The Watch List: 5 High-Stakes Poker Pros and Their Luxury Watches

To most, spending five figures on a watch is unthinkable but for some high-stakes poker professionals it's an investment they can wear on their wrist. Noah Schwartz, Bryn Kenney, Eugene Katchalov, Doug Polk and John Racener have combined live tournament earnings of $32 million. The watches they were wearing when we spoke to them have a combined value of $116,000. We wanted to find out what kind of watches they were and why these pros love them. The answers were interesting and the price tags were astonishing.  

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Bryn Kenney

Bryn Kenney's Cartier Pasha de Cartier

Live Tournament Earnings: $5.76 million
Watch: Cartier Pasha de Cartier Diamond Bezel 18K Gold
Price: $32,000 USD

"For me I like the look and the feel of it. Ever since I was like 13 years old I had a watch on my wrist and whenever I could I would get a better watch.

"It's almost like a trophy or something for what I'm accomplishing. You buy it when you're doing well and you have something to remember it by.

"This was the first really expensive watch I got. My horse chopped the PCA with ElkY in the Bahamas for $1.35 million and I treated myself to a Cartier when I was there.

"The last watch I had was a Jacob and it was just covered in diamonds and color, basically the flashiest watch you can get.

"I'm in a different part of my life now and I like a little classier look, a little more elegant."

Eugene Katchalov

Eugene Katchalov's Audomars Piguet

Live Tournament Earnings: $8.6 million
Watch: Audemars Piguet Prestige Sports Collection Royal Oak Openworked
Price: $37,000 USD

"Personally I like complicated watches because of the amount of work that the builders put into them. I've watched films on how they're built and its incredible that they can work with such small parts.

"I like a slightly more laid-back style, not too flashy but still nice. My tastes have changed over the years. Watches that I've liked and owned in the past, I no longer like so I try to sell them.

"That's the great thing about buying good watches. You can sell them without taking a loss, sometimes they even rise in value.

"So even though it might seem crazy to spend this much on a watch, I know if I take care of it I can always sell it. It's not like a car that immediately loses value."

Noah Schwartz

Noah Schwartz's Hublot Big Bang

Live Tournament Earnings: $5.25 million
Watch: Hublot King Power Unico Ceramic King Gold 48mm
Price: $19,000 USD

"Watches weren't something I thought about as a kid. I grew up really poor. My dad had a couple okay watches but when I grew up and started making some money I kind of wanted to spoil myself a bit.

"Now I'm a watch aficionado. I love the movement, the mechanism, how they work. There are so many cool timepieces out there.

"I don't want to be too flashy but if you don't accessorize you look too plain. I want to stand out a bit. If you didn't wear anything life would be boring.

"You only live once so enjoy it."

Doug Polk

Doug Polk's Breitling Unitime

Live Tournament Earnings: $4.47 million
Watch: Breitling B05 Unitime White Dial
Price: $11,500

"I think a nice watch is the only acceptable form of male jewelry. Around 10% of the male population is pro-necklace, for example, but I'm part of the 90%.

"A nice watch is a nice way to add a bit of style to your wardrobe while still keeping it male-friendly.

"I've only ever bought two watches and this one is great because it has all the world time zones so if you're a traveller like me, you can set that to where you're headed and you're good to go."

John Racener

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Live Tournament Earnings: $7.92 million
Watch: Rolex Yacht Master 2 Stainless Steel
Price: $17,000

"When I turned 21 and started travelling on the tour I saw all these poker players with nice watches. That's kind of what got me into it. I always thought that when I had a score I'd buy one for myself.

"First I bought a couple of Jacob watches and they were really flashy. I had kind of a different image back then but now that I've settled down a bit I switched to Rolexes.

"I have this Yacht Master 2 in stainless steel. It's more of an everyday watch. I also have a Rolex Day Date 2 in rose gold with the chocolate dial. I like to wear that if I'm going out to a nice dinner or a final table or something.

"I never leave the house without a watch on my wrist. I feel naked without it."

Bonus WSOP Watch Gallery

These five high-stakes pros are far from the only people at the WSOP sporting the price of a modest sports car on their wrists.

Check out these pictures for even more awesome timepieces at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

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