My custom solids set - A journey 20 years in the making. AND A GIVEAWAY!! (1 Viewer)

Benjaminotaur

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For those of you stumbling across this thread after mid June 2022, The giveaway portion of this thread has already been claimed by @BlueChipSpecial. I won't spoil it for you if you want to play along. You'll notice a few bolded italicized words and phrases as you go along. The original players did not have that benefit. But for you, that's part of the perk of not being the trailblazer! If you want to skip past the puzzle portion and get to the build, start with the first section of the OP and then feel free to skip to post #85 on page 3.

(Infomercial announcer voice) If you like free stuff, then you’re going to want to hang around for this one. If you want to know what’s being given away, you’ll have to read all the way through this post for details. And be sure to act fast. This is a limited time offer!

If you’ve been watching the classified section over the last few months, you may have noticed my name coming up a lot whenever THC solids came up. A lot of people have commented on my extended shopping spree. I’m especially thankful for those of you who have tagged me in those ads to aid in my search, or even reached out to see if they might have something that would be useful to me from their own hordes. Many people along the way have asked what I’m working on, and are there any colors I’m NOT looking for???

Well, I’m finally in a place where I feel like the project will come to realization. Now it’s time to pull back the curtain to let those interested get a peek and follow along over the coming months, if they find my efforts worthy.

If you couldn’t already tell, I have a flair for the dramatic, and I LOVE a good reveal. It might stem from my former life as a theatre professional. Or maybe that’s why I was drawn to theatre in the first place. I’m not sure. What I do know is during my time honing my skills in college, my design philosophy shaped how I approach problems. Tie that to my stubborn (convicted?) personality, and you get someone that will go to ridiculous lengths to realize an idea, even if I’m the only one who winds up loving it.

So, a little background: I had an idea for a custom poker set about 15 years ago, well before I found this forum. I did my level best to find a set of chips I could slap a label on and use with our weekly poker game that had been running for about 5 years. But being a poor college student followed by a poor theatre technician, my bankroll didn’t exactly allow for Paulsons, even before the prices ballooned. I went for the best thing I could afford at the time. It wasn’t (shudder) *dice chips*, but it wasn’t far off: Cards molds.

No, not those. These:


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Although, mine were solid colors plus white and didn’t have that much going on. I tried putting some of those printable labels on them, just to see how they looked, before investing much time and effort into the label design. It was a disaster. Spinners doesn’t even begin to describe it. Wobbly. Uneven. They didn’t even fit in the aluminum case the same way anymore. I peeled every last label off and put the project on the shelf, dejected.

And then I found this forum.

As I got familiar with all it had to offer, I started looking at the classified section. I saw listing after listing of chips that kindled that old project. I started to put the pieces together of how best to bring my hare brained idea into a reality. It finally clicked, and all the pieces fell into place at once. Solid Paulson chips were a blank slate. I wouldn’t have to worry about matching spot colors, patterns, or progressions. Not to mention the total plethora of colors available. The ABS chips I had started with came in maybe a dozen colors. Not really a palette that allowed for creative license.

I mean, 89 colors? Really??? I was in heaven. About 3.7 seconds after I decided to go with solid Paulson chips, I had purchased a partial Paulson sample set. A couple days later, I had an 84 color set on the way. After those arrived, I got to work color matching from my source materials. To be honest, I had been thinking about this project for so long, I probably could have picked the colors out from memory. I’m happy to report my eyes and memory didn’t fail me. I got pretty close on first pass, but I was really glad to have the sample set to see what else would come close in case I couldn't find enough of my first choice.

What you see below is the end result of 20 years rumination on an idea. I cordially invite you to come along on the rest of this journey with me. Even though it's come a long way, There's still miles to go before the finish line. I’ll post updates on label design, milling, and all the other details that come with making a custom poker set. I’d love feedback, encouragement, or any other comments you might have along the way. I’ve always been big on the team aspect of projects. Good ideas can come from anywhere, so I always try to listen.

