Immediately following the final elimination in July of the Main Event, Shulman ignited controversy by claiming that if he won he might “toss out” the tournament’s celebratory bracelet instead of wearing it. Many in the industry speculated that Shulman’s comments stemmed from the fact that Bluff, not CardPlayer, received media rights to the WSOP. However, Shulman retorted to reporters, “It’s my lack of respect for the WSOP and the management and what they’ve done to all of the players. I don’t like it.”
Shulman’s comments have polarized the attitudes towards the Nevada native among those in the industry. Some have inquired why the CardPlayer Magazine Editor entered the tournament, while others have questioned whether he should return to the Rio in November for the final table of the Main Event. He has since formulated alternatives to trashing the bracelet, including auctioning it off for charity, holding a tournament for players shut out of the 2009 Main Event and awarding the bracelet to its winner, and giving the piece of hardware away on Spade Club, CardPlayer’s subscription-based online poker site.
Shulman’s last final table appearance at a WSOP event prior to the 2009 Main Event came in 2005, when he finished seventh in a $5,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em tournament for $50,000. Shulman finished 12th in the Season III World Poker Tour Championship, taking home $94,000, and owns nearly $400,000 in career earnings on the WPT circuit.
He’s the son of CardPlayer owner Barry Shulman and has become one of the most influential figures in the industry. Shulman’s nonchalant attitude is in stark contrast to the serious nature of most poker players. When asked if this easy-going mantra gives him an advantage over other players in the game, Shulman candidly explained to reporters gathered around him at the WSOP, “I feel like I’m on Adderall and everyone else is on Xanax.”
CardPlayer is one of the world’s premier poker magazines and has over 20,000 subscribers. Besides its American version, Shulman and company produce CardPlayer Europe, which distributes nearly 13,000 copies across 40 countries. CardPlayer features live coverage of top tournaments around the world, including WPT events.
Shulman will enter the November 9 final table 4th in chips with just under 20 million to his credit, and will certainly be a difficult player to send to the rail.