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British Investment Manager Scoops Half a Million in Gaming Tournament

A high-profile British investment manager has recently won over half a million dollars in a major live poker tournament.

Talal Shakerchi, age 54, finished on the final table of the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) $25K buy-in event to scoop the big prize. Shakerchi is the CEO of a successful company, but also, one of the U.K.’s top poker professionals.

Shakerchi founded Meditor Capital Management Limited in 1998, and he has also been chairman of Streamvale Management Company Limited and Intelligent Energy Holdings during his busy business career. Shakerchi has an estimated net worth of around $150 million. For players on the poker circuit, this would often mean easy money, but this is not the case when it comes to Shakerchi, who is himself a serious competitor on the tables.

The PSPC took place in the Bahamas between the 6th – 9th of January. During this time, 1,039 players competed for a total prize pool of over $26 million.

Shakerchi was comfortable during the tournament and was chip leader by the end of the first day. Although he made it to the final table, he went bust a short time later. Then he found himself looking down at pocket aces, the best starting hand in the game. Marc Rivera raised, and Julien Martini re-raised. Finally, Shakerchi made a move for all his 5,250,000 chips.

After a while, Martini called the shove with ace-queen suited. Statistically, it was highly likely that Shakerchi wins this hand, but Martini hit a flush to win the pot and knock him out of the tournament in 8th place. That’s the way it goes, and high flyers know that the best hand doesn’t always win. Shakerchi cashed in for $509,000.

As if this wasn’t enough of a payday, Shakerchi, also went on to cash in another tournament in the same series. He came in 5th place in the Super High Roller event for a further $485,000, making his total payout for the event close to a million.

Roman Colillas went on to win the PSPC tournament, earning himself over $5 million from a free entry.

However, Spanish player Roman Colillas was the eventual winner of the PSPC. He entered using a Platinum Pass, a special ticket given out by PokerStars that allowed him free entry to the tournament, and took home over $5 million. The event was unusual, with 320 players receiving entry through this system. Among the unique mix of professionals and recreational players at the event, winner Colillas falls more firmly into the recreational side as an occasional player who made it big, unlike Shakerchi.

Shakerchi has made a total of $7.1 million in live poker earnings, earning him the 127th-highest ranking player in the world and the 4th-highest ranking in England. His biggest win came in 2018 in the Super High Roller Bowl event in Las Vegas where he came in 4th in the $300K buy-in game and won an epic $1.18 million.

Along with his two recent victories in the Bahamas, these three wins all happened within several months of each other, making this year Shakerchi’s best so far for live poker. Shakerchi is also a successful online player operating under the name ‘raidalot’. He came in first in the 2016 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) $10K Main Event, one of the biggest on the web, for $1.46 million.

Competition and gaming provide several opportunities for making money and even raising funds like Twitch gamer Eric Taviner. Along with online and live poker, esports tournaments offer prize pools running into the multimillions. Poker is only one avenue and the one that business owner Talal Shakerchi took to continue adding to his increasing wealth. The two half-million-dollar cash prizes that he took home also increase his status as one of the U.K.’s poker greats.

*All photos by Carlos Monti @ Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd. / Used with permission.

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