Congratulations! I have a sample set, and they're beautiful chips. I didn't realize you'd been looking so long. So Tim K. finally caved and sold some $1s? He's in Austin, "just up the road" from me in Houston, and I tried to convince him to sell me some of the $1s, too. I lived in Lafayette, LA at the time these chips were being used in the semi-legal games there, so those would have been a pretty special set for me! I'm envious!
First time seeing this set.
I'm a sucker for blue $1s.
Beautiful set you've put together! I'm very jealous of your $1s, of course I have a small (400) set of these and was able to pry a single $1 chip from Tim. Great story and chips. The text below was collected from a few emails and an eBay auction.
Cajun Cup $5 Paulson Clay Obsolete Illegal Poker Chip
This is no ordinary poker chip as it has some interesting history. Some of poker's greatest players may have actually handled this chip. This chip was used for the cash games during the Cajun Cup Poker Tournament held in Louisiana from 1986 to 1989.
The first Cajun Cup was held at the Holiday Inn in Opelousas, Louisiana in 1986, in 1987 it was moved to the Holiday Inn in Lafayette, Louisiana and then in 1988 and 1989 moved to the Hilton in Lafayette. The tournament was raided in 1989 for operating illegally and closed. The tournament was organized by Eldon Elias and Kenny Pyle. Eldon Elias, 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 of r the 1989 Caesar's Super Challenge. The Cajun Cup was once the South's most popular and prestigious poker tournament. Anthony Holden mentions the tournament in his book "Big Deal." Howard Lederer wroth 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. T.J. Cloutier won an Omaha title. Phil Helmuth won the $300 Ace to 5 Lowball and $500 No Limit Holdem titles in the last year of the tournament 1989.
These were purchased from Eldon Elias after the Cajun Cup was closed down by David Bellucci where he used them in the Bellucci's House of Poker in Santa Cruz, California. This poker house was open from 1992 to 1993.
David Bellucci along with his poker partner Howard "Tahoe" Andrew are mentioned in Holden's book. Holden ran into them while playing a tournament in The Mamounia Hotel in Marrakesh, Morocco. David Bellucci 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 that year at the age of 24, the youngest player to win the WSOP.
Holden mentions in his book "All year from Malta to Las Vegas, California to Moraocco, I had been told that one absolute 'must' on the poker circuit is the Cajun Cup, held each Easter weekend ina 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 games the tournament offereed were $500 Limit and Pot Limit Hold'em and Omaha, as well as the main even $1500 No Limit Hold'em freeze out that was dedicated to the memory of Jack Strause 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 onation was made to the local church. Right in the middle of the seven card stud tournament the district attorey 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 ellegal was that 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.
The only website that I found with this chip for sale was http://www.cotob.net/ . Look in the illegas and clubs link on this page then scroll down to Louisiana and find Hilton Lafayette. Notice two chips the $25 and $5 are priced at $22 each.
This chip is in extremely fine used condition with slightl rounding to the square edges. There are no nicks, scratches or chips. It is a Hat & Cane ( H & C ) mold from Paulson, Paul Son, Paul-son and considered to be a clay chip.
I suppose this chip would be considered to be an illegal since it was closed down by the authorities. It is also collected as a California obsolete, since it was used at the now defunct Bellucci's House of Poker for 9 months.
I have not seen this chip for sale on ebay recently.
I have spent countless hours researching information on this chip. I believe the provenance of a chip adds to its enjoyment and value. I would much rather own a chip with some history and interesting stories attached to it.
Here is a tournament schedule from 1989 the last year of the tournament. http://i522.photobucket.com/albums/w348/silverdog1957/image003.jpg
THE GAMES THAT WERE PLAYED: NO LIMIT HOLD'EM, SMALL LIMIT
HOLD'EM, POT LIMIT OMAHA, LOW BALL DRAW ( 2 TO 7 ) THESE ARE THE ONLY ONES
TO START WITH I HAD 6 OR 8 BLACK TOURNAMENT CHIPS ( $ 100.00 )
& ABOUT 10 OR 12 GREEN TOURNAMENT CHIPS ( $ 25.00 )
THANKS FOR THE EMAIL.
I sent your chips yesterday, I know you will enjoy them. I only know of $1 blue, $5 red and $25 green chips that were used in cash games. I have only seen tournament chips available on ebay one time and I unfortunately missed out on winning them. They were plain chips, solid color with denominations on both sides if I remember correctly, but I don't remember the denominations because it has been so long. Seems if my memory is correct they didn't state Cajun Cup on those chips though, but I could be wrong. I believe most if almost all of these tournament chips were confiscated by the state police when the tournament was closed down. I will get you the on the chip breakdown, as I won those chips on ebay a number of years ago. I would have to do some research to remember the year and I also saved the text from the auction. I will send you that later.
Hmmmmm....so that's where all the $1's are hiding. I've been trying to complete a sample of these for ages..if you know anybody willing to shed a single $1 I'm in the market!
Made back in the day when Paul-Son sold awesome chips to commoners.... no casino license required to get real inlays and exceptional edge spot/color combos.