Shannon Shorr – An Alabama Boy Makes It Big on the Professional Poker Scene

By Steve Beauregard

In sharp contrast to the arrogant and unlikeable online poker “ballas” that seem to dominate poker media, Shannon Shorr is the personable, down-to-earth successful poker pro who you wouldn’t mind hanging around with.

He’s also one of the most successful tournament poker players of all time. The Global Poker Index (GPI), ranked Shorr as the 7th best player of the decade, for the ten year poker boom span of 2003 to 2013.
The Alabama native was born in 1985, as the middle child a traditional southern family. Raised in Birmingham, Alabama, he has two sisters.

He played a lot of baseball growing up, and credits the disciple of the game to helping him succeed at poker.

A self described “math nerd,” Shorr attended the University of Alabama on an engineering scholarship, where he intended to be a civil engineer.

While at college, he discovered poker, playing in $5 buy-in games with friends. He then soon made his first online deposit. But unlike every other poker player who has ever lived, Shorr is that rare player who admits to losing. He said he lost quite a bit at first before fully grasping the game.

His big breakthrough came in 2006, when he won a satellite on PartyPoker.com to the Aussie Millions poker tournament (officially known as the “Crown Australian Poker Championships”) in Melbourne. Once down under, he ran hot and finished 4th in the main event, which was good for what would be a life altering $200,000 payday – made all the more remarkable as this was Shannon’s first live poker tournament.

The big check inspired Shorr to pursue poker full time, and with his parents’ backing (another rarity in poker circles), he left his studies at Alabama to chase poker money, but would return to the school in 2008. He graduated with a degree in business administration in 2010.

(Here’s a short biographical interview with Shannon)

Whereas some players may feel that math, or picking up tells are the biggest factors to poker success, Shorr says that bankroll management is the most important skill in poker. He also prefers the tournament scene rather than grinding cash games. He estimates he enters around 90 live tournaments a year.

In another example of how different Shorr is from your typical degenerate poker pro, Shorr says that he has never been backed in a tournament. He says that big Aussie Millions payday helped fund his start on the professional tournament scene, and that – combined with his excellent bankroll management – has kept him from having to rail bird while seeking, (or accepting) backers.

Shannon Shorr Hendon Mob Results and Tournament Scores

Shannon Shorr’s live poker tournament career began with the aforementioned Aussie Millions score in 2006 – a year which established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the tournament poker scene. During 2006, he won $1.6 million, cashing for paydays of at least $50,000 in six different tournaments. Not bad for a guy who had never played in a live poker tournament at the beginning of the year.

Just two weeks after his trip to Australia, Shorr pocketed $75,000 at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. A few months after that, he final tabled a couple of WSOP Circuit Events, then cashed in the big one, finishing 577th at the World Series of Poker Main Event.

A month after that, Shorr won what remains to this day, his biggest poker pay day after winning $10,000 buy-in Bellagio Cup II. He collected $960,690 for the win.

Career wise, Shorr has cashed in 10 World Poker Tour (WPT) events, where he has made three WPT final tables, with $983,000 in career WPT winnings. Most recently, he finished 2nd in the WPT Lucy Hearts Poker Open held at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino on February 7th, 2014, taking home $190,000 in the process.

On the WSOP front, Shorr may own the not-so-coveted title of “Best Player Without a Bracelet.” He does, however have 32 WSOP cashes and $1.4 million in career WSOP earnings.

He has made an impressive 7 WSOP final tables, but has yet to bring home hardware. The closest he has come was in the 2008 $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event, when he finished second. His other notable WSOP tournament performances include an 8th place in the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event, 7th place in the 2013 $25,000 NL tournament (for $129,342) and 3rd place in the 2012 $10,000 six-handed NL tournament (for $455,362).

While we have no clue as to Shannon Shorr’s net worth, according to the Hendon Mob Poker Database, he has $5.6 million in career live poker tournament winnings. Pretty impressive for a player who took off 2010 for schooling and to recharge.

He says that while he would become emotional earlier when first playing poker, he’s since become a “radical realist” and doesn’t succumb to the emotional highs and lows of tournament poker as much as he did earlier in his career. He also says that personable, likeable players such as J.C. Tran and Nam Lee were some of his poker role models, as he liked how those two successful pros didn’t brag, nor rub it in when they won. Jonathon Little was another early influence on Shannon’s career.

Shannon Shorr Twitter and Blog

Outside of poker, Shorr tells interviewers that he enjoys extensive travel, his friends, reading, watching documentaries, (and my personal favorite: avoiding social media while with people).

When he does engage in social media, he can be found at his Twitter handle: @shannonshorr. In addition, he occasionally blogs at his website, ShannonShorr.com.