Alabama Professor Eyes World Series of Poker

Sound Advice To Aspiring Poker Players

Shannon Shorr, one of the few professional poker players from Alabama, has just been kicked out of the Global Poker Index (GPI) Top 20 rankings; no thanks to the rise of another young player named Samuel Stein. Shorr slipped down the list because of his dismal performance at the Main Event of the World Series of Poker 2013. Players who fail to make it to the top 20 can still prove themselves at the final table set in November 4, though. While Shorr seem to have lost it in the professional league, one of his peers from Alabama is slowly making a name for himself. Corey Harrison, who has as a Ph.D. Degree in cellular molecular pathology is now the biggest sensation in the Southeastern state after beating 1,731 players during the No Limit Hold’em WSOP circuit on June 15. Aside from the instant fame, Harrison also took home $432,000 during the event. The number of players that Harrison beat is said to be the second highest recorded in a WSOP local tournament. It comes second to Greg Merson’s 2012 record wherein he edged out at least 6,500 participants to win US$ 8.5 million. Harrison, who is currently working as a professor at the Stillman College and Lawson State Community College, said that his profession helped him become a successful poker player. He said that his research experience at the University of Alabama helped him solve the codes and secrets of a typical poker game. In an interview with news portal AL.com, he said that the sport has a lot to do with math. “You calculate by what’s showing and what’s in your hand,” Harrison said. “In research you can spend long hours and sometimes you don’t get the desired result. It is the same in poker. You analyze the hand and ask why didn’t that work. There are a lot of intricacies. Poker is not very difficult to learn, but it is really difficult to master.” Harrison used to play poker as a pastime. Now, it brings him great fortune and the chance to play in major leagues like the WSOP, the World Poker Tour, and the Partypoker Premier League because of his conscious efforts to study the game. Harrison insisted that in poker, skills are necessary but patience also plays a big role. He said that if people want to be successful in poker, they should avoid getting over anxious and never bet on a hand that they are unsure of.

Harrison, courtesy of AL.com

Harrison, courtesy of AL.com