The poker world had something of a collective freakout last year when TJ Cloutier pawned his 2005 World Series of Poker bracelet. The good folks at Cake Poker were so astonished that someone would (willingly or otherwise) surrender this shiny piece of poker history that they redeemed it off eBay and (eventually) returned it to the man. But once a crack had appeared, the dam soon burst, and bracelets from Peter Eastgate and Paul Clark also hit the market.
At least Eastgate donated the entire £100k his ring garnered at auction to UNICEF. When asked why he was willing to give up this piece of history, Eastgate said he never wore the thing, so better it do somebody some actual good than collect dust on a mantelpiece or curio cabinet.
Compare this with the veritable tsunami of Super Bowl rings that change hands every year. Tim Robins, the proprietor of Championship-rings.net, was tasked with selling some 350 NFL championship rings last year alone. Brokers like Robins told the Dallas News that most rings are sold as a result of one or more of “the three D’s”: drugs, divorce and death. Take the case of Dexter Manley, who sold his Redskins’ Super Bowl XVII ring in 1998 to buy cocaine. Famed Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders defensive back Lester Hayes pawned his ring for ‘several hundred dollars’ to help pay for emergency dental work.
But not all ring sales are the result of hard times or hard living. Former New England Patriots DB Je’Rod Cherry sold one of his three championship rings after being challenged by an attendee at a youth conference to use that bling for a higher purpose. After some fretting, Cherry ultimately decided to sell the first ring he received – the one that meant most to him – and in the process raised almost $150k for charity.
Meanwhile, this guy will sell you a Patriots ring from the very same Super Bowl for only $100k. That’s like 1/3 off! Operators are standing buy to take your call…