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Doc
Doc
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April 18th, 2013 at 4:09:11 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

... but is a spade supposed to be a shovel? Or is the shovel named after the symbol?


I can't ignore the set-up....

There is an old story about a convent in which some renovations were being performed. The construction crew was a bit coarse in manner and language for the sensitivity of some of the nuns. One of the young sisters expressed her concern to the Mother Superior who replied, "You must remember that these are just common men -- they call a spade a spade."

"Oh, no," replied the young nun, "they call it a f**king shovel!"


Quote: kenarman

...the logo is featured prominently on the signage of the Washington state card rooms.


Thanks again. A spade pip does make sense.
Doc
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April 19th, 2013 at 6:59:02 AM permalink
Category: Caribbean Islands
City: Oranjestad, Aruba
Casino: Alhambra


Today, we begin a new geographic category for this thread. I am calling the category "Caribbean Islands," but we will see that not all of these casinos are located on islands in the Caribbean; some of them are really in the Atlantic. All of the souvenir chips were collected while I was touring on cruise ships, and it is quite possible to take a "Caribbean Cruise" that never enters the Caribbean Sea.

Aruba is a resort island 17 miles off the coast of Venezuela and genuinely is in the southern Caribbean Sea. It is one of four countries that constitute the Kingdom of the Netherlands. There are several common terms that are used to associate Aruba with other islands in the area.

First, it is one of the Lesser Antilles, meaning it is one of the smaller islands and not Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, or Puerto Rico. The Cayman Islands are often also considered a part of the Greater Antilles, in spite of their small size, simply because of their proximity to the larger islands. That likely makes them part of the same geographic set or plate, I suppose.

Second, Aruba is one of the Leeward Antilles as opposed to the Windward Antilles, based on the direction of prevailing winds.

Third, Aruba is often spoken of as part of the Netherland Antilles, even though the island seceded from that group in 1986 and has been an independent country since. The rest of the Netherland Antilles dissolved as a group in 2010.

Finally, the neighboring islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao are often called the ABC islands.

The casinos in the Caribbean do not seem to be all that concerned as to whose chips they have in play, particularly in the $1 denomination, and the token that serves as today's Casino Chip of the Day is an example of that. This token is marked for the Alhambra Casino, which opened in December 1984 and is located among a strip of resorts on the west coast of the island, north of the capital city of Oranjestad.

According to CasinoCity.com, the Alhambra has 74 gaming machines and 16 table games. I would have loved to have played there and collected a souvenir chip, but they don't open their table games until 6 p.m., and my cruise ship was departing port too early that evening for me to still be at a casino miles up the beach after 6.

Instead, I received this souvenir token while it was in play at the Seaport Casino in the Seaport Village commercial development in downtown Oranjestad, just a short walk from the cruise ship port. That casino opened in 1993 and is listed in CasinoCity.com as having 788 machines, 7 poker tables, and 33 other gaming tables. I don't remember it as being that big. I played blackjack and lost $50. The Seaport Casino used only Alhambra tokens as their $1 chips while I was there.

CasinoCity.com claims that the Alhambra casino belongs to Treasure Bay Gaming and Resorts, Inc. and that the Seaport Casino belongs to Marriott International, Inc. If that information is correct (and if it was correct when I visited in November 2009), then I have no idea why the token was being used at the "wrong" casino. Note that it is marked "To be used only at the Alhambra Casino" on one side and "Negotiable only at the Alhambra Casino" on the other side. The Seaport Casino was using Seaport chips in the larger denominations, but that is not what I collect!

I do not see a mint mark on this token, and it is shown in the MOGH catalog page for the Alhambra Casino without any identification of a manufacturer. That catalog does show two different $1 chips for the Seaport Casino. Wish I had been able to get one when I was there.



I guess that I am stretching things a bit today, but I thought I would try to provide another travel photo. When we were in Aruba in November 2009, all of the commercial areas of Oranjestad were already decorated for Christmas. We had quite a bit of trouble associating the hot weather, the tropical vegetation, and the idea of Santa Claus in a furry red coat. Maybe those of you from Miami or southern California are accustomed to that, but my wife and I aren't. This display of a pool, waterfall, Christmas trees, and ornaments with Santas and reindeer was on the plaza right outside of the Seaport Casino.




Edit 9/11/13: I just received a very nice gift from forum member JW17, who visited Aruba this summer and gathered some chips. The Alhambra chip shown below is a ceramic chip from Bourgogne-et-Grasset, the European unit of Gaming Partners International. Note the BG logo in the 9:00 position.

After all of the chips I have posted since starting this thread, it seems this issue would have come up before: The B&G section of the GPI web site indicates that B&G makes plastic injection molded chips. However, this chip certainly looks just like the "ceramic" chips made by Chipco International. It even has the same kind of surface texture. As I look back over the thread, it seems there may have been several B&G chips that look like ceramic chips and several that look like plastic injection molded chips. I don't know how to reconcile that to the B&G web site.

