Poker World Needs To Consider Its Image: Hits Another Low

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:

Poker last week showed once again why, despite its popularity, it's still regarded by many as an activity that's less than seemly.

Only in poker can a participant win the top prize and then turn around and sell it.

In acting, for example, if an actor wins an Academy Award, he is prohibited by the Academy from ever selling that Oscar.

Similar rules apply to winners of the Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards, as well as to Nobel Prize winners.

And owners of NFL teams that win the Super Bowl can't sell their Vince Lombardi trophies.

Neither can owners of teams that win the World Series or an NBA or NHL title sell their championship trophies.

But in poker, no such rules of decorum apply.

Win poker's top prize--the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event--and take home the championship gold-and-diamond bracelet, the iconic symbol of poker-playing world supremacy.

Then sell it.

There's no rule against it.

It happened last week, when Peter Eastgate, who won the 2008 WSOP Main Event, auctioned off, on eBay of all places, the championship bracelet he earned from winning the title.

The bracelet, made of six ounces of 18-karat white gold encrusted with 291 diamonds, drew 116 bids on online auction site eBay (, with the winning bid coming in at a whopping $147,500.

Eastgate, 24, from Denmark, says he's going to donate to charity the money earned from auctioning the bracelet, but it still seems tawdry that a champion--any champion--can auction off his championship entity, whatever it may be, to the highest bidder.

Tom Hanks doesn't auction off his Oscars--even for charity.

Poker players shouldn't be allowed to auction off their bracelets.