To Play or Not to Play, That is the Question.

Windwalker

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Learning about a new hobby, Lesson #238:

A well-intentioned PCF'er had been advocating caution about selling to me in private messages and groups, and how I never intended to felt some of the grail sets (grail to the community, I’m new enough where I don’t know enough to call them “grail”) I recently acquired, based on comments I specifically made to him. Turns out, he was just cautioning against something that is a big no-no in chipping, but completely non-intuitive to a serial collector like myself. This morning, said PCF'er and I finally realized why we had been talking at each other, and not "to", and attempted (and somewhat succeeded) to see each other's point of view.

I thought the lesson learned is a good one to remind anyone in the space, and for those newbie lurkers, it might alleviate some future angst.

So, in the traditional world of collecting, especially when it comes to things that have utility (classic cars, comic books, first edition books), it is a HUGE no-no to use them extensively, once bought for collection. In fact, in the comic book world, once a comic has been graded by the CGC (the definitive independent grading authority in the field), it goes into a sealed laminate container, and you can't open up that seal unless you're willing to risk the grade of the comic. The idea of reading, or even OPENING a grail comic book is sacrilege. For example -- an opened and read 7.0 versus 9.5 CGC graded Detective Comics #4 (first appearance of Batman) or perhaps the rarest to find in a high grade, Pep Comics #22 (first appearance of Archie Andrews) could mean differences in hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even 1-2 million dollars. Classic cars are similar, in that you want them with lower mileages, and as less driven as possible. And the world of modern first editions -- it would be considered murder to crack open and read a first edition first printing of Catch 22, or Catcher in the Rye.

These are the collecting (mis)conceptions I entered this hobby with.

So, when I got my hands on a couple of grail sets (as denoted by the community), and when I was asked what I planned to do with them because it seemed like my games would not need fracs, I provided what I thought was the respectful answer to anything "grail" -- I planned to collect it, not use it. Turns out that is the worst thing you can say to a serious chipper, and NOT how Grail sets are to be used. What I thought was the appropriate sense of gravitas and respect, I was subsequently informed, was actually disrespectful. Sets are meant to be played. Singles are meant to be collected. This simple idea was something I realized until only AFTER I had acquired a couple of desirable sets.

So, when my formerly antagonistic PCFer friend and I shared each others' point of view, all was understood.

So -- now that I am aware of how grail sets are to be used, you can rest assured that you will see copious amounts of gentle felting of all the chips I have bought. I'm even thinking of putting together a Southern California PCFer game that I am happy to host!

So, that's it, in case you were wondering. I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
 
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sheikh617

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Nah man you're chips are to be used as you intend to use them. Whether that be as trophies or workhorse sets for your game. They belong to you and what you do with them behind closed doors is on you. There are select members on here with 20k plus chips and I call super bullshit if they are going to tell me they put all their sets in play and most dont sit in racks/birdcages/warneke boxes. I have chips that are meant to be played pretty much every game I host and I have others where it s a 'pride of ownership' where they may or may not see felt. TBH, my preference is to put my high end chips in play exclusively at meetups for other chippers to enjoy. My players manhandle and drop chips when the handle of henny is finished lol. I don't want a 7k set on the table.
 

Windwalker

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If you are collecting grail sets not to be played, then this is the saddest post I've ever seen on this site. Jesus....

Josh, I think you misunderstood the whole post. I was just saying that I thought that grail sets were NOT supposed to be played with, because I didn't understand the collecting culture. Now that I do, already am using them. Used my Outposts last week, and the Giraffe's are being used (with some Mint Club 100s) this Sunday.

Just been at this 6 weeks, bud. Give a guy a break. :)
 

RichMahogany

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Josh, I think you misunderstood the whole post. I was just saying that I thought that grail sets were NOT supposed to be played with, because I didn't understand the collecting culture. Now that I do, already am using them. Used my Outposts last week, and the Giraffe's are being used (with some Mint Club 100s) this Sunday.

Just been at this 6 weeks, bud. Give a guy a break. :)

I don’t really understand the point of this thread then. You were doing what you thought you were supposed to, which is not play them, now you’re doing what you think you’re supposed to, which is play them.

Why can’t you just decide for yourself?
 

Windwalker

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I don’t really understand the point of this thread then. You were doing what you thought you were supposed to, which is not play them, now you’re doing what you think you’re supposed to, which is play them.

Why can’t you just decide for yourself?