If you’ve made it this far, I’m sure it’s because my amazing wordsmithery has captivated your imagination and you’re now hanging on every last word like it holds the key to eternal life. Or it could be the free stuff.

But probably the first thing. Definitely.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I still haven’t given a theme for the set, even though that was the whole point of this post. (I told you I like a theatrical reveal) So, now it’s on you. First person to guess what the theme of my set is will win a sample set. And you’ll see it’s a big one! We'll start with one guess, per person, per day

I’m starting with a few photos of the chips and a handful of details about me. I’ll add more details about me, or the set (or maybe both, you lucky dogs) to the OP every day or (or maybe more, you lucky dogs!) until we get a winner. The only caveat is you’ll have to wait just as long as me until you can get your prize.

So without further ado, some details about me. Maybe I should have done this in the introduction section ages ago. I would have hit my post threshold way sooner. :LOL: :laugh:

Day 1
I’m a 40 year old male from Kenosha, Wisconsin. I grew up in Racine, Wisconsin, just a few miles north of where I live now. I’ve been married for almost 5 years now and have 2 kiddos, ages 5 and almost 3, that keep me about as busy as I can manage. I love sports of all kinds. I like language, jokes, puns, puzzles, and riddles. I was a member of the 2011 Wisconsin bar trivia championship team (Go Shift Lock Overdrive!). As previously stated, I graduated with my BA in Theatre Arts back in 2005. After many successful years in the theatre, I changed careers, and now spend my working hours as a pharmacist in both a hospital and an independent retail pharmacy.

Now before I give away the whole gig on the first go, here are some photos of the lineup. Front, top, and a combo of both.

And seriously, if you've come this far, I really appreciate it. I know long posts are kinda @Ben8257’s thing, but I'm hoping he'll let me encroach on his territory a bit, one Ben to another.

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Day 2
We’re on to day two of clues. I’ve really enjoyed the guesses so far, and some of you have even tripped onto pretty major moments from my life that even I wasn’t making connections to when I gave the first round of info. Pretty cool (to me anyhow!)

As promised, here are a few more bits of information to help you on your quest, and maybe even a picture or two!

As mentioned above, I love sports. Baseball is my first love, but I’ve had pretty much all sports grow on me over time. I love the competition. The nuance. The battle between pitcher and batter. Between goalie and forward. Between Giannis and literally anyone else.

Born and raised in Wisconsin means my love of The Brewers, Packers, and Bucks run deep. But in the last decade, I’ve grown beyond these borders, reaching to Tennessee as I’ve become a fan of the Nashville Predators as well as singular sports stars like Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Riccardo, Rickie Fowler, Shohei Ohtani, among many others.

I never really got to travel much as a kid, so I’m trying to make up for it with a few friends. On my sports “bucket list” is to go to the Kentucky Derby, a World Series game, be in Vegas for the opening weekend of March Madness, spend some time at the Olympics, Play in a WSOP tournament, and to visit every baseball stadium. We were supposed to hit the Atlantic coast for a long baseball trip in 2020, but then something came up and the trip got cancelled. I’ve never been anywhere on the coast north of DC/Virginia, so that was going to be a big one. Baltimore, Philly, New York, Boston, and everywhere in between. Luckily, I got to knock something else off my list last summer, a little closer to home. #Bucksin6

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Now for the chips! As @Ben8257 mentioned, there are a hell of a lot of different chips here, which would lead to an unreasonable number of denominations. And as much as I love the unloved denoms, there are a few non-denominated chips in this set. I give you the three that will serve other purposes other than betting.

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Side note, I’m kicking the Indian blue or the peach to the curb if I can find a rack or two of metallic silver. So someone out there, hook a brother up!!

Alright, everyone, have at it!!

Day 3
It’s a rainy Saturday, so I’ll write up a bit more while sitting on the deck listening to the rain.

