Can’t separate fans from resellers

If you have wanted Doyle Brunson’s autograph but never had the opportunity to get it, you are now going to have to buy it from a third party because the legendary poker player has announced he is done putting pen to paper for fans. Perhaps ironically, the reason he is stopping is because people are selling his autographs.

A few days ago, Brunson took to Twitter to express his frustration with autograph flippers:

It’s understandable. If he’s taking the time to sign things for people – be it from mailed requests to his home or when he’s out at poker events – he wants the “fans” to truly be fans and enjoy the autograph, not just be people trying to make an easy buck.

Some people let him know that ceasing to sign will likely result in his autograph appreciating in price, thus making it less accessible to real fans. Supply and demand and all that. Brunson likely doesn’t care about that (nor should he, really), as the point is to stop giving resellers more inventory.

Someone else advised him to personalize each autograph to make it less attractive to buyers. Doyle said he does and even adds a bible verse.

And Doyle Brunson autographs aren’t cheap. Look at the approximately 70 listing on eBay, most are in the $50-$130 range plus shipping. There are autographed photos, playing cards, trading cards, and the like. One signed trading card is only at $2.25 plus shipping right now, but it’s a new listing with a week left for bidding (there have been five bids to this point).

I have one just for me

I am fortunate enough myself to have Doyle Brunson’s autograph, one of the few I have from poker players. Near the beginning of my poker writing career, I wrote for Canadian Poker Player (CPP) magazine. When I covered the World Series of Poker for the first time, I also took pictures to go along with my online articles and CPP happened to use one I took of him celebrating his 2005 bracelet win for the cover.

The following year, Doyle was signing autographs one day at the Doyle’s Room lounge at the WSOP (it was the days of online poker room wars and a bunch of them had “lounges” at the Rio to promote their sites), so I bought my copy of the magazine. He graciously signed it (no bible verse back then) and when I told him that I took the photo, he started flipping through the issue. He told me he really liked the picture and had me give my info to his publicist. Nothing came of that, but I still have the signed magazine and it’s a cool memory and memento.

And largely because it is such a personal keepsake, I have no plans to sell it. My kids can do what they want with it when they clean out my estate decades from now.

But hey, maybe it will soar in value and somebody named Dan will pay a pretty penny for it so I can pay for my kids’ college textbooks in a few years.

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