Point of the thread was to help other newbies who may not know about how to think about collectible chips. A thread like this would have been helpful to me, for sure. Isn't this the point of a forum? Discussion, learning? Either way, it may not seem like a huge revelation to you, but it was big 'a-ha' for me, and I shared it.
 

justincarothers

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Josh, I think you misunderstood the whole post. I was just saying that I thought that grail sets were NOT supposed to be played with, because I didn't understand the collecting culture. Now that I do, already am using them. Used my Outposts last week, and the Giraffe's are being used (with some Mint Club 100s) this Sunday.

Just been at this 6 weeks, bud. Give a guy a break. :)
They are your chips! Do with them as you please!
 

Marius L

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Get some pictures of them in play for us to see! Enjoy them beauties
 

Jambine

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For example -- an opened and read 7.0 versus 9.5 CGC graded Detective Comics #4 (first appearance of Batman) or perhaps the rarest to find in a high grade, Pep Comics #22 (first appearance of Archie Andrews) could mean differences in hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even 1-2 million dollars.
No worries man. A lot of us here would probably dive straight into reading these with a beer and a bag of Cheetos
 

RichMahogany

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Point of the thread was to help other newbies who may not know about how to think about collectible chips. A thread like this would have been helpful to me, for sure. Isn't this the point of a forum? Discussion, learning? Either way, it may not seem like a huge revelation to you, but it was big 'a-ha' for me, and I shared it.

Fair enough.

Correct though, I didn’t have an “a-ha” moment like this because the thought of not using my chips never occurred to me. If I don’t plan to use them, what’s the point?
 

madforpancakes

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Thankfully poker chips are significantly more durable than other collectibles. If your home game meets for 5 or 6 hours every couple weeks, it would take a couple years to significantly wear any of your chips and seriously decrease the value. With more sets, each set hits the felt less -with the selection of chips you have now, you may only play with a set a couple of times a year! Enjoy em!
 

Windwalker

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Fair enough.

Correct though, I didn’t have an “a-ha” moment like this because the thought of not using my chips never occurred to me. If I don’t plan to use them, what’s the point?

Did you spend 20 years before you entered the hobby collecting 5.2 million comics books you didn't open, and 23,500 first editions you couldn't read? I did. Inertia bud, inertia.
 

realcdn

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I can appreciate both sides of the argument. I can see the allure from a collectors point of view of having a rare, mint set, that doesn't see the felt, especially when there are thousands of dollars invested. In some ways I think sets can be viewed as pieces of art, and appreciated without being played. Someone who buys a high value painting doesn't need to fondle it to appreciate it!

Lastly, I think there are more set "collectors" out there than you are being lead to believe; why are there so many sales of "Mint. Never Played!" chips on this site? How many of those premium sets you acquired were sold to you as such?

Your chips, do as you like!

Cheers
 

RichMahogany

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Did you spend 20 years before you entered the hobby collecting 5.2 million comics books you didn't open, and 23,500 first editions you couldn't read? I did. Inertia bud, inertia.

No but I spent my early to teens through my late 30s collecting rare colored vinyl. I don’t have a single record that hasn’t been played multiple times
 

JMC9389

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I can appreciate both sides of the argument. I can see the allure from a collectors point of view of having a rare, mint set, that doesn't see the felt, especially when there are thousands of dollars invested. In some ways I think sets can be viewed as pieces of art, and appreciated without being played. Someone who buys a high value painting doesn't need to fondle it to appreciate it!

Lastly, I think there are more set "collectors" out there than you are being lead to believe; why are there so many sales of "Mint. Never Played!" chips on this site? How many of those premium sets you acquired were sold to you as such?

Your chips, do as you like!

Cheers
This is how I feel. Has anyone ever seen a somewhat worn down set of boat chips, BTP, SB, etc? I've seen some worn down Jack's, but that was ONE time.

Do as you wish with your chips.
 

madforpancakes

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Lastly, I think there are more set "collectors" out there than you are being lead to believe; why are there so many sales of "Mint. Never Played!" chips on this site? How many of those premium sets you acquired were sold to you as such?

I feel like people overuse the word "mint" - I bet a good number of "mint" chips being sold have seen the felt a couple of times.
 

upNdown

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One big difference is that there is no grading system for poker chips. (I think some singles have been graded, but the hobby seems to resist it)
And we toss around words like “mint” and “unplayed” as if the mean something. Yeah, I can tell by the chalky coating on Paulsons that they haven’t been handled much, but if, (in the example of the latest chip room sale), they were dumped into oils drums for shipping, are they really mint?
Some guys like to wash and oil their new chips - I definitely don’t consider oiled chips to be mint.
we all know a sharp edge when we feel it and that’s what we’re generally looking for. And that sharp edge will still be there after a game or ten.
 
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madforpancakes

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This is how I feel. Has anyone ever seen a somewhat worn down set of boat chips, BTP, SB, etc? I've seen some worn down Jack's, but that was ONE time.