I have a huge sweet tooth. Donuts are one of my favorite treats. But for as many as I’ve eaten in my life, my donut world expanded endlessly when I was in Pennsylvania last year on a baseball road trip. On the south side of Pittsburgh, there’s a shop called Just Good Donuts.
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We bought a dozen to snack on for the rest of the trip. A day and a half later, we had crushed all of them without regret. If you go, the Yinz creme is

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Like many of you degen chip collectors, I have always wanted to collect all the things. If theres a numbered set, I want them all. For a long time after college, I made ends meet by flipping just about anything. Art, vintage collectibles, books, board games, sports jerseys, posters. Mostly it helped me find my collecting habits. One of the coolest things I found in a box lot I won at an auction was a merch token from a pharmacy in La Porte, Indiana. It’s now in my card guard rotation
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I know we all love chip pr0n, so I took a few more photos, this time with the rough quantities in the set. Some of the denominations will have less than a rack that will see play, but I was too lazy to break it down that far.
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Day 4
Like many of you here, I have a great affinity for the hot dog. The sandwich/not sandwich has always been one of my favorites. Living so close to Illinois, the Chicago style hotdog quickly became my dog of preference. Add a chocolate cake shake from Portillo’s and sign my up for a nap!

As for the chips, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m sure you’ve all noticed there are a lot of duplicate colors running around my table. I can feel the shudders from the nightmares about dirty stacks from here. I’m sorry to have caused you any anxiety. I’m happy to report that these chips represent one theme, two sets. One cash, one tourney.

Day 5
Growing up right next to Lake Michigan, I’ve accustomed to having large bodies of water around. It’s always been a big draw sitting down by the lake watching the waves crash the shore, or listening to the gentle lap of the water brushing the sand. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Needless to say, I felt compelled to stop on the side of the highway while visiting friends in California so I could get my feet wet in the Pacific. My friend Fionnegan also grew up on Lake Michigan, so he was quick to pull over and oblige. It’s fun to be spontaneous!
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For the chips, I’ll give you the official list of colors, as seen in the last photos:
Fuchsia, Arc yellow, Metallic gold, Munzell green, Dolphin blue, Peach, Paulson purple, Daisy, Light blue, Yellow/canary yellow, Mint green, Day blue, Orange, Paulson pink, Royal red, Indian blue, Butterscotch, White

Day 6
I’ve always loved games, so when a group of guys in the theatre department invited me to role play with them, I was really pumped to try it out. While I probably have less than 100 sessions under my belt, it’s still one of my favorite things to do. My friend Fionn (You met him a few paragraphs ago) has a family cabin on the waters of Green Bay in Door County, Wisconsin. Our group has been going up there one weekend a year for the last 20 years. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. Not only because it’s the one time a year I get to see most of these guys, but because of views like this.
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I know there are many who would disagree, and yes I’ve seen the photos of the Mediterranean from Greece and Italy, but give me this twilight every day of the week.
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Heres a little more info on the tourney breakdown.
I like big sets and I cannot lie! So when coming up with the parameters for this one, I wanted to think big. I have it set up for supporting 70 buy ins from the start with a minimum of 30 rebuys, although I could push the rebuys much higher if I wanted. I don’t have the space to hold 7-9 tables just yet, but hopefully I can open it up wide once we move out of our postage stamp of a condo. Denominations break down like this:
T25: Paulson purple
T100: Day blue
T500: Fuchsia
T1k: Orange
T5k: Royal red
T25k: Yellow/canary yellow
T100k: Munzell green
T250k/T500k: Light Blue

All in: Metallic gold
Rebuy: Peach/ Metallic silver
Bounty: Indian Blue/Metallic silver

Day 7
See post #55 for details. Apparently I hit my max on photos added. :LOL: :laugh:
“I had a friend who was moving to North Carolina to go to law school”

