Jerry Yang’s WSOP bracelet turns up in IRS Auction

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Mar 13, 2013 Posted in Legal Poker News, Poker Player News | No Comments »

Jerry-YangOver the years a number of personal mementos from poker players have been pawned, auctioned or sold –for a variety of reasons—but this latest case is a bit different. 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Jerry Yang is apparently in some hot water with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is learning first-hand what failure to pay your taxes leads to. A number of personal items belonging to Yang will be auctioned off on April 4th by the IRS, including his 2007 WSOP Corum Bracelet and the Corum watch the winner receives.

The full list of items can be seen here (you can make a bid if you want as well) and includes 16 separate “lots” all of which are watches and jewelry. In addition to the WSOP Bracelet and Watch, there are eight other watches listed and six pieces of jewelry; both men’s and women’s.

After looking through the Notice of Encumbrances, it appears the outstanding taxes resulted in tax liens from the city of Sacramento (where four separate entries were made by the Franchise Tax Board) which all stem from 2007, but encompass tax years 2004, 2005, and two entries from 2007. These liens amount to roughly $3,500, but that amounts pale in comparison to the federal lien placed by the IRS, which has three entries, two for the exact same amount of $571,894.54 filed in 2009 and 2010 respectively, but covering the years of 2007 and 2008 (the duplication could just be a roll-over from 2007 to 2008) and a smaller one from 2012 for about $400.

Yang’s WSOP win came in 2007 and since then he has likely ended in the red every year as a poker player, so the massive half-million-dollar liability would appear to have something to do with the over $8 million Yang won at the 2007 WSOP.

Yang seemingly spends most of his time these days at Pocket 8’s, and although he has been quiet lately, he was always boasting about the Sushi Restaurant on Facebook, and seemed really happy to be a part of the business. In 2011 Yang also published a book, All In: From Refugee Camp to Poker Champ, detailing his early days in communist Laos, to his time in a refugee camp in Thailand, to his emigration to the United States and his stunning WSOP win.

While Jerry may be the butt of some jokes regarding his playing skills, his personality and friendliness have made him one of the more popular people in the poker community. Hopefully, whatever trouble Jerry is in with the IRS can be resolved and he can move on with his life; with or without a bracelet he still won the 2007 WSOP Main Event.

Yang isn’t the only high-profile poker pro to run afoul of the IRS; in 2010 Mike Mizrachi had property seized after failure to pay taxes, he then went on to own the 2010 WSOP and is one of the biggest names in poker at the moment.

A big thanks to Donnie Peters and his article at for steering me towards the government documents for the case.

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