In the previous post, I described a situation in which My 3000 in black chips disappeared at a tournament during a color up. What happened after I called for the Tournament Director?
Some of the readers who commented were on the right track. The TD had the game continue, went to the phone and called security. She was nearby and I could hear her describe the table, my seat number and what happened.
A few minutes later, the phone rang, she took the call and got her answer:
When they color up the chips no longer needed, a player who has the most ($100 black chips in this case), buys the chips from the others. Then the tournament staff buy all the (black) chips from whoever bought them. This speeds things up.
What happened in my case, as shown on the "tapes" (it is probably digital, but they call it tapes from the old days), the dealer pushed my three stacks of 1000 to the guy who was buying them and asked for three orange chips (total of 3000). The buyer tossed him the three orange. The dealer then tossed the three orange back to the buyer instead of to me!!
The TD explained this to the table, then told the buyer he owed me three orange. The buyer was not nice about it.
"I want to see the tapes!" he demanded. The dealer explained that that was not happening. The staff reviewed the "tapes" and that's what they were there for.
"By buying the chips, I was doing you a favor," he continued. "I can tell you one thing, I'll never buy up chips again."
Come on dude. It was only 3000 (he had around 60,000) and it's not yours. They saw it on the tapes and you owe the money.
The amount of chips wasn't that important, but it gave me confidence that the system worked as it's supposed to.
P.S. I usually watch the color-up process. One time during the race-off, another guy had the ♦Q and I had the ♥Q. The dealer gave the bonus chip to the other guy. Apparantly he didn't know the rank of the suits. (It's clubs, then diamonds, then hearts and spades is the highest-ranking suit. Of course, I know this from playing bridge, but the way to remember is alphabetical: C D H S going up the alphabet goes up in rank.)
I asked him to call the TD, and it was straightened out.
When I sit down in a tournament, the first thing I do is count my chips. Once they short-changed me. You have to look out for yourself.