Top Stories of 2015; #10: Shak Kazemipur Wins the Milly
As 2015 comes to a close, we look back on the 10 most popular stories of the year on PokerNews Canada. It’s like a “Greatest Hits” album for Canadian poker in 2015. One by one, we count down the top stories of the year until New Year’s Eve.
The 10th most-popular story of the year featured one of Canadian poker’s up-and-comers. You could almost call this Shakeeb Kazemipur’s rookie year in poker. He has been playing online since 2013 under the name ‘njåguar’, but it wasn’t until this year that he logged his first live tournament cash and really developed a name for himself online as well.
Based in Calgary, Alberta, Kazemipur currently ranks as the top online player in the province, according to PocketFives, and 20th in the country. A lot of that was due to his win in PokerStars’ Sunday Million — the weekly tournament with a $215 buy-in and a guaranteed prize pool of a cool million bucks. Kazemipur won $183,000 in that tournament back in April this year. His total online winnings on PokerStars currently sit above $650,000.
Undoubtedly a polarizing character, Kazemipur is remembered everywhere he plays for his banter. Love him or hate him, he brings a lot of energy to the table and it seems to be working in his favour.
An amusing fact about his appearance on the Sunday Million final table was that his account was currently under a chat ban for some language he used at an earlier final table. PokerStars had to temporarily lift the chat ban so that he was able to participate in deal talks on the final table. He made good use of his reinstated chat privileges by entertaining/irritating his tablemates with a stream-of-consciousness commentary throughout.
From Lethbridge, Alberta but attending university in Calgary and paying his way via poker, Kazemipur was still 19 years old when he won the Sunday Million. He turned 20 just a few days later.
Shortly after his Sunday Million win, Kazemipur headed to Panama to play PokerStars’ Latin American Poker Tour stop and won the Main Event for $180,112. He added a string of cashes after that, including one at the World Series of Poker Europe (he was too young to play the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this year), and then won a side event at European Poker Tour Prague for €42,940. In his very first year of recording live results on The Hendon Mob, he’s already accumulated more than $240,000 in winnings.