Day 8
See post #56 for details.
“I lived 50 steps from Yee’s Oriental Inn for 3 years”

“Paulson THC were the most available in the colors I wanted, and they also add a little extra fitting detail

Day 9
See post #59 for details
“Hopscotch Cakery out of Burlington (Wisconsin, not Vermont. Sorry you New Englanders)”

Day 10
See post #60 for details (Theres a video featuring me!)
“Mac ultimately stays ice cold and interest is lost, leading Bassett to return to headquarters in Connecticut

Day 11
See post #61 for details
“One that definitely holds up to that high bar is The Usual Suspects

“take another chance at a guess”

“I’d love to see people giving this a go

Day 12
See post #62 for details
“I really don’t want to railroad anybody”

Day 13
See post #75 for details
“I had my imbibing world rocked quite a bit a few years ago at The Crazy Fox in St. Charles, Illinois.”
 
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Kid_Eastwood

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Hello,

That's a very nice introduction.

For the theme, here's my guess : The Rainbow Club

I've also done a project on solid hotstmap. At the time, I hesitate between buying the colors I like, mill the chips and order labels at @Gear or going with CPC.
Finally, I decided to go with Paulson just because I could get the chips with a very fair price (about a buck (or a buck and half for some) a chip). If I had to redo it again, I'd probably go with CPC to be honest.

Good luck for your project !
 

WedgeRock

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Some good guesses on theme so far. Nothing is leaving to mind, perhaps I just have thinker's block from what has already been guessed. All I can come up with is

All your chips are belong to me

Not much of a chip set theme really, more of a mantra for your collecting style.

GL with your journey.
 

Ben8257

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Wonderful write up my Ben brother! So how many denoms are there going to be in this set? $.01, $.02, $.05, $.10, $.25, $.50, $1, $2, $3, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000, $5000, $25,000 (18 by my count?) LOL

My first guess: Phantom and Cheese Curds Speak Easy! Lmao

The Cheesy Wheel Theater/Gambling Hall?

Oh man I could do this all day! Haha
 

Himewad

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For the theme, here's my guess : The Rainbow Club
A while back, I was toying with the idea of a set with the Rainbow Room theme. I think it would have looked pretty good. So sure, that's my guess.

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And my personal, crude mockup. The logo is the Rockefeller Center logo. The stars were going to color-match either the chip base color or edge spots.

Rainbow Room $5.png
 

HeWhoWouldPun

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First guess is something with the pharmacy aspect of your life--Pill Pusher Club?

('cause they are all colored like different meds and you push them into the pot. No disrespect to the pharmaceutical industry)
 

Benjaminotaur

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Theater of Dreams Poker Room
These guys? I do like them!
Congrats on the collection!

My theme guess: the gold at the end of the rainbow.
I like where you’re heads at! I didn’t pick up that the gold was at the end. I might have to steal that for another set!
I’m going with The Wizard of Oz.
Good guess! Our community theatre did that show three years running when I was in high school. Each year was more fun than the last!
Hello,

That's a very nice introduction.

For the theme, here's my guess : The Rainbow Club

I've also done a project on solid hotstmap. At the time, I hesitate between buying the colors I like, mill the chips and order labels at @Gear or going with CPC.
Finally, I decided to go with Paulson just because I could get the chips with a very fair price (about a buck (or a buck and half for some) a chip). If I had to redo it again, I'd probably go with CPC to be honest.

Good luck for your project !
It’s a tough call between those two for a lot of projects, especially if you’re talking about the newer unleaded Paulsons. And now for cost, it’s almost a wash a lot of times. Thanks for sharing about your build!
Some good guesses on theme so far. Nothing is leaving to mind, perhaps I just have thinker's block from what has already been guessed. All I can come up with is

All your chips are belong to me

Not much of a chip set theme really, more of a mantra for your collecting style.

