A top poker player recently won almost $200,000, but his first thought upon winning was sports cards.
Jared Bleznick is a high-stakes poker player at Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. He is known online on PokerStars as Harrington10, and on Full Tilt as Harrington25. Bleznick is from Roslyn, New York, and entered the online gambling scene in 2007. The sports card enthusiast has done quite well for himself in the world of poker, as his total career cash game earnings have already reached nearly $2 million.
Even though he obviously has a talent for playing poker, some suspect that he may be burned out. It’s as if poker doesn’t seem to excite him anymore – at least not as much as sports cards. Aside from his poker career, he is a part-owner of Legacy Sports Cards in Las Vegas. It’s clear that his passion for cards goes beyond poker, even after grabbing $189,000 at the recent US Poker Open (USPO) Event #8: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha.
During an interview with PokerGO host Jeff Platt, Bleznick said, “All of this, it just doesn’t do anything for me.” The interview was about how sports cards are his passion, not poker. He made this statement while playing at The PokerGo Tour event, which is one of the major US poker tournaments, consisting of year-round competitions. Despite all the prestige and prizes, Bleznick still prefers cards. He explained, “I’ve played four events of these total. I’ve won two of them. It just really doesn’t do much for me.” This was not the level of excitement Platt was expecting.
Platt tried to pull back after asking each question, hoping to catch a glimpse of excitement about winning the poker tournament, but Bleznick was persistent. Bleznick stated, “I’m going to play here and there, but I’d rather be opening cards. Sports cards. That’s my life.” It was very obvious where his passion lies, as his enthusiasm only lit up when he got to talk about sports cards. He went on to describe how great business is because every party involved in a sports card transaction can be a winner, without anyone losing.
In 2019, Bleznick partnered with fellow pro poker player Tom Marchese to invest in purchasing the sports card shop. Bleznick took a moment to reminisce and said, “At the time when we purchased it, it was probably about 50 percent something fun for us to do and have. The other 50 percent was about trying to make some money out of this.” To their surprise, the business took off, and their partnership has been nothing short of amazing.
Was it luck? Was it opening the right place, at the right time? Bleznick attributes their business success to the nostalgic sports fans during the pandemic lockdown. He said, “During the height of COVID, people had more time on their hands to discover sports cards. It brings back a lot of memories of our childhood. And there is a lot of mainstream attention, so people realized that there are other valuable assets out there that you can buy and make money off of.”
Collecting sports cards can be very exciting, and for some, it may even become an extreme passion. As we can see, one poker hand might have won Bleznick a fortune, but the real thrill for him came from seeing a rare card in a pack, not a pair of aces on the flop. For anyone that would like to learn more about the hobby Bleznick is so passionate about, our previous piece on ‘Beginners Guide to Sports Card Collecting’ would be a great place to start.