Thursday, February 25, 2010

The case of the missing chips

I played in a tournament last night at the Horseshoe Casino (Tunica) that they call Wednesday Super Stack. Some tournaments let you start with 10,000 in chips, then rush the blinds up at a lightning pace. Because you begin with so many chips, they call it deep stack, but that's smoke and mirrors. (See Arnold Snyder's article here or buy his book to learn how to calculate whether a tournament has a favorable structure.)

Last night, the players started with 20,000 chips and the levels were 20 minutes with blinds going up at a normal rate -- so it truly was a good structure unlike some of the other so-called "deep stack" events. The buy-in was $110 of which $10 went to the dealers. This was one of the few tournaments I've played in which we didn't chop (split the prize money), and I finished second of out 33 runners.

Now that I've got the brag part out of the way, here is a situation that occurred: After nine levels, we had a 10-minute break. They were going to color up the black chips (worth 100 each). The blinds were going up to 3000/6000 with a 500 ante, so black chips weren't needed anymore.

I had 31 black chips, so I put them in three stacks of 10 each (worth a total of 3000) and tossed the other chip to the side. The normal procedure is that they will give you three orange chips (worth 1000 each), then race for the odd chip(s). This means the dealer will draw cards -- the more odd chips you have, the more cards the dealer gives you. In the race, you can win a purple chip (worth 500) if you get lucky and are dealt one of the high cards.

Sometimes, I stay and watch. The staff are usually pretty accurate, but mistakes can happen. I had to use the bathroom, however, so didn't wait around. Before I left, I put my card cap on top of my remaing chips with the stacks of black out in front.

When I returned, there were no orange chips. I asked the dealer what happened, and he said he didn't know because they pushed during the break, and he had just arrived at the table. The guy next to me said, oh they put them in your stack. Now this is a bunch of shit hot air -- they never do that.

It wasn't the end of the world as I had around 100,000 chips at the time, so an extra 3000 wasn't going to make or break me, but I'm just sayin'. I called for the tournament director and explained what happened. She called her assistant who had done the color up at our table. They acted like they believed me, but the three orange chips (worth 1000 each) were gone.

If you were tournament director, what would you do? What do you think their ruling was?

I'll post what happened after readers get a chance to leave their guess in a comment.


  1. My guess is they said you were SOL.

  2. Congrats on your 2nd place. That had to be a nice cash. I am pretty sure they said "Sorry sir there is nothing we can do, although we do believe you". As honest as we know YOU are MoJo there are far too many folks who are not. The TD would have no way to locate the(stolen) missing chips and short of counting all the chips at all the tables to see if indeed they are 3k short I do not see any remedy that would remain fair to all the players in the tourney. Lucky for you that you were sitting on 100k in chips. WAY TO GO!!!!

  3. Congrats on the cash. I agree with diverjoules. Unless they're willing to wind back the tape to see what happened during the color up process, they're probably not going to throw you the extra orange chips. It sucks though.

  4. Time for the video replay. OK, it's probably not video any more, so digital playback.

  5. I haven't a clue, as you know, but congratulations on your good playing!

    And thanks very much for your kind comments on Ocala DP...much appreciated!

  6. Don't they have cameras? They could easily replay the whole thing.

    Congratulations on your 2nd place - how much did you win?

  7. I can't say what they actually did but from my own experience, I'd be willing to put some cash on "sorry Mojo, you should've been here to make sure it was done correctly."

    Then and only then, I'm also sure they reviewed the chip up and busted someones butt if they found something wrong. That of course, would most likely stay an internal matter.

    Nice finish, congrats!

  8. Thanks to all who left comments. What happened is told in my latest post. Second place was 800 (first would have been 1450).