First Couple of Poker Won't Get Refund if Covid Attacks $400K Cruise

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
MIAMI — Barry and Allyn Shulman, the enormously successful first couple of poker, have embarked on a four-month world cruise that costs over $400,000.


They say they feel the cruise is safe, but if Covid starts to spread on board, they say they are prepared to “bail”—even if leaving the ship mid-cruise means they won’t get a penny refunded!
The Shulmans, who are the only married couple in poker history to have each won World Series of Poker championship gold bracelets, left Florida on Wednesday aboard the luxury cruise liner Crystal Serenity for a 128-day vacation that will see them visit more than 40 different countries and 50 different ports of call.
Talking about the cruise on his blog at, Barry wrote: “I want to focus on the elephant in the room—Omicron. Are we nuts? Let me answer with an emphatic I DON’T THINK SO!”
Barry then detailed how the luxury cruise ship has implemented Covid protocols to ensure the passengers’ safety, including mandatory vaccinations, mask-wearing and temperature checks.
“We are giddy to be back on board,” Barry wrote. “We feel safer here than we do at home in stores, restaurants and other public places.”
But on his Facebook page, where he also wrote about the cruise, Barry posted the following: “If we change our minds then we will bail,” meaning that if they think the ship has become unsafe, they would leave the cruise and come home.
Unfortunately for them however, if they do bail, they won’t get a refund, in accordance with cruise line policy.
They can afford it though.
According to official tournament records, Barry has won more than $5.8 million playing live tournament poker and wife Allyn has won more than $1.6 million.
In 2001, Barry, 75, won a stud tournament at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas for his first bracelet and then won another bracelet in 2007 in the Main Event at the World Series of Poker Europe in London.
Allyn, 67, won her bracelet in 2012 in a WSOP seniors tournament.
The Shulmans also own poker magazine Card Player.
Aboard the Serenity, which they have been on before, the Shulmans will be staying again in the ship’s penthouse state room, the ship’s most expensive state room, at a cost of just over $200,000 per passenger for the cruise.
The penthouse is a 1,345-square-foot suite that includes a living room, dining area, pantry, library, workout area, bedroom, veranda and two bathrooms, and comes with a butler.

The average stateroom on the ship is just 202 square feet, with no butler.


In addition, the penthouse contains amenities such as a treadmill, three large flat-screen television sets (one each in the bedroom, living room and master bathroom), a bidet, a jacuzzi, Internet access, a refrigerator, a coffee-maker and a microwave oven.

As for the ship itself, the 820-foot-long, 13-deck Serenity holds 1,070 passengers and 655 crew members and boasts a full showroom with stage, a massive dining room, a movie theater, a gym, a spa, a salon, a book and film library, a putting green, a shuffleboard court, a skeet-shooting area on deck, a tennis court, a nightclub, a computer room, a casino, several elevators, over a dozen shops, two swimming pools and 10 restaurants.

Among the countries the Shulmans will be visiting on the cruise are Mexico, Bermuda, Aruba, Jamaica, Dominica, Martinique, Guadalupe, St. Bart’s, Curaçao, Trinidad and Tobago,  Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Portugal, Bulgaria, Romania, France, Cypress, Gibraltar, Monaco, Israel and Russia.

By Tom Somach

Gambling 911 Chief Correspondent