Word broke on Monday around the industry that 2008 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion Peter Eastgate is selling his bracelet on eBay. You read that right. The asking price for the unique piece of poker memorabilia is currently a healthy $16,000. As of the time of writing, there have been no bids on the bracelet, although all of the proceeds will be donated to UNICEF.
I can’t believe that I just wrote that paragraph. A bracelet is one of the most priceless items in our industry, in this author’s opinion. Selling it or auctioning it, even in the name of charity, seems like a punch in the gut to poker players around the world. However, for those brave enough to pony up the five-figure minimum asking price for Eastgate’s bracelet or enter into a bidding war for it, you may be able to receive your new charm just in time for the holidays.
Eastgate offered up the following description of the bracelet: “The unique… Corum bracelet weighs 168 and is made of 18kt White Gold paved with 291 diamonds and the face, which says ‘World Series of Poker 2008,’ is hand painted in silver and decorated with black and red card suits.” The auction will come to a close on November 25th shortly after 6:00pm PT.
Eastgate abruptly retired from poker earlier this year around World Cup season. He wrote in a blog post back in July, “When I started playing poker for a living, it was never my goal to spend the rest of my life as a professional poker player. My goal was to become financially independent. I achieved that by winning the WSOP Main Event in 2008.” Eastgate, who hails from Denmark, banked $9.1 million for winning the 2008 Main Event, defeating Ivan Demidov heads-up in the first installment of the now-standard November Nine format.
On the TwoPlusTwo forums, posters were mixed in response to Eastgate auctioning off his bracelet. One player wrote, “WTG, Eastgate. It’s an ugly bracelet from a corporate casino running a self-proclaimed championship, not an Olympic medal or Nobel prize. I’d insta-sell it if I won one, too.” Another poster argued, “Nice of him and all, but I kinda wish he was more of an ambassador of poker. He’s a great player that won the Main Event, then quits poker and sells his bracelet.”
The eBay auction page received over 8,000 views on its first day. Concurrently with the bracelet, Eastgate is selling a Tiret Automatic Chrono watch that has a starting bid of $10,000. Eastgate’s posting describes, “From Tiret New York made of Stainless steel. Black leather strap and black face with silver colored Arabic numeral and hands. Three chronographic circles. Black and silver patterned frame. Transparent back that shows the clockwork.” As is the case with the bracelet, which is only $6,000 more, all proceeds will go straight to UNICEF.
In January, Cake Poker officials bought T.J. Cloutier’s $5,000 No Limit Hold’em bracelet for $4,000 and promptly returned the heirloom to the longtime player. On why Cloutier sold the bracelet in the first place, he told Wicked Chops Poker, “I don’t want to talk about it… yeah it’s mine… I was short… I pawned it… I tried to get it back with my ticket, but I was too late.”
According to the Hendon Mob database, Eastgate last finished in the money in a live poker tournament in March, when he took fifth in the National Heads-Up Poker Championship for $75,000. One month prior, he took eighth in the PokerStars North American Poker Tour (NAPT) Venetian High Roller Bounty Shootout for $85,000. He has two WSOP in the money finishes total.