WPT sells collectibles

Jun 27, 2005 3:19 AM


There’s no question that the popularity of poker has skyrocketed in recent years, but has it reached the point where fans will want to collect poker stars’ memorabiliar?

We’ll have a chance to find out over the next few days.

The World Poker Tour (WPT) will offer player autographed cards and chips from the past season’s WPT World Championship on eBay beginning the day after the show’s first airing on The Travel Channel, Wednesday, June 29.

The auction will be posted from June 30 to July 7.

The autographed cards and chips from the final table will be offered in an attractive frame, along with photographs of the players, all authenticated and registered by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). All proceeds of the auction will go to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Offered at auction on eBay will be:

”¡ Framed Set — Season III WPT World Championship Final Hand Cards. A complete set of cards featuring all five community cards and the two sets of hole cards of the top two finishers. Both players from the final table have signed the community cards and each of them have individually autographed their specific hole cards.

All cards are framed together along with photos of the two top finishing players. More than 452 players turned out for the nearly $11 million WPT World Championship at the Bellagio, which awarded a record WPT first prize of $2.8 million.

”¡ Framed Set — Season III WPT World Championship Final Table Players Autographed WPT Chips. This features one chip signed by each of the final table players along with a photograph of the final table competitors.

”¡ Framed and Autographed 32" by 79" table felt from the Season III WPT World Championship. It features the signature of the two final table heads-up competitors. Additionally, the WPT will place up for auction a selection of other sought-after collectibles signed by the top personalities connected with the tour.

”¡ Ace card signed by Daniel Negreanu (four available). World Poker Tour Season Three Player-of-the-Year, a winner of two major WPT events (the Borgata Poker Open and Bellagio’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic), netting Negreanu more than $2.9 million in the two events.

”¡ King card signed by Mike Sexton (two available). The WPT’s commentator, often considered the "Vin Scully of Poker" and "Poker’s Leading Ambassador." He is the author of "WPT: Shuffle Up & Deal," a book on the New York Times bestseller list that gives fans an inside look at the WPT and tips for improving their game. A world-class player in his own right, Sexton is recognized worldwide as the authoritative voice of the WPT.

”¡ King card signed by Vince Van Patton (two available). WPT commentator, who is called the "King of the Hollywood Home Game." As an actor and member of a famous Hollywood family headed by Dick Van Patten, Vince learned his poker playing with the entertainment industry’s elite poker enthusiasts. He teams with Sexton and is known for his witty style of commentary.

”¡ Queen card signed by the beautiful Shana Hiatt (four available), hostess of the WPT who has introduced viewers to so many exotic tournament locales, including Aruba, Paris, Bahamas and Las Vegas. She’s graced the pages of FHM, Stuff, Playboy and Player Magazine.

”¡ Joker card signed by Antonio Esfandiari (two available). Known as the "The Magician," for his career before poker and his facility at card and chip tricks, the 25-year-old Esfandiari won $1.4 million at the WPT’s Season Two LA Poker Classic. There is no sleight of hand in this debonair young man’s rising profile on the WPT Tour.

"The World Poker Tour is pleased to share these special mementos of our record setting Season Three WPT World Championship with some of our enthusiastic fans — and in so doing make a special donation to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation," said Steve Lipscomb, founder and CEO of WPT Enterprises. "We look forward to continuing to make available selected pieces of WPT memorabilia as we grow and our players take on star status."

The WPT first aired on the Travel Channel in the U.S. on March 30, 2003, and it continues to lead the way in developing poker as a major international sport. The highest rated show ever on The Travel Channel, the WPT is now seen in 67 countries and territories worldwide.