A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 06, 2015
“All you need is a chip and a chair” (poker adage)

"All you need is a chip and a chair” is a popular poker adage. “‘Gimmee a chip and a chair and a pair,’ meaning he would like to sit into a game” was cited in the Las Vegas (NV) Sun in 1970. “With a chip & a chair I’ll see U there at your Downtown Fremont” was cited in the Las Vegas (NV) Sun in 1975. “All U need to bluff & scare...is a chip & a chair!!!” was cited in the Las Vegas (NV) Sun in 1977.

The “chip and a chair” term was popularized when Jack “Treetop” Straus played in the 1982 World Series of Poker in 1982. Straus was down to his last chip, but ended up winning the event.


Wikipedia: Jack Straus
Jack “Treetop” Straus (June 16, 1930 - August 17, 1988) was an American professional poker player. He is best known for winning the 1982 World Series of Poker Main Event.

He is also known for winning that event after being down to one chip earlier in the tournament, which gave meaning to the poker phrase “a chip and a chair”. In addition, Straus is known for successfully pulling off one of the best bluffs in the history of poker.
(...)
1982 WSOP Main Event, “A Chip and a Chair”
Famously, Straus’s 1982 win was a comeback after being down to a single $25 chip, supposedly the origin of the common tournament poker aphorism: “a chip and a chair.” Although accounts vary, the most common story is that he pushed his chips into the pot, was called and lost the hand. Getting up, he discovered he had one chip left under a napkin on the table.

Because he didn’t declare himself all-in, the tournament directors allowed him to continue playing. Modern lore says that this feat occurred at the final table, but the 2005 book All In, which documents the history of the WSOP, confirms that it occurred early in the second day, and did leave him with a $500 chip before his comeback.

22 February 1970, Las Vegas (NV) Sun, “Pan Is Experiencing A Comeback In Las Vegas Clubs,” pg. 18, col. 2:
Another character, a former dealer, must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle, for he chirps constantly. His wit and barbs include “Gimmee a chip and a chair and a pair,” meaning he would like to sit into a game; ...

1 August 1975, Las Vegas (NV) Sun, pg. 17, col. 5 ad:
With a chip & a chair I’ll see U there at your Downtown Fremont...where action & SATISFACTION all-ways is!

27 May 1977, Las Vegas (NV) Sun, pg. 49, col. 6 ad:
With Harry & Wayne’s true deck crew giving appealing dealing to yours& U...like “Silverbird’s” most Casino host, Bob “on the job” Butler sez, sez he: “All U need to bluff & scare...is a chip & a chair!!!”

Google Books
Poker:
101 Ways to Win

By Andy Nelson
Boulder, CO: PokerBook Press
1994
Pg. 62:
A CHIP AND A CHAIR
The chip and chair concept is often overlooked by live action players when in a tournament.

Google Groups: rec.gambling
Yet another BARGE Trip Report (long)
David B. Hughes
8/9/94
(...)
I do remember saying “chip and a chair” several times to push home the advice to be concious of chip position relative to others and the blinds.

Google Books
Tournament Poker and the Art of War:
How the classic strategies of Sun-Tzu can transform your game

By David Apostolico
New York, NY: Lyle Stuart
2005
Pg. 8:
He (Jack Straus—ed.) fought his way back from that one chip to become world champion and immortalized a rallying cry for all down-on-their-luck poker players: “All you need is a chip and a chair. “

So if you find yourself down to just a few chips, or even one chip, do not throw in the towel.

CBS News
By SEAN ALFANO July 2, 2007, 10:18 AM
“All You Need Is A Chip And A Chair”
(...)
At the 1982 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Strauss got involved in a huge pot against a lone opponent. When the last card was dealt, Strauss pushed all his chips into the pot on a bluff. When his opponent called it appeared that Strauss had been eliminated. He stood up from the table, put on his coat and prepared to depart. Then he noticed a single $500 chip on the table underneath a cocktail napkin alongside his drink. He was still alive, though barely so.

He took off his coat, sat back down, moved all-in on the next hand and won.

Flop Turn River
Poker Dictionary: A chip and a chair
All you need to be able to win a poker tournament. As long as you have even a single chip you have a chance to win the tournament.
(...)
Created by TLR on 23 Jul, 2009
Last updated by Pascal on 4 Sep, 2012

OCLC WorldCat record
A chip and a chair: the 2013 world series of poker
Author: Stanley Cohen
Publisher: Bloomington, IN : Author House, 2005.
Edition/Format: Print book : Fiction : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Monday, July 06, 2015 • Permalink