There are no hidden images on this chip, but I really liked the way the chip fluoresced, so I thought I would include the image of the chip under UV light.




Edit 3/11/19: PokerGrinder has been touring South America and the Caribbean islands to collect chips, some of which are from casinos already covered in this thread. He posted these chips here, including a different one from the Alhambra.
Last edited by: Doc on Mar 11, 2019
Doc
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April 20th, 2013 at 6:12:30 AM permalink
Category: Caribbean Islands
City: Willemstad, Curaçao
Casino: Americana


Like Aruba, Curaçao is one of the constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was the Island Territory of Curaçao and part of the Netherlands Antilles until that group dissolved in 2010. It is located roughly 40 or 50 miles from Venezuela and a similar distance from Aruba.

Willemstad is the capital of Curaçao and previously served as capital of the Netherlands Antilles. The central part of the city lies in two districts known as Punda and Otrobanda, which are separated by the Sint Anna Bay, a channel that leads from the open Caribbean Sea to a large natural harbor. The names Punda and Otrobanda come from Dutch and respectively mean "the point" and "the other side."

My wife and I visited Curaçao in November 2009 as one of the ports on a southern Caribbean cruise. In my ignorance of Dutch, I suspected that Punda was something like the French Pont and meant "bridge," since it was the side of the city that we had to get to by bridge from our ship's docking point. At least I was able to guess correctly the meaning of Otrobanda.

The two sides of the bay are indeed connected by a very interesting pontoon bridge for pedestrian traffic. The bridge is pivoted on one end, with a motor launch built into the other. When there is a ship entering or leaving the harbor, the motor launch rotates the bridge until it is tight against one shore of the bay/channel, allowing the ship to pass. While the bridge is out of position, ferries transport people between Punda and Otrobanda. There is also a high, modern bridge spanning the bay at the harbor end to accommodate vehicular traffic.

Punda, to the south side of the bay, is the original part of the city and has been there since 1634, when the Dutch captured the island from Spain. Otrobanda is the "new" section of the city, having been developed only since 1707.

I suppose right now is as good a time as any to admit that my records for this chip-collecting excursion are in dismal shape. Before leaving on the cruise, I tried to gather information about the casinos in Curaçao on line. I found that there was a significant conflict of information available and that the casinos themselves offered essentially no reliable information via the web. I still have the little GoogleMaps printout of Willemstad with a few casinos marked, to help guide me to my destinations.

It didn't really work. Even as I try to reconstruct the story now, I can't get it straight. When we arrived in port, we left the ship and walked around both Punda and Otrobanda, as I was wildly snapping photos in between stops at casinos. When I could find a gaming establishment with table games open in mid-day, I played blackjack briefly, collected a souvenir chip, and headed on. I did not do a reliable job of recording my sessions. At all. I'm embarrassed at how bad these notes are. I only wrote down the names of four places, yet I got home with six different souvenir $1 chips. Not representative of my usual obsessive compulsion, and my memory can't fill in the gaps now.

Moreover, the MOGH catalog and CasinoCity.com disagree about what casinos exist in Curaçao now, and the casinos themselves still offer no useful info. According to MOGH, some of the casinos whose chips I came home with had already closed or changed names years before I visited the island.

Now it's quite possible that the casinos in Curaçao were as bad or worse than those in Aruba when it came to caring about whose chips they had in play I know I left the island with one chip that said it was from St. Maarten and I may not have kept straight just which place I had picked up the chips that were in my pocket.

Honest, I was not drunk, but it would be foolish for me to try to claim that I have a completely reliable story to tell. The best I can offer for this thread is to present one chip per day and tell what I can without taking any oaths to the truth. I hope that meets everyone's needs.

The Americana Casino is/was located in the Otrabanda district. It is one of the casinos that my notes do not even indicate that I got to, even though I think I remember going into the place while walking back to the ship. I suppose that it is understandable that I could forget to make notes before boarding the ship.

However, there remains a question as to whether I was in the real Americana Casino, in spite of the fact that I left the island with an Americana chip. The MOGH catalog indicates that the Americana Casino became the Paradise Plaza Casino in 2008, a year before I visited Curaçao! On the other hand, GoogleMaps still has the Americana Casino as a searchable item and provides a little flag as to its location. What can I say?

The souvenir shown below is a purple and white plastic injection molded chip. The MOGH catalog says that this chip is from Bud Jones, and in spite of my recent complaints about that catalog attributing almost every plastic chip to Bud Jones, I think they got it right this time.

