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May 27, 2022
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Dayton, OH USA

I have enjoyed playing poker since I was five years old playing penny poker at my grandparent’s house during family occasions. As I grew up through my teens, I enjoyed playing poker with my friends on occasion for quarters. One of my friend’s dad had a really nice set of clay poker chips that we would use instead of coins/bills when playing at his house. That’s what started my interest in poker chips. I had a set of cheap plastic poker chips at home, but they felt so inferior to the clay chips.

In my late teens, I became interested in math and statistics. I read a book about blackjack and learned the simple Hi/Lo system to count cards. I practiced quite a bit at home and got pretty good at it. When I moved to Dallas, I would go to the Dave and Buster’s on Friday nights and play at a mock blackjack table. It was not real gambling, but you buy in for $20 and play while you can. At the end of the evening, you did not collect winnings but they log the amount you returned and invite the top ten players back for a quarterly tournament while providing free dinner and gaming tokens.

When I turned 21, I finally went to Las Vegas with a couple of friends and had a great time. As a result of counting cards, I would often win when playing black jack. However, it was a mental chore to keep the running adjusted count while socializing with other players and was a bit stressful.

As I got older, I started playing poker instead of black jack when traveling to Las Vegas. I played cash games, mostly $1/$2 NL as I enjoyed the relaxed pace and strategy. I would often bring a few of the “real” chips from the casino home to have as a memory. On one trip to LV in the late 1990’s, I stopped at a gambling supply shop in the downtown area for laughs and purchased some of the top hat and cane Casino de Isthmus City chips. That is what started me down a long road of building up my own home poker chip set.

I have occasionally hosted poker games using my chips, but soon I got married, had kids, got a job which significantly reduced my poker playing while at home. Now, I will typically play poker cash games and tournaments a few times a year when in Las Vegas.

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