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Charmy's PITTSBURGH ANA Show Report w/Lots of Pics!

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Well, it was a long week and I’m exhausted. I’ve been procrastinating writing my report, not because I was super busy at the show (because as mentioned, this show was quite slow), but I was exhausted each day because I had just too much fun (as you will see from my photos)! So here goes….


Tuesday – Arrived in Pittsburgh late Tuesday night. I saw this dinosaur statue near the baggage claim area at the airport and thought it was amusing so I had to take a picture.



Checked into the Westin hotel, went down to the bar to have a nightcap and grab a quick bite but they had already stopped serving food, so I ordered a glass of wine, took it back to my room, put my jammys on, turned on the tv, got all cozy in the wonderfully soft down-covered bed, and felt like I was in heaven – it was a wonderful way to gear up for the next few days!


Wednesday – Woke up to a very wet rainy day, and headed over to PNG day. Although the bourse floor was sparse (as is usual on PNG day), I found quite a few nice coins to buy. Here’s a photo taken of the floor on the morning of PNG day – it gives you a good perspective on how huge the bourse floor actually is.




Then Todd and I then went to lunch at Sonoma Grill right down the street – they had great food and a HUGE wine list of California wines – but since it was still early so I restrained myself from ordering a glass. However, it did remind me to pick up a couple bottles for the show, so the waitress recommended this nice liquor store that had a good selection of wines. I was perusing some of the higher end wines and picked out a nice Mondavi Private Selection Cab, then Todd (who knows more about pennies than he does wine – which isn’t saying much!) came upon this interestingly labeled wine and enthusiastically recommended that I try it!






So I bought it hand opened it the next day – considering the label, it was pretty decent!


We then went back to the convention center to set up our booth. Whenever I set up my trays of raw coins, I use these little wooden children’s blocks to prop up the trays, so when I pulled out the blocks to set them in the case, I became quite amused when I discovered one of them had some writing on it. When I was at the Chicago ANA, Noodle helped me pack up and apparently left me a little reminder!




After set up, we hopped on the busses to head over to the ANA’s dinner riverboat cruise. It was a good dinner and the band was very entertaining – some of us even got up and danced a few jigs! And even though it was raining, it was a lot of fun and a wonderful cruise.





The waiter with a huge stack of drink glasses!



Me and Karin



Greg Lyons



Rick Snow (check out his “special button”)





The dessert table







Some pictures taken along the river









After the dinner cruise, the ship dropped us off at the Rivers Casino. Apparently, it’s a pretty new casino and is really nice. We tried to play limit poker but they didn’t have a game going so we ended up playing some blackjack and 4-card poker. We won at blackjack, but then lost it at 4-card poker (the dealer has the advantage by playing the best 4 cards out of 6, while the players only play the best 4 out of 5).


Thursday – The show opened to the public earlier than most shows (and ends earlier as well), so I’m not sure whether this is a good or bad thing. Personally, for me, I prefer the 10-6:30/7pm show times so at least it gives people some time to stop by the show after work on weekdays. In any event, there was not as much public coming in as there have been at the last few ANA shows, and it stayed that way throughout the whole show. Here are a couple photos of the bourse on Thursday.


That’s Rick Snow in the aisle whose table was just one table away from mine (yes, at one point we even had a rubberband war).



This is a shot looking from my table looking towards the entrance.



I think it is difficult to estimate how well a new show will do, especially being in a “new” town, but as has already been mentioned in other threads and reports, this was definitely not a good selling show. However, as Rick suggested in one of the other threads, you can still make lemonade out of lemons – at least from a dealer standpoint. If there isn’t enough public buying coins, then usually it’s a good time to shop around for coins from other dealers who may be in more of a mood to “wheel and deal.” And that’s exactly what I did.


In any event, whether a show is good or bad business-wise, I still try to make it a fun and enjoyable experience, and meeting and visiting with (and of course sharing some wine with) the forum members who come by is one of the things that I enjoy the most! There were a lot more forum members who stopped by that are not pictured here, including Speety’s dad (who showed me a wonderful tribute to Speety by Legend in the most recent issue of The Numismatist), Kranky, and many others, but here are some of the folks who I was able to cajole into letting me photograph them for my report!


Mar237 (who I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with and who brought me a bottle of some very refreshing and sweet Pennsylvania wine)



Mr. and Mrs. Curly (who brought me a tasty bottle of Gnarly Head Zinfandel)





Mark Feld who is always entertaining (and also tries very hard to maintain proper coin show etiquette when he’s at my table)



Don Willis (it’s always great to see him get out from behind the PCGS table and stop by for a quick visit and photo op!)



