I was able to get through 2 barrels of Kash $100s, 2 barrels of the Ysabel $2s and the remaining 160 Isle $5s of the 200 I currently have on site...
8bd6a6d57c23d7b642ac81bdff161cdb.jpg


I sliced my finger trying to remove the Ysabel labels, so tomorrow I'm going to focus on finishing off the remaining 140 Kash 100s since those already have the laminate removed and just need nail polish remover and tweezers to process, then if there's time I might do another 1-2 barrels of Ysabel $2s.

On the label front, I've gotten a reply from @Gear and I'm hoping that we will have a final design soon.

Lastly for this update, I have the tracking information on the MSK plaques.. and they are scheduled to arrive on Monday... so slim hope still exists of me finishing my dream set in time to give it to myself as a birthday gift...

Until tomorrow folks!
Wierd. Cinci $1s have to be one of the easiest chips to remove inlays on. I think I only had to use nail polish remover on 20%. The YS $2s I removed inlays on were no problem at all with the nail polish remover. I wonder why it is so different for you?
 

Av8tion

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Wierd. Cinci $1s have to be one of the easiest chips to remove inlays on. I think I only had to use nail polish remover on 20%. The YS $2s I removed inlays on were no problem at all with the nail polish remover. I wonder why it is so different for you?
Removing the inlays was easy... removing the laminate was extremely difficult...
 
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