NFL player who quit to trade Pokémon cards has made millions already
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If you've ever dreamed of packing in your day job to make it big trading Pokémon cards, then you can look at former NFL player Blake Martinez and see that it really can be done.
Martinez quit the sport last November to dedicate his life to his true passion of Pokémon cards after he got back into it during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Like many, he was into Pokémon cards as a kid but eventually let his passion fall by the wayside as he grew older, only rediscovering his joy with the cards after being very bored in the lockdowns that came with Covid.
He saw that some of the old cards could go for big money if you found someone to trade with and called his mom to ask where his old stash of cards was, but got the bad news that they'd either been thrown out or given away at some point.
Rather than leave it there, Martinez decided to start his collection over and began recollecting Pokémon cards before realising he could make a full time job out of it.
Since going professional he has made an absolute fortune in the business, claiming he earns pretty much the same from trading cards as he did being an NFL player.
Martinez realised there was money to be made after seeing Twitch streamers do something called 'box breaks', involving cracking open a box filled with 36 packs of Pokémon trading cards, with each pack containing 11 cards.
Pokéfans buy various slots for the box breaks and they get sent all the cards of the appropriate type once all the packs have been opened.
There's no guarantee you'll get something good as it's all down to the luck of whatever's in the packs, but presumably that's part of the fun.
Martinez had already launched his own box breaks company Blake's Breaks back in July 2022 and just a few months later decided to make it his full-time occupation.
This has a been a lucrative money-spinner for the former NFL player, who tore his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in 2021 and was released by the New York Giants before ending up at the Las Vegas Raiders. He didn't stay long thanks to the undeniable financial allure of Pokémon.
Ever since getting into Pokémon cards, Martinez has raked in over $5 million in revenue, with a quarter of that getting pumped back into the business and the rest of it being paid out to Martinez and 15 employees who work for him.
He first realised he could make money off this when he spent $30,000 buying vintage Pokemon cards in the hopes of getting back his lost collection and soon took to paying tens of thousands of dollars for boxes of the 36 packs.
Martinez auctions the cards to fellow Pokémon fans and managed to sell off his most valuable card for $672,000.
He sells his cards on retail entertainment app Whatnot and said that in his first show he 'turned $50,000 worth of Pokémon cards into $108,000'.