This chip looks almost identical to the chip that I posted from the Santa Fe Station Casino in Las Vegas, except that chip was blue instead of purple. The Santa Fe Station chip includes a Bud Jones "BJ" logo on its center inlay, so I will go along with MOGH in believing that the Americana Casino chip came from the same source. The chip I posted from the Augustine Casino in California also has this same design in a pale blue. That one does not have a BJ logo, but I accepted it as being one of the Bud Jones chips when I posted it -- before I became suspicious of some of the MOGH identifications.



If I can't tell a reliable story about the chips, I might as well post another travel photo. This one shows Willemstad, Curaçao, looking from Punda across the bay to Otrobanda. On the right half of the photo, you can see the pontoon bridge.

Now let's see how well you can track my directions around the photo. To the left of the far end of the bridge, there is a low building that is dark red; to the left of that is a white pyramid roof, perhaps a tent. Right behind those two structures is a multi-tone blue building maybe five stories tall. That is the building that houses the Americana/Paradise Plaza Casino.

AcesAndEights
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April 20th, 2013 at 12:03:38 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

Today we come to the last of the New Mexico casinos represented in my collection...


I gotta say, the New Mexico casinos have the nicest looking chips so far, that I can remember. Or maybe it's just that they're the most original designs. I have mostly just been skimming this thread and looking at the pictures :).
"So drink gamble eat f***, because one day you will be dust." -ontariodealer
AcesAndEights
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April 20th, 2013 at 12:43:33 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

Category: Canada
City: Richmond, British Columbia
Casino: River Rock


I thought I had been to the River Rock, but after consulting my spreadsheet, it was actually the Starlight Casino in New Westminster, BC, about 16 kilometers east of River Rock. Almost :).

Despite living in WA state and traveling through Vancouver on average twice per year (to play at various Ultimate tournaments), the Starlight is the only casino I've ever been to in Vancouver. Usually I'm with a big group of people, so convincing them to stop to play casino games while we're all tired and sweaty from running around all weekend and just want to hit the border before the rush so we can get home to shower...well you get the idea from that terrible run-on sentence :).

The one trip where I managed to hit the Starlight I was driving home from skiing at Whistler and was solo. I was disappointed to see that all the blackjack games were CSMs, so no counting opportunities. I have heard that most, if not all, BJ games in Vancouver are CSMs, which is annoying. Of course this doesn't mean that there aren't any AP opportunities, but I'm pretty lazy. I played some dark side craps at Starlight and came out ahead.

I would really like to make it to the Edgewater one of these days, it looks nice.
"So drink gamble eat f***, because one day you will be dust." -ontariodealer
AcesAndEights
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April 20th, 2013 at 1:45:33 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

I have a very few European chips that I will be posting before my current collection runs out, and that will happen in three or four more weeks. I also have one chip from Asia that I received as a gift, and I will be posting that one at the end of my run.

If you have a few unusual chips/casinos (like Prague) that you would like to post before "a long, long time from now", perhaps we can work those in before I turn the thread over to rdw4potus to post his next year or so worth of U.S. chips from casinos I haven't been to yet. Let me know what you would like to do so we can coordinate such a thing.

Same for anyone else that has a chip they may have been chomping at the bit to post. I rather suspect that rdw would be willing to wait just a few days more before taking that thread on as another full-time job! It's a lot of fun to post a chip and tell a story of some kind, but posting one every day for months on end sometimes seems a bit like having a job writing a daily article for a newspaper. I've enjoyed getting a break every once in a while and having rdw cover for me. He will probably be interested in getting some breaks down the way after he has carried the lead role in the thread for a while.


Doc, I don't much care, to be honest. I have a grand total of 3 casino chips: 1 from Oregon, 1 from Washington state, and the aforementioned one from Prague. I'm happy to wait for RDW to finish his collection, or if he wants a short break I'm happy to post my 3. I'm sure many others have a few here and there.

It's actually quite possible RDW has the 2 stateside chips covered already, as his collection is more extensive than yours. If that is the case, I will just piggyback mine on when he posts his, as he has been doing for you.
"So drink gamble eat f***, because one day you will be dust." -ontariodealer
kenarman
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April 20th, 2013 at 3:56:02 PM permalink
Quote: AcesAndEights

Quote: Doc

Category: Canada
City: Richmond, British Columbia
Casino: River Rock


I would really like to make it to the Edgewater one of these days, it looks nice.



The Edgewater is probably the worst of the 5 greater Vancouver casinos although better than the 2 racinos. Their building is an old 'temporary' building from Expo 86 (the BC Pavillion) and getting pretty tired. The casino is on a short term lease with the Provincial government on the site. The government no longer wants to maintain the old building and the casino owners without a long term lease are reluctant to spend money of renovations. The City of Vancouver keeps thwarting any relocation/expansion plans the casino has proposed so Vancouver proper may soon be without a casino.
Be careful when you follow the masses, the M is sometimes silent.
AcesAndEights
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April 20th, 2013 at 10:03:29 PM permalink
Quote: kenarman

Quote: AcesAndEights

Quote: Doc

Category: Canada
City: Richmond, British Columbia
Casino: River Rock


I would really like to make it to the Edgewater one of these days, it looks nice.



