With 24 hours left in the bidding, the two championship bracelets that were won by T.J. Cloutier have begun to draw bidding attention on eBay.
As reported yesterday here at Poker News Daily, the store that has ownership of Cloutier’s bracelets, the Plano Pawn Shop, placed the two championship bracelets on sale on eBay after they acquired the items. The bracelets, a 2005 World Series of Poker (WSOP) championship memento and the trophy from the 2007 Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge IV, have been on the popular auction site since January 14th. Up until early Friday and with time running out on the auctions, no bids had been placed. Now, the action has picked up.
The 2005 WSOP bracelet, won by Cloutier in a $5,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament that year, was on eBay with a minimum asking price of $2,999. Since yesterday, three bids have been entered on the item. While it is unknown who the buyer might be due to eBay bidder privacy regulations, an original bid of $3,200 was entered at 1:13 Pacific Time on Friday. Soon after that, two bidders eclipsed that price with bids of $3,500 for the most prized trophy in poker. By eBay rules, the earlier $3,500 bid stands to pick up the 2005 WSOP bracelet, roughly valued at $2,350 by Poker News Daily.
The 2007 Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge IV bracelet, which marked Cloutier’s last major championship victory, has garnered less attention, but is still in play. The Plano Pawn Shop offered the white gold and diamond championship bracelet through eBay for $2,499 and bidding on it will end simultaneously with the sale of the WSOP bracelet. At this point, only one bid has been entered that meets the original asking price.
Poker News Daily placed a call to the Plano Pawn Shop and was able to learn several details about the bracelets. An employee who would only state his name as Larry said that whomever places the highest bid on the eBay auctions would walk off with the bracelets. “We haven’t offered them for sale in the Plano area; it has strictly been something that we’ve done through eBay,” Larry said. “We really didn’t have a clue what they would be worth, but we knew what we needed to get out of the items to make a fair profit.”
Larry went on to imply that Cloutier sold the bracelets outright rather than accepting a loan against them. In addition, the original asking price on eBay was the bottom line of what they might be worth: “If you melt the bracelets down and pull the [gem] stones off, what we’re asking for is the scrap price of the items.” Larry would not state what Cloutier received in exchange for the two championship bracelets.
Astute Poker News Daily reader James Guill also contacted the Plano Pawn Shop on Friday and was able to confirm that the bracelets were indeed ones that Cloutier had won. In his post, he related that the attention the bracelets have received surpass other offerings: “They (Plano Pawn Shop) stated that they have received more attention on this item than even Super Bowl rings they have auctioned off in the past.”
The poker community continues to discuss the bracelets and what should be done with them. Some believe that one of the top professionals – the names of Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu have been bandied about – should buy the bracelets and return them to Cloutier. Others believe that this would be for naught and suggest that Cloutier would only sell them again. In the discussion have been Ted Forrest buying one of Hamid Dastmalchi’s WSOP bracelets for $1,500 and Cloutier’s propensity for the craps tables.
The bracelet sales on eBay end Sunday afternoon at approximately 1:30 Pacific Time, but it is unlikely that we will learn who bought them and why. Poker News Daily will continue to track this story to its conclusion tomorrow.