Stu Ungar 1997 WSOP Chip Count Card on Sale

3 years ago
Stu Ungar signed card
03 Jun


Rare and unique piece of WSOP and poker history is currently up for an auction on e-bay as Nolan Dalla revealed in his blog post. The item is end of a day chip count card from the 1997 WSOP Main Event. Chip count cards are quite common in poker tournaments but this one has a special significance attached to it. This rare and unique piece of poker history contains a signature of Stu Ungar, one of the greatest poker players to have ever hit the felt.

The fact that Ungar’s chip count card is one of the latest pieces of memorabilia related to his poker career is meaningful on its own; but what really makes it unique is the fact it contains his signature. As Dalla explained in his blog post, Stu rarely signed anything, adding that he didn’t even have a bank account.

Ungar didn’t use credit cards and he never wrote a personal check or autograph for his fans. Finally, this rare jewel of poker history is priceless as it is directly connected to arguably the most impressive third WSOP Main Event victory for 'The Kid'.

The seller of Ungar’s chip count card is Frank J. Marci who explained to Nollan how he managed to find such a rare item. Namely, Marci, who had always wanted Ungar’s signature eventually tracked the card down and bought it from the owner of the company Leaf Trading Cards. Frank is now selling the item on eBay with the starting bid of $2,249.49 and only five days is left to place a bid.

Three-time world poker champion was found on November 22nd in 1998 after suffering a fatal heart attack. His fast and short life has inspired movie High Roller which was produced in 2003. Many of those who met him describe Stu as one of the most talented and skilled players of all time.

Doyle Brunson described Ungar as generous, warmhearted man who had a great sense of humor, adding that his insight into what people were thinking was remarkable. Mike Sexton said that when Stu died, the poker community lost their greatest gladiator and that his achievements in poker are unsurpassed.

According to Stu’s biography he was literally unbeatable in Gin Rummy. Ungar won so many gin tournaments that several casinos asked him to stop playing because many customers refused to enter if Ungar was playing. Ungar once said: “Some day, I suppose it's possible for someone to be a better no limit hold 'em player than me. I doubt it, but it could happen. But, I swear to you, I don't see how anyone could ever play gin better than me.“ Stu was many things, but he was not a humble winner as he was well aware of his talent and abilities and was not shy to brag about it.

However his drug addiction has ruined his life as doctors explained that he died of a heart condition that was brought on by years of drug abuse. He spent most of his winnings from the poker tables betting on sports and horses and sadly on his most fatal addiction of them all. Even though it was estimated his poker earnings were close to $30 million, he died alone, with a little cash and no assets to his name.

The end of the day chip card count is undoubtedly a unique piece of poker history that will find its important place in a collection of some poker aficionado out there. Who will it be and how high the price will go still remains to be seen.


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Ines is a Journalism student with many interests, poker being one of these. Her passion to learn and develop her horizons make her a valuable contributor to the site's content.Read more


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