by , Aug 9, 2006 | 11:45 pm

LAS VEGAS–Dr. Tim has a great post over on PokerBlog about the infrequent but recurring problem of players losing chips at the WSOP — particularly when they’re nowhere near them. In it he brings up a very real poker issue that the Harrah’s suits may or may not have given full consideration. In it, he suggests moving to chips loaded with, um, a computer chip … to make tracking them easier. If you ask me, this is simply a future reality in all casinos — and maybe the U.S. Treasury, eventually — so now the question is it going to happen in poker in a matter of a few years or many many years.

I also think counterfeiting is potentially a big issue. Just take a look at those blue $500 buy-in chips. There’s nothing special about their labeling. Though I personally don’t know how to do it, I bet I know someone who does.

There are A LOT of chipmakers out there in these poker boom days. That’s a lot of people who like to play poker — but presumably aren’t good enough to make their living ON the table — who have the knowledge, contacts, and wherewithall to counterfeit chips. All it would take is a friend in China and a trip to Kinko’s …

Let’s face it, the Harrah’s and the WSOP will have made 10s of millions on the WSOP when all is said and done (despite lower cash game rakes). It would be worth their while to put a few of those million into computer-chipped chips. Granted, that might put about 15 CardPlayer interns out of work, but if they don’t do that, then the WSOP will suffer from the same issues that hindered poker way back in the day … when people were reluctant to play because you never really knew whether or not you were playing in an honest game.


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