Do as you wish with your chips.
There is a member here who has some ES chips that have pretty rounded edges, complete with homebrewed hooker juice! Gonna search a bit and see if I can find the pics.
 

GenghisKhan

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Glad to hear you were able to see each other's point of view. As a collector in other hobbies, it makes sense you would think they shouldn't be played.

Now that it's out of the way, can't wait to see more pictures of these sets in play. :tup:

All this comic book talk just reminded me the time I went away to University and my mother threw away my comic book collection. So many Conan the Barbarian etc....the next time I went away it was the collection of classic gaming systems.....WTF mom! Lol
 

Windwalker

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No but I spent my early to teens through my late 30s collecting rare colored vinyl. I don’t have a single record that hasn’t been played multiple times

I don't know anything about collecting vinyl. I don't know if playing a rare vinyl takes its value down, or is looked down up on by the vinyl collecting community. I literally gave you, in my original post, a whole paragraph on how collecting certain things colored my perspective.

I'm beginning to realize the point is not important to you, just arguing is. So, I'll leave it here. :)
 

Sambukan

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Nah man you're chips are to be used as you intend to use them. Whether that be as trophies or workhorse sets for your game. They belong to you and what you do with them behind closed doors is on you. There are select members on here with 20k plus chips and I call super bullshit if they are going to tell me they put all their sets in play and most dont sit in racks/birdcages/warneke boxes. I have chips that are meant to be played pretty much every game I host and I have others where it s a 'pride of ownership' where they may or may not see felt. TBH, my preference is to put my high end chips in play exclusively at meetups for other chippers to enjoy. My players manhandle and drop chips when the handle of henny is finished lol. I don't want a 7k set on the table.
Learning about a new hobby, Lesson #238:

A well-intentioned PCF'er had been advocation caution about selling to me in private messages and groups, and how I never intended to felt some of the GRAIL sets I recently acquired, based on comments I specifically made to him. Turns out, he was just cautioning against something that is a big no-no in chipping, but completely non-intuitive to a serial collector like myself. This morning, said PCF'er and I finally realized why we had been talking at each other, and not "to", and attempted (and somewhat succeeded) to see each other's point of view.

I thought the lesson learned is a good one to remind anyone in the space, and for those newbie lurkers, it might alleviate some future angst.

So, in the traditional world of collecting, especially when it comes to things that have utility (classic cars, comic books, first edition books), it is a HUGE no-no to use them extensively, once bought for collection. In fact, in the comic book world, once a comic has been graded by the CGC (the definitive independent grading authority in the field), it goes into a sealed laminate container, and you can't open up that seal unless you're willing to risk the grade of the comic. The idea of reading, or even OPENING a GRAIL comic book is sacrilege. For example -- an opened and read 7.0 versus 9.5 CGC graded Detective Comics #4 (first appearance of Batman) or perhaps the rarest to find in a high grade, Pep Comics #22 (first appearance of Archie Andrews) could mean differences in hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even 1-2 million dollars. Classic cars are similar, in that you want them with lower mileages, and as less driven as possible. And the world of modern first editions -- it would be considered murder to crack open and read a first edition first printing of Catch 22, or Catcher in the Rye.

These are the collecting (mis)conceptions I entered this hobby with.

So, when I got my hands on a couple of GRAIL sets, and when I was asked what I planned to do with them because it seemed like my games would not need fracs, I provided what I thought was the respectful answer to anything "GRAIL" -- I planned to collect it, not use it. Turns out that is the worst thing you can say to a serious chipper, and NOT how Grail sets are to be used. What I thought was the appropriate sense of gravitas and respect, I was subsequently informed, was actually disrespectful. Sets are meant to be played. Singles are meant to be collected. This simple idea was something I realized until only AFTER I had acquired a couple of desirable sets.

So, when my formerly antagonistic PCFer friend and I shared each others' point of view, all was understood.

So -- now that I am aware of how GRAIL sets are to be used, you can rest assured that you will see copious amounts of gentle felting of all the chips I have bought. I'm even thinking of putting together a Southern California PCFer game that I am happy to host!

So, that's it, in case you were wondering. I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
I understand it. I had to learn it too. I came from sneaker collecting, where you dont wear the sneakers, keep them in a dark box so the light wont wash out colors. I must say i enjoyed taking them out of the box and putting them back.
As i got into chipping i felt the same with some of the chips i bought. But it did help me have more fun, as i use them all now. I even wore most of my new sneakers. Sometimes it still kind of hurts (samething with very mint chips, as they will never be as mint as they were) taking them out of the box and wear them, but then i realize how much fun it is to actually enjoy them :)
 
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