Casino chip history thread -- what's the story behind your chips? (1 Viewer)


Royal Flush
May 29, 2013
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Someone asked me today, basically, "what's the story behind the Condado Beach chips". What happened to the casino? How did the chips get into the hands of chip enthusiasts? How many chips made it out of the casino? How many were produced originally? Basically, what's the back story of these chips?

My answer was, "I have no idea" -- but it got me thinking, it would be fun to know the back stories of the various casino chip sets.

Anyone have any stories to share? I hope this sparks some great information, as I think this would be very very interesting!

Apologies if this thread already exists. I did a quick search and didn't see anything, but I could have missed it.
The history of a chip is one of the biggest appeals for me. Recently, I was finally able to add to my Cajun Cup set so it can now accommodate one of our MA/NH cash games. They will hopefully make a guest appearance at Truman's House sometime in 2015. I will try to edit the thread with Pics as soon as I have some time. Below is a history which was compiled by the person who bought all of the chips from David Bellucci's estate in 2000. Bellucci was murdered in his home in 1993.

The Cajun Cup was considered the "World Series of Poker of the South." It was held a the Holiday Inn in Opelousas, Louisiana in 1986, at the Holiday Inn in Lafayette, Louisiana in 1987 and the Hilton in Lafayette from 1988-1989. The tournament was raided in 1989 for operating illegally and closed in the middle of the Seven Card Stud tournament. Everyone was told they had 24 hours to get out of town or they would be arrested. I purchased the only remaining chips and all the rest were confiscated by the state police. The tournament was organized by Eldon Elias and Kenny Pyle. Eldon, a poker professional, won the 1995 Hall of Fame Classic Limit Holdem Tournament, cashed twice in the World Series of Poker, and won a title form the 1989 Caesar's Super Challenge. The Cajun Cup was once the South's most popular and prestigious poker tournaments. Anthony Holden mentions the tournament in his book "Big Deal." Howard Lederer wrote to the RGP (recreational: gambling: poker) newsgroup that he played in the tournament twice, enjoyed the tournament and it had a lot of local flavor. Men "The Master' won a title at the Cajun Cup and T. J. Cloutier won an Omaha title.

This chip was also used at Bellucci's House of Poker in Santa Cruz, California. This poker room was open from 1992-1993. The chips were purchased from Eldon for use at this poker room in 1992. David Bellucci along with his poker partner Howard "Tahoe" Andrew are mentioned in Holden's book. Holden ran into them while playing a tournament held in the Mamounia hotel in Marrakesh, Morocco. David ironically busted Holden at the 1989 World Series of Poker at Binion's that ended the book "Big Deal, One Year as a Professional Poker Player." Phil Helmuth won the tournament main event that year at the age of 24, the youngest player at the time to win the WSOP.

Holden mentions in his book, "All year from Malta to Las Vegas, California to Morocco, I had been told that one absolute 'must' on the poker circuit is the Cajun Cup, held each Easter weekend in a small town two hours west of New Orleans. The food was apparently great, the scenery stunning, and the action terrific - the more so because it was illegal."

Some of the tournaments offered were $500 Limit and Pot Limit Hold'em and Omaha, as well as the main event $1500 No Limit Hold'em freeze out that was dedicated to the memory of Jack Straus in its final year. In addition the side games provided a lot of action for the pros to profit from.

To ward off complaints the tournament hired local police to act as security and a donation was made to the local church. Right in the middle of the seven card stud tournament the district attorney put a halt to the Cajun Cup and just when Holden arrived from England the state police were in the act of closing down the games. The players and organizers were told they had 24 hours to leave town or they would be arrested. The reason given for it being illegal was the organizers were profiting and the dealers were being tipped. It was thought that the church filed a complaint that led to the DA making the bust.

Wow Scott, that's REALLY cool - I never heard of that before. Do you have full-set pron available anywhere? I found some old pics you had posted on the blue wall when you did some hotstamps from Apache, but that was a while ago.

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