Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 | 2 a.m.
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.
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.
Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas dares to be different. From the hotel’s red reservations desks to fine art found throughout the resort, The Cosmopolitan’s signature style is helping to pave its own path on the Las Vegas Strip.
Upon entering the resort, you’re greeted by pillars of video boards playing video art by Digital Kitchen and David Rockwell Studio exclusively produced for The Cosmopolitan. Just beyond that, you’ll find all your favorite casino games on the resort’s 100,000-square-foot casino floor.
The Cosmopolitan’s rooms standout as the resort’s most unique feature. About 2,220 of The Cosmopolitan’s 2,995 rooms have 6-foot deep terraces that span the length of the room, a first at a modern Strip hotel. Other in-room amenities include soaking tubs, kitchenettes and quirky accessories like artsy coffee table books.
The dining experience at The Cosmopolitan isn’t something you’ll find at other Strip resorts, either. All of The Cosmopolitan’s 13 restaurateurs are new to the Las Vegas market. You’ll find American steakhouse fare in a modern setting at STK, top-notch sushi at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill and the freshest fish flown in from the Mediterranean daily at Estiatorio Milos.
Whether the sun is up or down, Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub is the place to find the party at The Cosmopolitan. The venue is a dayclub/nightclub, complete with a pool and cabanas outside and three different rooms with three different vibes inside.
If nightclubs aren’t your thing, you can grab a drink at one of The Cosmopolitan’s five other bars, like The Chandelier, which is encased in 2 million dripping crystals.