Talal Shakerchi: ‘I Kept My Online Name Secret So Most Players Assumed I Was A Random Rec’
Talal Shakerchi is now an extremely successful investment director in Great Britain. At before all else glance, the 54-year-old creator and CEO of Meditor Capital Management Limited might seem like another entrepreneur peppered among the youthful high-stakes championship professionals who dominate the super high-definition occasions.
But despite his hectic workload, Shakerchi has managed to be a serious poker player using quite the remarkable resume. He’s accumulated over $7.1 million in live tournament earnings, together with countless more in online cashes. In reality, he took down one of the biggest online tournaments , topping a field of 824 entrances to win the 2016 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) $10,000 major event for $1,468,001.
Shakerchi has strung together lots of large scores over the previous two months, beginning with a fourth-place revealing from the 2018 $300,000 Buy Super High Roller Bowl V for $1,188,000. Then he was able to create two enormous final tables in the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, finishing eighth at the $25,000 buy PokerStars NL HoldCeltics Players Championship and fifth at the $100,000 super roller. Those two scores earned him a second $994,300.
Stake me to play talked to Shakerchi soon after he proceeded his final-table stunt to find out more about the way he got into poker, the way he’s managed to maintain his own against the toughest players on the planet, plus many more.
Stake me to play: You have live tournament results dating back to 2007, and a few of the before all else few reside cashes was a third-place revealing at a 10,000 buy-in principal event in Paris. Ordinarily, when one encounters a person that has such a large score early in their live tournament profession, it’s because they were beating online poker for several years. How was it you came to take part in large live poker tournaments?
Talal Shakerchi: Poker wasn’t as tough back then. I played quite a bit online and quickly took to the game. I wanted to play in the toughest tournaments I could and believed at the time the best way to do that was to play big buy-in live events. So I soon started to play occasional events when I could make time.
CP: When did you before all else learn how to play poker, and how did it come to be such a big hobby of yours?
TS: When I was a kid I played a little bit of poker, draw and stud, with my dad and brother at the family table. We also played a game called ‘Brag,’ which is similar to poker but has simplified hands and more complex betting options. But my before all else real exposure to the game was when I started playing online in 2007 having come across some poker sites in my job. It quickly grew to be my main hobby as I challenged myself to play against the toughest opposition.
It suited me as a hobby because poker theory was relatively limited (especially back then) so I had a chance to take on the best, which I found stimulating. That couldn’t have occurred with games like chess where outstanding talent and fulltime dedication from a young age must compete at higher levels. Poker also appeared to chime nicely with my day job at which a lot of the equal characteristics are essential for achievement.
CP: By the time you recorded the before all else live tournament score, then you’d become the CEO of Meditor Capital Management Limited, which you based, for almost a decade. As a highly successful entrepreneur, can you speak a bit about your early experiences playing poker in large events? I’m especially interested in everything you can share regarding what it’s like being a businessman playing with top players.
TSI liked live poker since I enjoyed the live facets of the sport and met a broader selection of individuals than I do in my own work. The most important thing I disliked was that the slow pace. I go on to think we will need to find improved answers to the time problem.
For the before all else couple of years I didn’t play many events and I kept my online name secret so most players assumed I was a random rec, particularly as I am older than the typical online player. People picked up that I was a hedge fund manager and assumed I didn’t play many poker. This was a fantastic place for me personally game-wise. On the flip side, I had been disabled relative to other gamers since I had a lot going on external poker in order live events I would usually be dealing with emails or calls through breaks and after play ended for the day. Additionally, I couldn’t spare many time to travel so if the event was overseas I often arrived on the day and jumped into the tournament without a rest.
Later on, people connected me with my online persona. Many people expressed disbelief when they before all else heard I was the ‘raidalot’ that played and posted online. The cat leaving the bag changed the way people played against me which made it tougher.
CP: Did you seek out tough competition for the challenge? Or did you just end up playing such tough competition because you enjoyed playing for high stakes?