GL with your journey.
Yeah, it got a little out of hand for a while, I’ll be honest. Now that I’ve color matched most things, I’ll start sending some of my purchases back out into the wild.
Wonderful write up my Ben brother! So how many denoms are there going to be in this set? $.01, $.02, $.05, $.10, $.25, $.50, $1, $2, $3, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000, $5000, $25,000 (18 by my count?) LOL

My first guess: Phantom and Cheese Curds Speak Easy! Lmao

The Cheesy Wheel Theater/Gambling Hall?

Oh man I could do this all day! Haha
18 is my count too. You need a lot of those micro denominations when your buy in is $3 :LOL: :laugh: Well, it used to be anyhow. Thankfully I’ve gotten our game to grow almost at the inflation rate.

The Cheesy Wheel does have a nice ring to it. If we ever buy a house And I get my poker room, might have to steal that!
No wonder I can’t find any solids, great write up. I’m going with Shakespeare themed chips
A great guess! There’s a lot of possibility there. Could even do a different label with each denomination.
Technicolor dreamcoat theme?
One of my favorites, and I don’t like many musicals.
A while back, I was toying with the idea of a set with the Rainbow Room theme. I think it would have looked pretty good. So sure, that's my guess.

View attachment 914222

And my personal, crude mockup. The logo is the Rockefeller Center logo. The stars were going to color-match either the chip base color or edge spots.

View attachment 914223
Are you sure that’s a mock up? Looks pretty formed to me. I love the Art Deco look!
First guess is something with the pharmacy aspect of your life--Pill Pusher Club?

('cause they are all colored like different meds and you push them into the pot. No disrespect to the pharmaceutical industry)
Now this is an idea I may legitimately steal. I would love to do a custom set with edge spots mimicking some of my favorite colorful capsules!
I did love the Muppets as a kid. But totally only as a kid. Psssshhhhttt. Adults don’t watch the Muppets :cool
Damn, Dmoney stole mine...

Let's try "World Stage" (as in, "All the world is a stage...")

Joke's on us, he's just going to pick what he thinks is the best suggestion from this thread. :LOL: :laugh:
The theme for this set is 100% set in stone. But I never said I wouldn’t also steal other ideas for moar projects!!
idk if it'll be the right guess, but I feel good about it, given:


And the colors:
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I really do love this show! I’ve done it 3 times at least. Twice as a props designer and once as a lighting designer. The latter gig is the show that reconnected me with my now wife. She directed the show. It’ll always have a special place for me, just not on the poker felt.
 

allforcharity

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All I can think of for a theme is: Life. (Experiences and milestones, I mean).

Clearly, you have many loves, experiences, skills, hopes, etc., as all of us do. I see the potential for several different sets over several different themes.

A special shout out from one pharmacist to another!
 

Benjaminotaur

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All I can think of for a theme is: Life. (Experiences and milestones, I mean).

Clearly, you have many loves, experiences, skills, hopes, etc., as all of us do. I see the potential for several different sets over several different themes.

A special shout out from one pharmacist to another!
It would be pretty cool to design a set around major life milestones. I'm hoping to have a few more big moments to work with before whipping that one up though.

Thanks for the shout out! I figured there were some other pharmacists here, but it's not something that really comes up in the natural conversation about chipping :LOL: :laugh:
 

opengun

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i’m going with a decade’s theme. depending on when you were born. 50’s ,60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, etc.
 

Benjaminotaur

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Since my last guess seems to be a bust will run with baseball teams/stadiums this time.
A good guess, but not what I’m working on for this set though.

On the other hand, I did just see some live $1 posted by @TheHun that have me thinking hard about starting a set around my Brewers.
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Thanks for continuing to play along!
 

Benjaminotaur

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i’m going with a decade’s theme. depending on when you were born. 50’s ,60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, etc.
This could be a fun way to design a tourney set as guessed by @allforcharity. One sentinel event per decade starting with the low denoms and going up. Being born at the start of a decade makes it pretty easy to spread things out.
 
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