Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bags of Dreams

You might have heard something over the last few days about this strange eBay auction in which a seller has been attempting to find someone willing to purchase “FINAL TABLE 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event HEADS UP CHIP BAGS.” That’s right, the lot includes the two big plastic bags in which Peter Eastgate and Ivan Demidov collected their chips prior to their heads-up duel five years ago.

The seller, a fellow named Scott Neuman, created an elaborate eBay listing that features a couple of pictures of the bags and about a dozen of himself. Also included is the story of how Neuman secured these precious commodities, having bid on the bags himself in an auction for charity conducted by the WSOP following the conclusion of the 2008 Main Event.

Neuman’s auction probably wouldn’t have gotten much attention in the poker world if not for the fact that someone started a thread regarding it over in Two Plus Two. And that person probably wouldn’t have found the auction or started the thread if it weren’t for the fact that Neuman’s listing price for the two ripped open clear plastic bags was just a little higher than one might expect...

$15,000! No shinola.

Alas for Neuman, his auction concluded this morning without a sale. That is to say, he was left holding the bags.

It looks like there were two offers, both declined. It’s been a number of years since I bought or sold anything on eBay and so I’m not up on how things work there these days, but I assume the offers probably came in a bit below the asking price.

But wait... good news! He has relisted them! And still at the same bargain price!

Actually, reading the auction listing more carefully shows that Neuman appears to be attempting to sell the bags as an indirect way of drumming up a kind of backing for his right-on-the-verge-of-finally-breaking-through poker career. Actually, the whole scheme isn’t just indirect, it’s pretty much transparent.

You know, like the bags.

As he explains, he intends to use the $15,000 to buy into unspecified poker tournaments. Again, I’m not up on eBay’s policies at the moment, but I’m guessing offering the bags as the nominal sale item is a kind of work-around to simply asking for money to pay for entry fees.

Additionally, the person forking over the $15K not only gets the bags but the chance at scoring some percentage of Neuman’s winnings from those tourneys, too -- i.e., “a bonus that is completely up to me.” Of course, Neumann can’t specify the amount of that bonus. Nor can he even guarantee there would even be one. Indeed, as he says two times -- the second time using all caps for emphasis -- “I CAN NOT PROMISE I WILL CASH.”

Caveat emptor, then. The bonus isn’t in the bag.

Obviously there’s more to the story of this eccentric entrepreneur, and a few idle searches online make it sound like he’s been up to similar shenanigans for a number of years, with a couple of other weird-seeming sponsorship arrangements among his bag of tricks (and only a few modest results over that period).

Not too interested, really, to discover anything more about this particular character. That is to say, I don’t really care one way or the other what his bag really is.

Have to admit, though, it’s kind of inspired... this idea to try to sell bags full of nothing.

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Blogger lightning36 said...

Are you sure the guy selling isn't the imfamous Tony Bigcharles?

8/14/2013 10:29 PM  

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