REVISING MY CHIP HUNT STORY FOR YOU....
Pechanga Resort Casino has added a big hotel wing and a parking garage, replacing the ground-level outdoor lot it used to have. You drive in to the south side to enter the building and drive out the north side to leave. For some reason, this seems to greatly confuse most visitors. The parking spaces have little electronic lights above them. When the space is filled, the gizmo knows and turns the light red; when a space is empty, it turns to green. So you can drive along and quickly spot where the next parking space is. Whether a supersized pickup can fit in it is another question.
They even put in a moving walkway on the ground level so when people exit the parking lot, they sort of glide into the casino.
They are also building some shops to the south of the parking area. Maybe hoping for "Pechanga Outlet Stores" like Viejas Casino has. All the California Indian casinos are expanding like crazy these days.
Now along with these improvements, Pechanga "rebranded" with a new logo, a P with feather vanes at the end. This logo is on everything: slot cards, napkins, door mats, etc. Thus I had "advance knowledge" that new chips with that logo would eventually have to be put on the tables, too. "The science of discovering new chips."
The $100 and $25 chips with the new P design had been put on the tables several months ago. But despite my visiting the casino several times after that, no changeover for the lower denominations. Last weekend, I again glided into the casino to see if my chip-finding luck might change . . . and it did! New issues spotted at once.
I sidled up to a blackjack table where the dealer was opening with some new decks and waited patiently while she shuffled, separated into six stacks, moved them and shuffled them again, and handed the red card to a player also seated. He seemed perplexed so I said, "You're allowed to cut the deck." So he half-heartedly stuck the red card in there. Finally the cards went into the shoe, the dealer collected his money and my $60 as well. She handed over a stack of red fives, plus ten ones. I thanked her and walked away with them. Now both the dealer and the player were perplexed, but I was a happy dude. (I'm sure the player was thinking, "Gee, I never saw anyone win at blackjack that way before.")
Next, a ride up the escalator to the second-floor Poker Room - to see if new $2 chips had also come out. They hadn't, and the Poker Cashier informed me that they no longer sell $2 chips. No matter, I bought another stack of new chips, because - you can never have too much of a new issue, right?
And with that I glided back out to my truck. A fun casino visit indeed, the best kind of harvesting.
J. Eric Freedner