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November 23, 2014

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Q+A: Jason Arasheben is the man behind the $500,000 WSOP champion’s bracelet

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L.E. Baskow

Jason Arasheben, owner of Jason of Beverly Hills, designed the $500,000 2013 World Series of Poker championship bracelet. He shows it off on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in his store in the Cosmopolitan.

WSOP Bracelet Designer Jason Arasheben

The $500,000 2013 World Series of Poker championship bracelet designed by Jason Arasheben of Jason of Beverly Hills on display in his shop in the Cosmopolitan on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. Launch slideshow »

One fact that might be surprising is that it’s fairly heavy. Or perhaps not so surprising considering that the 2013 World Series of Poker champion’s diamond bracelet is worth $500,000.

One thing is for certain: The bracelet is heavier than a poker hand. And the winner of the 2013 WSOP’s November Nine, which kicks off today at the Rio, will happily wear the hefty, half-million-dollar piece of jewelry.

Jeweler Jason Arasheben of Jason of Beverly Hills, who has a store in the Cosmopolitan, returns for a second time as the designer of the $500K bracelet. The sharp-dressed Arasheben recently spoke about how he became the man behind the coveted prize, crafting the bracelet and his poker skills.

How did your relationship with the World Series of Poker begin?

It all started with me doing the Los Angeles Lakers championship rings in 2009 and 2010. I noticed that another sport that used rings as prizes was poker, and I’m a poker fan and thought that it would be a huge opportunity. So I sought out the people who handle poker. I showed them what I did with the Lakers rings, and I gave them a proposal they couldn’t refuse.

The next thing we knew, we started doing the poker bracelet. I think we’ve brought a new sheen to the poker industry as far as a prize. Ours shines bigger and bolder than any other bracelet in the history of poker.

How did you get involved with the Lakers?

All my clients start out as friends, well before they are clients. I had the opportunity to do business with many of the Lakers players, and I was good friends with one of the late Lakers’ owner, the great Jerry Buss, one of his sons, Jesse. I asked for the opportunity to design the 2009 championship ring, they granted me the opportunity, they loved our thought, design and price. We competed with Tiffany and Jostens, outdueled them and got the contract.

How did you want to set your WSOP bracelet apart from previous years?

One of the things that was really important to me is that I wanted to create a bracelet that was completely different than the previous year’s bracelet. The previous bracelets were great, but they weren’t really showpieces. At the end of the day, these bracelets are not something people wear every day.

It’s something that’s more of a mantelpiece, a trophy piece, and I wanted that to be reflected, something that people could be proud of, that made a bold statement. Last year, we created something so over the top that it made a strong, strong statement.

What is the inspiration for your designs?

I want each and every year to have its own identity. In this year’s bracelet, we have 28 carats of flawless white diamonds, over 220 grams of 14-carat gold. What makes this bracelet so unique is that it will be customized for the winner.

You have a varied collection. What are your favorite pieces to design?

I love doing designs other jewelers wouldn’t want to do. I like doing designs that would make my mother cringe.

In a good or bad way?

(Laughs.) In a bad way because then I know that I did something good. I like thinking out of the box. I’m not looking for the Harry Winston-type jewelry. I like things that are different, fashion forward and trendy and timeless in itself, as well.

How did you choose this career more than a decade ago?

I’ve always been a creative person, and I enjoy designing and creating things, whether with jewelry, architecture, design and clothing. I am a fan of anything creative. This was definitely a good way to let my creative juices work for me. I also love people, and this gave me the opportunity to meet new, different and eccentric people. I make jewelry for those type of people because they’re the kind of people I like being around.

Break down for me why the bracelet is worth $500,000.

Beyond the diamonds and gold, you can’t really put a true value on this because it’s the only one, and you have to win the World Series of Poker to have this. That in and of itself allows this bracelet to be considered priceless. We’re asked to put a dollar figure, and I would say that the bracelet is worth at least $500,000.

Do you play poker?

I do play poker, but I am terrible because I have the worst poker face of all time.

Click to enlarge photo

David Arquette, Rosetta Getty, Balthazar Getty, Patricia Arquette, Katy Perry, Jason Arasheben and Markus Molinari arrive at 1OAK in the Mirage on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012.

Favorite clients?

I have worked with so many great clients. I had the chance to meet the late Michael Jackson; he invited me to his house. Saudi kings and queens, princesses. Actors and actresses like Jessica Alba, musicians like Rihanna, Katy Perry and Chris Brown, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, so a lot of interesting people, a lot of people who I admire.

What is your favorite location of all your stores?

My favorite location is always the newest location that opens. Right now we’re in the process of finalizing the new Miami and New York locations, so those will be my favorite locations.

The Vegas location is dear to my heart because it’s the first traditional retail location. And let’s face it: I love Vegas. I love coming here, I love the lifestyle, I love the nightlife, and it really exemplifies the idea of our brand.

What else do you like about Las Vegas?

I’m a big food guy, and Vegas has some of the finest restaurants in the world. I travel all over the world, and for Las Vegas to have this eclectic group of restaurants and cultures, it’s the best of everything — it’s one of the main reasons I love Vegas. Everything is so big and over the top — just like our jewelry.

Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

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