The Edgewater is probably the worst of the 5 greater Vancouver casinos although better than the 2 racinos. Their building is an old 'temporary' building from Expo 86 (the BC Pavillion) and getting pretty tired. The casino is on a short term lease with the Provincial government on the site. The government no longer wants to maintain the old building and the casino owners without a long term lease are reluctant to spend money of renovations. The City of Vancouver keeps thwarting any relocation/expansion plans the casino has proposed so Vancouver proper may soon be without a casino.


Okay then!
"So drink gamble eat f***, because one day you will be dust." -ontariodealer
Doc
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April 21st, 2013 at 7:43:15 AM permalink
Category: Caribbean Islands
City: Paradise Island, Bahamas
Casino: Atlantis


The Commonwealth of the Bahamas consists of more than 700 islands. In spite of the name of this thread category, and in spite of many common references, the Bahamas are in the Atlantic, east and southeast of southern Florida, and not in the Caribbean at all. The capital is Nassau, which is located on the northeaster quadrant of the 80 square mile island of New Providence.

Just a couple hundred yards off the Nassau waterfront lies the 1.1 square mile Paradise Island, which is almost entirely developed as a tourist resort. Two bridges, one built in 1966 and an adjacent one built in the late 1990s, connect Paradise Island to Nassau. A mile west of the bridges lies downtown Nassau and Prince George Wharf, the port for cruise ships and various other large vessels.

In 1976, my wife and I went on our very first cruise, a four-night trip from Miami to Freeport and Nassau. The evening that we spent in Nassau, we went with a group of other passengers with whom we shared our dinner table to a stage performance at the Britannia Beach Hotel and Casino. Our taxi driver, and everyone else I heard talk of the place, referred to it as the "British Casino." As I dig into the history now, it seems that the casino portion of the resort may have really been known as the Paradise Island Casino.

Later, that resort was expanded and renamed the Coral Towers. It was one of the resorts that were eventually incorporated as parts of the Atlantis complex. That is an enormous resort for such a small island, and everything I have seen there is very nearly first class. I have heard that they have run some attractive air/lodging promo offers, but I have never stayed there.

My wife and I have visited Nassau on four additional cruises in 1977, 1994, 2006, and 2012, dropping in on Atlantis during the last two visits. Last year, they had significantly reduced access to the full complex for people like us who were not staying there.

CasinoCity.com says that Atlantis has 830 gaming machines and 71 table games. The casino's web site says over 850 machines and 90 table games. It seemed bigger than that to me. Perhaps my opinion is influenced by other amenities the CasioCity web site claims that the complex has twenty-two restaurants in addition to the 3,913-room hotel. The décor of the complex is just loaded with large glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly, surpassing those at the Bellagio, I believe. It also has a water park and a dolphin habitat.

When we visited Atlantis in 2006, I played craps but failed to record my session results. When I returned last year, I played craps again and blew $200. Hope that the first visit was better than that.

I gathered the souvenir chip below on my visit in 2006. It is a white SCV/LCV Paulson hat and cane chip with two wide edge inserts in dark green and light purple. Until I began preparing this write-up, I had not realized that the two sides of the chip were different, thinking it was just the SCV mold. Had to pull the camera out again and get another photo for today. The MOGH catalog says that versions of this chip were offered in SCV, LCV, and the SCV/LCV like mine.

The center inlay is undersized and has a split gray/black ring around a white disk with the casino name and location, denomination mark, and a pale blue dolphin logo. I'm not sure I can figure out the meaning of the "AC" and "SI" that are next to the dolphin. "Atlantis Casino" seems plausible, but I can't get the rest of it. Any suggestions?




And now for the travel photo of the day. (No, I don't think I'll start that thread; I'm already doing too much of it in this thread.) The image below shows how the hulking Atlantis complex dominates Paradise Island, as viewed from a ship's deck at Prince George Wharf in downtown Nassau.



In a discussion about the Atlantis on this forum a year and a half ago, I posted this same photo plus a number of images of the Dale Chihuly glass sculptures that are all over the place and a couple of other features I saw in the casino. Check out that post if you are interested in the décor of Atlantis.
Doc
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April 22nd, 2013 at 5:53:33 AM permalink
The apparent level of interest in the Caribbean casinos and their chips is definitely underwhelming.

Tough. You're just going to have to see all of them anyway. At least the ones that I have. At least those of you who read this thread.

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