While video gamers are amongst the most ardent collectors of games and memorabilia, they are not the only games fans who collect vintage and unusual items connected to their pastime. Poker fans around the world have long sought after rare and collectible items to add to their haul. Here are the top ten poker collectibles:
- Playing cards– collecting rare and vintage playing cards is a hobby in itself, with so many styles and themes to collect. Cards from the classic early Las Vegas casinos are highly collectible, along with vintage playing cards from early airlines and railroads.
- Poker chips– again, vintage chips from the early casinos are highly collectible, as are rare chips from exotic locations, but you have to be aware that your chips will often have an actual cash value as well as a collector’s value, so they can be quite an expensive thing to collect. Of course, the best poker chips to collect are those of your opponents.
- WSOP Bracelets and rings– just like the Super Bowl, players in major tournaments, such as the World Series of Poker, are given exclusive rings and bracelets to commemorate the event. These are very personal and precious, so they don’t appear for sale very often, making them very desirable and very, very expensive. A bracelet won by TJ Cloutier sold on eBay in 2010 for over $4000, whilst Jamie Gold’s sold for $65,725 on Heritage Auctions.
- Signed poker books – many of the star poker players have found added fame and fortune by writing books on the game, such as 14 times WSOP Champion, Phil Hellmuth’s seminal Texas Hold ‘em, and Play Poker Like the Pros. These are a great addition to any collection, and even more valuable if they are signed by the author.
- Poker pictures– Cassius Marcellus Coolidge and Arthur Sarnoff are famous for their paintings of dogs playing poker, with originals selling for a fortune. But don’t worry; there are plenty of high quality prints available too.
- Etchings of star poker players– hard to believe, but the truly dedicated can actually buy etchings of star poker players, laser etched into slabs of granite.
- Vintage poker dice– just like the card equivalents, vintage poker dice are highly collectible, especially when they come in an original branded case.
- Autographed pieces– like with any sport, a genuine piece of the action has unique historic value. From the actual cards from a championship winning hand to a signed visor worn by a famous player in a top tournament, there is a whole host of poker memorabilia available. Just make sure it is signed or otherwise authenticated to ensure its value.
- Antique poker tables– classic green baize topped poker tables are the perfect way to set the scene for your game, with something for every collector’s budget, from the simple fold out collapsible card table to elaborate carved mahogany antiques.
- Online poker merchandise– of course, you don’t actually need a table, or even cards, to play poker, with online poker rapidly growing in both quality and popularity. Individual online poker websites now produce their own collectible branded merchandise to add to your collection.