GrandAm (a very nice and friendly guy)



Jaceravone (another very nice guy)



Kevin Flynn (the author of many books – too numerous to count – it’s always an honor chatting with one of the most prolific contributors to the numismatic community)



Emily (one of the nicest and most helpful and hardworking people at the ANA)



Ian Russell (I just love listening to Ian talk with his cute British accent!)



Me and my music hating non-wine drinking fantastic coin-photo taker table mate!



After the show on Thursday, we headed up the “Incline” to a restaurant at the top of the hill that was recommended to us – The Tin Angel. The view was fantastic and the food was very good, but the atmosphere was a little less than desirable since we were seated between a family with 3 kids and a very loud group of people – also, the prices were higher than we expected. However, as I mentioned, the view made it worthwhile.












The clouds parted long enough to see the beautiful full moon!



After dinner, we once again headed back to the Rivers casino – we were finally able to play some 4/8 limit poker, but unfortunately not for long since the table broke after about an hour. Apparently, no limit is much more popular at this casino. So we went back to the black jack tables where I broke even. After I quit playing, one of the guys I was with took a break and let me play his chips. At one point I got a pair of 2’s and the dealer had a 6 showing. With $20 of my friend’s money down on the hand, I placed another $20 and split the 2’s. The dealer gives me another 2, so I placed another $20. (If I was playing with my own money, I wouldn’t have a problem betting more money, but it made me very nervous betting this much of someone else’s money.) So the dealer next gives me an 8, so of course, now I needed to double down on that hand, which I did! Thank goodness she deals me a 10 on that hand, so I move to the next 2 and get another 10 (not good). So I move to the third 2 and get a 9, which of course means I need to double down again! Oh geese! I go for it and pray. I wait for the other players to finish, then the dealer turns over the card under her 6 – yeah, it’s a 10! Now for the final card – I have to say I can’t even remember what it was, I just remember that she BUSTED! YIPPEEEE! Needless to say, my friend was quite pleased when he returned to the table!


Friday – Since usually the first day of a show is the best day, and the day in between the first and last day is usually the worst, and even though I already bought quite a few nice coins on PNG day, I figured I better do some shopping. So I hit the floor as soon as I arrived this time looking for some nice original raw material which usually takes more time to scrutinize than searching for slabbed coins. I saw some very nice Conder tokens but decided to concentrate more on inventory material.


I was quite surprised to find a beautiful uncirculated raw 1877 Indian cent and quickly snatched it up at a decent price. The dealer said he’d had it for a while, which didn’t surprise me since many people are hesitant to buy high grade raw key date copper.


I also took the opportunity to take some more photos around the bourse. Here are the PCGS folks with Larry Shapiro.



This is part of the Shireman Collection of high grade Barber Half Dollars on display at the PCGS table




The NGC folks (they were quite busy)



Rod Gillis and Mike Ellis commiserating on something….



A couple of cute kids who stopped by my table for their Treasure Trivia question



As we left the show, the sun was shining for the first time since I had arrived so I had to snap these pretty photos of the river outside the convention center





For dinner we decided to try this German place that we’d heard a lot about – The Sharp Edge. It was a neat little pub that had some wonderful Oktoberfest brew and a great menu. The place was packed and there were several other coin dealers there when we arrived.




A wall of beer!



Inside the bar



The cute draft handles at the bar



Me and my Guinness



My huge plate of German potato pancake, pulled pork, sauerkraut, noodles and sauce (so much for that low-carb diet)!



Some dealers who were enjoying the non-rainy weather outside the pub.



View from in front of the pub looking towards the convention center at the end of the street



After dinner we headed to – yep, you guessed it – the casino! This time, the 4/8 limit game went on for several hours, and I ended up $92 ahead!



This is some guy we ran into at the casino – he was dressed so bizzarely that I just had to take his picture



Even the casino was getting ready for Halloween – this is the front of a trash cart



Saturday – There was a seemingly endless group of boy scouts working on their Coin Collecting Merit Badges who stopped by my table for the Treasure Trivia question.




So in general, Saturday was sadly and excruciatingly devoid of coin buying customers. Though I did make a few good sales, it did not make up for the general lack of business during the entire show. Of course, the economy always plays a big part in the size of spending money the public has available, but perhaps because this is a new show in a new town coming on the heels of the recent controversy at the ANA all contributed to the slowness of this show. However, If you judge a show solely by being able to make some good buys, then this show was a success for me. But of course, dealers need to have good sales to be able to continue buying.


I personally enjoy participating in ANA shows since they do a great job of promoting their shows with quality auctions, great educational programs, and fantastic displays and exhibits. So I hope this new third ANA show is able to survive and hopefully thrive!


Next show is the Portland PNNA show later this week!

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Charmy's show report...the next best thing to being there!


P.S. The guy at the casino with the wild yellow outfit is Buffalo Head...Crazy Hound Dog, Joe.

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