I just had an epiphany—real-life bitcoin poker with Casascius chips!
I actually spoke with a custom poker chip vendor, it was one of the formats I was considering before I went with brass coins. Somebody should do a poker set denominated in bitcoins, it would be cool.
Atlas first thought of this months ago and we sat down and did the math. At first glance everyone thinks it's an interesting use for Bitcoins, but here's why it's turned out to be a ridiculous concept that will never work:
I had in mind a novelty item where a bitcoin enthusiast used these chips for people playing poker with friends at home. Such chips would have no actual BTC value. They are admittedly of marginal utility, since poker chips are generically denominated anyway and don't need a bitcoin logo on them to be treated as such. However, it's the kind of thing that could develop interest - even as a novelty item - if all of a sudden some major offshore casino announces bitcoin gambling to the world and bitcoins take off as the cool new way to gamble online without borders (a serious possibility in my mind).
Yes, I looked into what is involved in getting custom poker chips made. I decided it was a bit too much of an investment for the occasional home game when a $20 set does the job just as well.
Matthew, my epiphany was a home game among friends, not a fully functioning casino with physical bitcoins.