Eskimo Clark Auctions His WSOP Razz Bracelet on eBay

by Lou on November 30, 2010

Maybe someone should start a web site called Bracelets R Us. Right after Peter Eastgate sold his 2008 WSOP main event bracelet and donated $147,500 generated by the sale to UNICEF, 1999 $1,500 razz winner Paul “Eskimo” Clark’s bracelet was put up for sale on eBay too.

But it’s not Eskimo who’s selling the bracelet.  Actually, it looks like he’s already sold it.   The seller, listed as “anarcnub,” is located in Donegal, Ireland, meaning that Clark and his bracelet have probably parted company already.

Clark’s bracelet won’t bring anywhere near the money Eastgate’s did. For starters, there’s a big difference between winning the main event and the razz tournament, and the bracelet reflects that.  And WSOP bracelets have gotten glitzier in recent years too.   Clark’s bracelet lacks those 291 diamonds on the face of the bracelet Eastgate just auctioned off.

Clark’s bracelet is a bit over 117 grams of gold, and if you melted it down, it would be worth a bit less than $5,200.

But the bigger issue is, “Why sell?”   Eastgate grew disillusioned with poker and announced he was giving up the game on the eve of this year’s main event.  Since he didn’t want his bracelet any longer, an auction to raise money for charity was a worthy and noble ideal.

Clark, on the other hand, probably sold his bracelet a while ago in an attempt to raise money to play.  Like far too many other players, Eskimo Clark has ridden poker’s roller coaster his entire career.  For him, it’s chicken on Sunday and feathers the rest of the week.  Always was and probably always will be—and that’s sad.

He’s broke more often than not and regardless of what the auction brings in, or what he may have previously sold his bracelet for, the money he receives probably won’t sustain him for long.

Years ago, before the poker boom, I recall seeing Eskimo Clark at the Bike in Los Angeles playing in a side game during a tournament series.  He was playing $100-$200 limit hold’em, and for that era it was a very big game.  I don’t recall the other players at the table, with the exception of Johnny Chan.  Clark was the big winner when I saw him, sitting behind a mountain of chips.  I counted more than 27 stacks of $100 chips.  He had more than $54,000 on the table, and he looked chipper, sharp, and in control of himself and the game.

When I saw him that afternoon, I was on my way out the door.  When I came back to play the next day, perhaps 26 hours after I first saw Clark in that game, he was still there. The cast of supporting cast of players had changed, and so had Eskimo. He looked tired, haggard, and was wearing yesterday’s clothes.  But he was in the same seat.  It was clear he played all night.

His 27 stacks of chips were reduced to just a bit more than one.  From $54,000 yesterday, he now had less than $3,000 in front of him.  I don’t know what happened over night, whether it was a run of bad luck or the fact that he was tired and sleep deprived, or perhaps just being on tilt that cost him more than $50,000 in the hours since I’d been there.

And it’s sad but true. Whatever Paul “Eskimo” Clark receives for his bracelet won’t make much of a difference in his life.  Poker has a dark side, and this is part of it.

{ 1 comment }

Marius December 13, 2010 at 9:59 am

I see posts all over the net about this guy being always tired at poker tables. What’s up with him? He can’t be in tilt all the time, plus he’s pretty old, he should have grown wiser than that.

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