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Poker Stories Podcast With Brandon Shack-Harris

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Jun 06, 2018


Poker Stories is a long-form audio podcast series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

Age: 37
Hometown: Racine, Wisconsin
Live Tournament Earnings: $2.8 Million

Top Five Tournament Scores

Date Tournament Place Winnings
June 2014 WSOP Poker Players Championship 2nd $937,975
July 2016 WSOP Pot-Limit Omaha 1st $894,300
May 2014 WSOP Pot-Limit Omaha 1st $205,634
June 2014 WSOP Razz 2nd $182,155
July 2016 WSOP Stud Eight-Or-Better 2nd $96,750

Brandon Shack-Harris was the breakout player of the 2014 World Series of Poker and finished runner-up in the Player of the Year standings only to three-time bracelet winner George Danzer. Shack-Harris won the $1,000 pot-limit Omaha event for $205,000, finished second in the $10,000 razz event for $182,000, took third in the $1,500 limit hold’em for another $78,000, and then he topped it all off by finishing runner-up to John Hennigan in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship for $938,000.

In the following years, Shack-Harris proved he wasn’t a one-summer wonder with six more final tables, including a win in the 2016 $10,000 pot-limit Omaha event for $895,000 and his second career WSOP bracelet. In total, the 37-year-old mixed-games phenom has cashed for more than $2.8 million in live tournaments, the majority of which came in just the last four years. A jack-of-all-trades musician himself, Shack-Harris was actually introduced to poker by the lead singer of the rock band Muse.

Highlights from this interview include birthday interviews, a lack of slurpees, fleeing Silverchair drama in New Jersey, a sensory overload project, bonding with Muse over Chopin tattoos and poker, needing some disco rock band closure, a Super Massive Black Hole of disappointment, being a respectable short-stacker, why the polar bear comes out for stud 8, a dream connection with Phil Laak, selling his grandmother’s house with Eric Rodawig, giving rebates to Dan Kelly, and trolling razz players in Russian.

The Highlights

On learning poker from the band Muse…

“That night, after the show, I go to the back of the tour bus, and [lead singer Matt Bellamy] says, ‘Have you ever played poker?’ I guess [the band] was playing all the time. So he teaches me how to play poker… Months down the road, I learned all their shit… but it didn’t work out. But I had also been learning poker, and I was getting kind of decent. [After that experience], I was focusing so much on poker, and not wanting to touch music.”

On an incredible swap he made with Matt Grapenthien…

“I swapped a small piece with Matt Grapenthien in the $10,000 Razz. I took second in it, and he put that piece back into the $50,000 [Poker Players Championship]. I took second in that. And then, he wasn’t going to play in the $10,000 stud, but he decided to play it because he got a bunch of money from my swaps, and he won that [for $268,000]. So it’s like this epic spin up.”

On the guilt he feels after a suckout…

“I give refunds all the time. Do you know DJK? (Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Dan Kelly) The guy that doesn’t need any money. He’s been a killer for a while. Well, we were playing razz [online], and it was the first time I had ever played $100-$200… and I needed… I didn’t have money, really. I was just shot taking. But I remember, he slow played a hand and I misgauged it, and I wound up making a wheel against his six perfect. He played his hand really well, and I [got lucky]. The pot was big, for me, over $2,000. Like $2,400. I ended up messaging him like, ‘oh I’m so sorry, I feel so bad, you played that so good.’ And I sent him back like $2k. He doesn’t need this fucking money, he’s just killing it, destroying people, and I had nothing. I gave him pretty much the whole pot, more than [I even put into it,] and I gave myself a small rebate, even though I won the hand. At some point I met him in real life, [reminded him about it] and asked if I could get an hour of coaching. He said, ‘yeah, sure’ but I never followed up on it. So I guess I’m the perfect sucker.”

You can check out the entirety of the interview in the audio player at the top of the page or download it directly to your device to play on the go from iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.

Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Daniel Negreanu, Nick Schulman, Barry Greenstein, Chris Moorman, Bryn Kenney, Mike Sexton, Brian Rast, Scott Seiver, Freddy Deeb, Greg Raymer, Maria Ho and many more. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes automatically when they are released.