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Broke Back, Heel, Missed WSOP events

by Shannon Shorr |  Published: Jun 03, '07

Everyone might be wondering where the hell I've been and why there haven't been WSOP updates. The answer: I just got out of a Las Vegas hospital a couple of hours ago. Early Thursday morning I was horsing around with my roommates and a major accident happened at the house. I don't feel like elaborating what exactly happened, but I'm sure it will leak. Late Thursday night I decided I might actually be hurt and went to the emergency room. I braved a five hour wait in the ER before finally getting called in. I sat in a wheelchair with chronic back pain while listening to a Mexican baby cry and speak Spanish for the majority of the time. When I got into the doc around 3 a.m. and had a CAT scan I was informed that I fractured two vertebrae (sp?) as well as breaking my heel. My Mom, Dad, girlfriend and sister flew in, and I spent the next couple of days getting an MRI and then waiting for the doctors to get the results. I got out around 5 p.m. today and got a wheelchair and crutches. I also have a cast around up to my left knee. I'm able to walk with crutches, but I'll likely use the wheelchair for maneuvering around the Rio until I get strong and am able to hobble the long walk to the WSOP poker room. I am so, so thankful for my family, roommates, and girlfriend for helping me get through this. I couldn't have done it without them, as they tended to all of my needs. I could've been in a lot worse shape after what happened, so I'm very thankful that this will only be a summer long set-back. People have gone through much, much worse. I missed the first three WSOP events, but I've decided to begin my Series tomorrow in the 1500 dollar limit hold 'em event. I know I should probably take some more time off with a broken back, but it's just hard to stay away from a tournament as romantic as the World Series of Poker. I really want to scoop a bracelet, so I'm going to give myself as many chances as possible. If I feel bad sitting in the chair for hours tomorrow then I'll make a decision from there. While I really want a bracelet, I treasure my health a little more. This is really going to change things for the summer, unfortunately. I'm supposed to be on the crutches for 6-8 weeks and in this back brace for up to 12 weeks. I'm young and atleast somewhat healthy, so hopefully I'll heel fast. Obviously no physical activity, and I believe I'm going to all but abstain from alcohol for the majority of the summer maybe including my 22nd birthday on Thursday, since the pain meds and alcohol don't mix well. I spent about 3 hours playing medium stakes poker online a few days ago and tonight. I won about 30 bets and felt like I played well. I believe this will be the first LHE tournament I've played since November at Foxwoods.

The WSOP is already off to a record-breaking start. Steve "MrSmokey1" Billirikas just became the youngest bracelet winner of all-time, passing Jeff Madsen, to win the 5000 dollar mixed hold 'em event at age 21 years 10 days, lol. That mark might not be broken for 20 years. Steve has been an online phenom for a couple years, and he plays live poker the way it's supposed to be played. He doesn't show emotion and treats the game and the players with respect. It's hard not to root for guys like that.

In the other events, good friends of mine Alex Jacob, Dapo Fadeyi and the ever-achieving Eric "basebaldy" Baldwin are all in the final 36 (atleast according to Cardplayer) of event number 3. I'd like to see one of those guys take that bracelet. Also, our roommate Cody Slaubaugh will bring home our house's first cash of the WSOP. He has double the average stack with 68 players left of the 780ish entrants and they are in the money in the 1500 Pot-Limit Hold 'em event as I type this. There are 45 minutes left in the night, as all 12 p.m. tournaments are scheduled to play until 2 a.m. this summer. It should be noted that my long time friend David "trip12s" Anderson is the best PLHE tournament player in the world. Our other roommate Mike Katz finished in the top 15%, just out of the money in the 1500 NLHE and today's 1500 PLHE event, but he will get his cashes soon. Jon's gf is in town so he played first two events but didn't play today and says he won't play tomorrow. Hopefully things go ok in the tournament and in the wheelchair tomorrow. I expect to have to explain to no less than 257 people what exactly happened to put me in the wheelchair.


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
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