The economy has been tough for millions of Americans. It has also taken its toll on athletes and professional poker players.
The winner of the 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event sold off his bracelet for $65,725, according to an Aug. 3 report by poker.co.uk. Jamie Gold, who hails from Malibu, Calif. and one of the most famous players on the circuit, is hitting a very rough patch after losing a big chunk of his bankroll the past few years.
An unidentified third party sold off the WSOP bracelet through Heritage Auctions. Gold transacted with the anonymous buyer, according to Examiner.com. In 2006, the now 43-year-old took home a whopping $12 million cash prize for winning the main event of the world’s most prestigious Texas Hold’em tournament, which meant Gold had to eliminate 8,773 players in order to come out on top.
The 2006 Main Event remains the largest in tournament history both for total prize pool ($82,512,162) and number of contestants (8,773). The enormous size of the field necessitated four separate starting days.
However, the California native had to hand over more than half of his WSOP winnings from 2006 to Crispin Leyser after the two got entangled in a staking lawsuit. Many observers also believe that Gold’s style of play is not suited for today’s younger, more aggressive opponents, most of whom grind online.
According to Heritage Auctions' listing of the bracelet,
"(It) features 259 stones including over seven carats of diamonds and 120 grams of white and yellow gold. Rubies are inset to create the red of the heart and diamond suits, while a sapphire represents the spade and three black diamonds the clubs. The clasp is stamped '14K.'"
A three-week online bidding period brought a price of $65,725 and the WSOP bracelet was sold to an anonymous buyer.
According to poker.co.uk writer Frankie Price: "It is not unheard of for the World Series of Poker main event winners to sell their bracelets, and even more side event jewelries were sold in auctions. Peter Eastgate, Paul Clark, Brad Daugherty and TJ Cloutier sold their bracelets as well, with the former raising almost $150,000 for charity. Jerry Yang is also on the list of players who auctioned off their bracelets, although in his case the reason was to extinguish a debt to the Internal Revenue Service who found him delinquent on his taxes."