Poker Stories: Barry Shulman

09.29.2020 - By Poker Stories

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Barry Shulman found poker while studying at UC Berkeley and the University of Washington. He received his degree in accounting, but opted to forgo the family liquor business in order to build an empire of his own in real estate. His expertise in the field meant that he was often quoted by publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Forbes, among others.

After retiring, Shulman moved to Las Vegas and continued to play poker. While he enjoyed the game as a player, he could also sense that poker was about to go mainstream. Shulman decided that he didn't like being retired after all, and purchased Card Player Magazine from Linda Johnson, transforming it into the industry leader it is today.

In 2001, Shulman won his first World Series of Poker bracelet, taking down $222,295 in the $1,500 stud eight-or-better event. His second bracelet came in 2009, when he defeated Daniel Negreanu heads-up for the World Series of Poker Europe main event title and a prize of $1,321,534. The next year, he finished third at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event, banking another $1,350,000. Just last summer, Shulman narrowly missed out on adding a third bracelet, taking second place in the Super Seniors event and third in the $1,500 Double Stack. He now has more than $5.6 million in career live tournament earnings.

Highlights from this interview include abandoning ship, the free speech movement at Berkeley, $20 five-card draw games at the Oaks Club, a knack for numbers, one-hand Luke, "retiring" in Las Vegas, calling him at the Mirage, "muscling" his way into Card Player, forecasting the poker boom, winning his first bracelet in a game he didn't play, a seven-figure score in London, playing like a "piece of furniture," sweating family at final tables, Costco regrets, poker in Cambodia, why he can't beat David Williams, and what cow balls taste like.

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