TS: I want to play the toughest tournaments possible so I seek them out. Online that is events like SCOOP, live it is big buy-in tournaments.
CP: What inspires you to go on playing and working on improving your poker game? Is holding your own against the best players a motivating factor?
TS: When I do something seriously I want to be among the best in the world. I enjoy learning and improving. I enjoy strong competition and it motivates me to improve. Today I am enjoying developing my mixed-game skills because the learning curve is steeper for me.
CP: You made some big scores early in your career, but in recent years your deep runs have became more and more frequent. To what would you attribute your improved results? Have you been actively studying the game the way a full-time professional might?
TS: The recent run of results is just variance. I don’t believe I am many better today than the past few decades. I’ve always analyzed the sport. I’ve read about 80 poker books, watched countless coaching videos, and spent endless hours examining hands and scenarios, and reviewing toy matches. I am able to ‘t dedicate the time that a pro can but it is a pretty intensive effort over more than a decade.
CP: In May of 2016 you won the SCOOP main event, one of the largest and most prestigious online tournaments in existence. Can you talk a bit about that incredible win and what it means to you? Also, how many online poker do you play, and do you enjoy it as many as live poker?
TS: I was delighted with that win because it is possibly the toughest online tournament of the year, with more than 800 entrants paying the $10,000 buy-in and playing over three days. Also, who doesn’t need $1.5 million? I feel it’s the largest SCOOP trophy in history and dwarfs my additional SCOOP wins. But variance. It doesn’t make sense to read too many into a single result. I was more proud of cashing in 38 SCOOP events that year for example.
I used to play a ton online, mostly to help improve, but now I play less and generally focus on bigger events and Sundays.
CP: Three of your five biggest live cashes have come in the last few months alone, with a fourth-place finish in the Super High Roller Bowl in December and two big scores in massive events at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Of the three final tables you made, which would you have most liked to come away with?
TS: Of those events I would most liked to have taken down the SHRB because that was the toughest or the PSPC because it was a five-day event and had a special air about it. Both also had big money up top.
CP: The PSPC was a very unique event. Can you share your thoughts on the Platinum Pass approach and the tournament in general?
TS: I thought the idea of the event, and the execution, were excellent. The Platinum Passes gave a large number of players a real shot at a dream, and you could sense that in the air. There was almost a mini-Moneymaker effect and it was interesting that the final table was not packed with pros as many expected. I’ve given Stars a pretty hard time in recent years for abusing their dominant position but on this one I have to applaud them for putting something back into the game in a positive spirit. I hope they do something similar next year.
CP: You were eliminated from the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars NL Hold’em Players Championship in brutal fashion, picking up pocket aces in a great spot and getting all-in against eventual-winner Julien Martini’s A
. Do you think he made a mistake by calling your shove, seeing as you cold four-bet all-in? Or, due to the stack size, was it just a situation where he had to call in your eyes, and it just was unlucky for you that he managed to make a flush? (You can watch the full hand in the video beneath.)
TS: It’s a tough spot for him because of the sizing. He probably knows that I almost never have worse than his hand in that situation (except against players I have history with) but he is getting close to 2:1 on the call which amounts him in unless he thinks I have a particularly tight range. I suspect he would have mucked if he wasn’t satisfied. The simple fact that the under-the-gun opener, Marc Rivera, was playing quite tight at that occasion strengthened my scope so maybe he should have discovered a fold.
CP: Your powerful beginning to this year has you in striking distance of the best 20 of the Player of the Year race standings. If you saw yourself as a leading contender after in the year, could an award similar to this (that tries to measure the very best performance on a complete year) be something which you may chase?
TS: Unfortunately, I can’t play many live events every year. I play with 10-15 tournaments over three or fofur excursions and frequently the excursions are focused on a single occasion like SHRB. So it’s very improbable that I would be anywhere close to the top of the Player of the Year race standings. I figure if, by some bizarre twist of fate, I had been near the very best close to then it may be a element in deciding whether to perform with an occasion. That could be a fairly cool name to win.