By Matthew Marietta, Rakeback.com Executive Editor
Amid the excitement of the PokerStars European Poker Tour event in Monte Carlo, six players gathered together last Saturday afternoon to play the biggest cash game ever televised.
A €500k minimum buy in and €1k/€2k blinds kept the field to six heavy hitters. PokerStars Team Pro Isaac Haxton; internet phenomenons Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Niklas “ragen70” Heinecker were joined by One Drop runner up Sam Trickett and businessmen Paul Newey, Talal Shakerchi.
Twelve hours later, Heinecker, a 6 max NLHE specialist on PokerStars was up €350k. Ike Haxton was up a magnificent €1m which gave him the opportunity to tweet every poker player’s dream:
Well, I can cross winning a million euro pot off my bucket list.— Isaac Haxton (@ikepoker) May 11, 2013
The big loser was UK based hedge fund manager Shakerchi, down over €1.1m. His loss was an irresistible lure for the London newspapers which reported his experience in vicarious detail. He was portrayed as an amateur who got burnt mixing it with the big boys.
A glance at his tournament record suggests something different. Since 2007 he has recorded over $1.6 million in tournament winnings.
The public understanding of poker is little improved despite the poker boom of the last ten years. What really happened is that he dropped two buy ins. A virtual blip in the variance which regular online players experience on a daily, not to say hourly basis.
What wasn’t reported, because it is so normal as to be not newsworthy, is the story of the internet players at the table.
Online poker has given these young players millions of dollars in reward for their skill at the tables. Of course they’ve had their fair share of luck, but you really wouldn’t want one of them to be sat at your table. Unless you are someone like Talal Shakerchi, who knows that the only way to learn to beat the best is to play the best.
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