Dispatches from the Creation Wars

WSOP Extra Chips Mystery: Solved

Amy Calistri and Tim Lavalli appear to have solved the mystery of where the extra $2 million in chips during the World Series of Poker main event came from. The answer is: incompetence. They pinpoint it down to a single break on day 7, when the $5000 chips were colored up into $25,000 chips. Instead of exchanging one stack of $25K chips for a rack of $5K chips (500k for 500k), they gave 2 stacks of $25K chips, or $1 million, per rack of $5K chips. That was a big advantage to the bigger stacks at that point. The incompetence is pretty much unforgivable on the part of Harrah’s.


  1. #1 Salvador T. Cordova
    September 12, 2006

    I think part of the problem may be the unusual denomination of chips. Most personnel don’t ever work with such high denominations.

    Still, do the casino’s still charge 5% fees (rakes) to conduct poker on their premises? 5% of 82 million is about 4 milliion dollars. You’d think they could handle change properly with that kind of money involved!!!


  2. #2 Ed Brayton
    September 12, 2006

    There is no rake during a tournament, but there is a percentage pulled out of the prize pool to toke the dealers and floor personnel. And yes, it’s a huge amount of money. Harrah’s also has numerous sponsors for the event, so they’re making tens of millions easily on it. You’d think they could hire people who know how to count. It’s not as if they didn’t know they were going to have $25,000 chips on the table.

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