Some days you can win with an ace high and other times you can’t win with quad aces has been how we sign off our newsletters for the last couple of years. We’ve had several people comment on that from time to time but recently we had someone who shall remain nameless who refused to believe that could ever really happen. We told this individual that we had actually blogged about a game between Justin Phillips and Moriyuki Mabuchi at the 2009 WSOP. Moriyuki splashed all in with Quad Aces and Justin snap called him with a Royal Flush. All you could hear on the floor were gasps of air being taken in mixed with a few OMGs and WOWs and Uhhhhs. Not a good way to be sent to the rail. Most people would agree that that is a statistical improbability and they would be right. In fact, the odds of a royal flush and quad aces happening in the same hand are, according to the announcer on the video, 1 in 2.7 billion hands played!
Here’s the video for your viewing pleasure . . . and to prove to our Doubting Thomas friend that, although highly unlikely, this could happen. You can be assured that if I was holding Quad Aces after the river card was turned, all my clay poker chips would be splashed in just like Moriyui’s.
If you google “The History of poker chips” you will find enough results to satisfy your desire to learn all about the “poker chips” we have been playing with since the early 1800’s. There’s nothing new that I can tell you that hasn’t already been said. Maybe future technology will come up with some mind-blowingly different way to go “all in,” but for right now it is still pretty much the same as it always was and using poker chips is still the most accurate and fun way to play the game.
At least for now, the biggest question still out there is; what exactly is a “Casino Quality Poker Chip”? Ever since poker’s current popularity, almost anyone you ask and certainly most players believe that a real casino quality chip is 11.5 grams and it’s made out of clay. Not so fast.
Today, a standard casino chip is 39 millimeters in diameter with a weight ranging from 8.5 grams to 10.5 grams…not 11.5! Clay composition chips are very popular with casinos and the general poker playing public. The vast majority of “Casino Quality Poker Chips” are “clay” chips that in reality are better described as compression molded chips. However, ceramic chips were introduced sometime in the 80’s as an alternative to clay chips, and are also currently used by casinos worldwide. These ceramic chips are actually injection-molded chips made with a special plastic or resin formula that approximates the feel and sound of ceramic or porcelain.
Going against most players way of thinking, I’m here to tell you that no poker chip, or any kind of casino gaming chip, going back all the way to the 80s, 70s, 60s and maybe even before that, has been made out of 100% clay. As far as I know that’s the real story. By the way, for my money, the best clay poker chips out there are the Paulson ceramic clay composite chips.
After a long flight from NY on Saturday back home to Texas, then watching the Texas A&M Aggies roll over the Crimson Tide for what will surely go down as a historical, if not hysterical (considering the predictions about Texas A&M not being SEC-ready!) upset in college football, then spending the next few days catching up on all our missed shows: The Voice, The Good Wife, The X Factor, Revenge and a few other things that needed to be dealt with at TPS , we finally got a chance to write this blog.
While we were gone we had several questions about clay poker chips and how to take care of them. Clay poker chips have a very distinct feel and sound to them and are used by most professional poker players. We recommend cleaning your chips with a little bit of baby oil or mineral oil using a soft bristle toothbrush. Clean them one at a time to prevent them from being scratched and then let them dry for 24 hours. Always store them in chip trays or better yet in a poker chip case to prevent any damage to them. If you do this once in a while, your poker chips will last forever.
I have watched a lot of poker at live tournaments everywhere and lots more on TV. But I have to agree with Gabe Kaplan of “High Stakes Poker” that this game is one of the “most outstanding plays in high stakes poker, period.”
Tom Dwan outplays Phil Ivey and bluffs him out with an 8-9 of spades against his A-6 of diamonds. After everyone, except Ivey, folded to Dwan’s cool $25,000 raise, the flop showed a 10-d, Q-c, and K-d. Tom is dominated by Phil’s nut flush draw and inside straight draw but it doesn’t scare him and he raises $45,800. Phil calls. The turn is the 3 of spades, a total blank for both players. Tom Dwan, with only a 9 high, bets $123,200; that’s a scary bluff. Phil calls again. The river is the 6 of clubs giving Ivey the wining hand by making a pair of sixes on the river, even though he misses on both his nut flush and straight draws. The pot is now $408,700 and Tom Dwan blasts out a $268,200 raise. Phil folds to one of the greatest bluffs in high stakes poker ever.
I don’t think I could ever do that and get away with it. I would be sweating bullets and giving off every tell known to mankind. Are you a rock steady, non-readable bluffer? How much would you bluff with an 8-9 of spades at a table with six players? Would you bet all your hard earned clay poker chips?