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Thoughts on Graduating College + Where do I go from here? + Crushing Online

by Shannon Shorr |  Published: May 17, '10

In the time since I last posted, quite a bit has been going on. Nine days ago I graduated with a degree in Business Management from The University of Alabama. The completion of my degree comes a full 81 months after I first began college in August 2003. I took a 3 year hiatus and spent 3 separate semesters co-oping, so I'm not exactly the Van Wilder of The U of Alabama. I almost cannot find the words to express how happy I am to have finished school. When I walked across the stage to accept my diploma, all the memories of grinding school work all my life sort of flashed through my head. It's hard to believe that all of that hard work led up to this. Obviously, my life has taken quite a different path now as I don't intend on using my degree. I do strongly recommend finishing school, if at all possible, to any poker players who may read this. I'd also recommend going straight through as opposed to taking time off like I did. The last 21 months I spent in Tuscaloosa were much different from my first stint in college. I was a couple years older than my classmates and was still kinda immersed in poker. I didn't really get too involved on campus or anything like I had been the first time around, but that's something that wasn't that important to me, and I'm at peace with it. I still had a whole helluva lot of fun, met a ton of great people, and enjoyed experimenting and learning a lot about myself during the time I spent in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. A poker player like me returning to school isn't as rare as you might think. Off the top of my head I can think of at least half a dozen poker players who've had success and still returned to finish undergrad or attend law school. I think those people are probably a lot like me. For me, it was about finishing what I started and continuing to challenge myself. There have been times during my career as a professional poker player that I really didn't like the game and wasn't sure if it's what I wanted to do, so that was another reason I found myself back in Tuscaloosa. I'll add that the social experiences one gets from college, alone, might be a good enough reason to go back. Even if one intends on making all C's, partying all the time, chasing girls all the time, and smoking weed all the time, the experiences you'll take away can't be matched by grinding online poker 50 hours a week instead from age 19-22. In the time I was back in school, I learned just how much I actually missed poker. I remember how much I loved the freedom that the profession provides, how awesome the highs were and how brutal the lows were. And I love it. I'm going to continue playing poker professionally for, if I had to guess, a minimum of 5 more years. I'm passionate about the game and genuinely love waking up and playing each day. It was obviously much different going back to school and having set schedules and having to sort of listen to people. Also, while I did meet some fascinating people back in the real world, I also found that there are so few people who are extremely driven. I kind of like poker because I'll get to pick the people I interact with and can avoid otherwise annoying people I might come in contact with in the corporate world. I'd considered sending out resumes upon graduating just to see what kind of work was out there, but obviously there are no jobs available anywhere, and my resume would be mostly blank :) The majority of the time since I last posted has actually been playing poker. I put in probably 180 hours over 2.5 weeks, and the results were there. I captured an FTOPS title and $214,000 on a Wednesday night before I graduated. The win was my biggest and most memorable of my online poker career. I stayed hot and won the $100 rebuy on Stars last Sunday night for $44,000 in the midst of the Pokerstars' SCOOP series. All told, the SCOOP itself was not a success as I turned a loser in those events despite cashing at a decent clip. Actually I final tabled some $100 SCOOP event and after 17 long hours of playing, I finished 8th and barely turned a profit on the day after busting some other events. As I type this I'm sitting in the terminal in the Birmingham airport flying down to New Orleans. Today there is a $5000 WSOP circuit event, and I'm really itching to play live. In a little over a week, I'll fly to Las Vegas and prepare for the WSOP as it starts for me May 29. Thanks for reading, SS

Shannon Shorr is a professional poker player from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He finished fourth in the Card Player 2006 Player of the Year race. You can follow his progress at

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of


over 11 years ago

Congrats on graduating. It's good to see a southern guy do well. Best of luck in the series.


over 11 years ago

Congrads on graduating. It is a good feeling to know you achieved something that took so long.
I too thought I wouldn't use my degree once I became a tattoo artist, but looking back now, (its been 21 years since I graduated in 1989) I have realized that I actually do use my degree and all the things I learned I still apply to my life in all different ways. Some may not be applied directly what I learned in the process of working to achieve the goal as a whole is something that is greater then the sum of the achievement, if that makes sense. Hope to see you in Vegas during the WS.


over 11 years ago

Congratulations on graduating! Nice job also in putting things in perspective. I've read your blog now and then over the course of the past few years and found it to be enjoyable. Good luck at the WSOP and all your future endeavors, and continue to keep a good head on your shoulders!
Best, CB

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