When it comes to big buy-in poker tournaments, Dan Shak is one of the best performers in the industry. Of his nearly $7,000,000 in live tournament earnings, $4,759,453 of that has come from events with a buy-in of $25,000 or more. It's not just from two or three big cashes, either. Shak has finished in the money in these events an astonishing 12 times.
Most recently, Shak took to the felt at both the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and Aussie Millions to add to his record. First, he placed runner-up to Fabian Quoss in the 2014 PCA $100,000 Super High Roller for $1,178,980. Then, he traveled Down Under and took sixth in the 2014 Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge for AU$100,000 ($87,484).
Coming off of these two events, the hottest topic in poker was the debate about whether or not these large buy-in events are good or bad for the game. Shak, who did play the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge this year, but skipped the LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge won by Phil Ivey, has been extremely vocal with his opinion on the subject. He is most adamantly against the multiple-reentry and late-registration formats that these events allow, and stated the following on Twitter:
"I'm sorry to say this about a game I love so much, but whether you can or can't afford it... It just doesn't seem right that these events overshadow the main events where people have put their heart and soul on the line where skill is at least more than 50 percent of the game. And these massive turbo unlimited re-entry [events] get so much press because of how much money is on the line. Seriously considering boycotting playing them till the re-entry is only one."
As of right now, Shak has held firm to his "boycott" of the events. As stated, he skipped the $250,000 Challenge at the Aussie Millions and then skipped the World Poker Tour Alpha8 event in Johannesburg, South Africa held the following weekend. With the next super high-roller event on the circuit schedule being the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller at the end of April, only time will tell to see if Shak remains in boycott of these events.
At the end of last week, PokerNews.NL's Frank Op de Woerd spoke with Shak regarding his thoughts on super high-roller events, the reentry format most of these tournaments hold, and more:
Dan Shak's Results in Tournaments with a Buy-In of $25,000 or More
|January 2009||Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge||4th||AU$200,000 ($142,074)|
|January 2010||Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge||1st||AU$1,200,000 ($1,107,553)|
|January 2012||PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller||2nd||$846,700|
|February 2012||L.A. Poker Classic $25,000 High Roller||2nd||$137,780|
|January 2013||PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller||8th||$228,960|
|January 2013||Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge||4th||AU$237,000 ($250,201)|
|March 2013||$125,000 partypoker Premier League VI||1st||$528,000|
|May 2013||World Poker Tour $25,000 World Championship||11th||$57,998|
|June 2013||World Series of Poker $111,111 One Drop High Roller||23rd||$173,723|
|November 2013||$125,000 partypoker Premier League VI||11th||$20,000|
|January 2014||PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller||2nd||$1,178,980|
|February 2014||Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge||6th||AU$100,000 ($87,484)|