Poker Pro Card Player Magazine Publisher Drops $200,000 on Cruise!

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
 Card Player Magazine

Card Player magazine publisher and poker pro Barry Shulman and his wife, Allyn, are currently in the midst of a two-month Mediterranean cruise that costs a whopping $200,000, can reveal in an exclusive report!

Shulman, who won the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event in 2009 and pocketed over a million dollars, has been blogging regularly about his vacation at

Although he has written about such extravagances as his stateroom butler, a lunch that cost $250 and a private after-hours tour of a famous Italian church, he has neglected to mention the cost of his pricey vacation cruise., however, investigated the matter, and discovered that the original cost of the 61-day cruise, which makes stops in 38 European and Asian ports, is actually $400,000, or $200,000 each for Shulman and his wife.

But due to the sagging economy, the cruise line in order to entice customers offered the Shulmans a 2-for-1 deal, meaning the total cost of their cruise is "only" $200,000, or $100,000 each.

Shulman noted in his travel blog that he's aboard a cruise ship called the Serenity and posted photos of his luxurious stateroom on the ship. checked it out and can report that the Serenity is a massive cruise ship that is part of the ultra-fancy Crystal Cruises luxury cruise line, the top-rated and most expensive cruise line in the world.

And the photos Shulman posted of his stateroom match the photos that appear in the Crystal Cruises 2011 brochure of the Serenity's Crystal Penthouse, the largest and priciest stateroom on the ship.

According to the brochure, the Crystal 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 Shulmans' cabin 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.

(If you go to here you can see the photos Shulman posted of his high-priced penthouse stateroom.)

As for the ship itself, the Crystal Cruises brochure notes that the 820-foot-long, 13-deck Serenity holds 1,070 passengers and 655 crew members and boasts a show room, a movie theater, a gym, a spa, a salon, a library, a putting green, a shuffleboard court, a tennis court, a nightclub, a computer room, a casino, several elevators, several shops, two swimming pools and 10 restaurants.

The Shulmans' cruise began August 2 in Dover, England.

So far the ship has stopped at ports in Oporto and Lisbon, Portugal; Gibraltar; Valencia and Barcelona, Spain; Cannes and St. Tropez, France; Sorrento, Florence, Rome, Porto Venere and Portofino, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Katakolon and Navplion, Greece; Mallorca, the Balearic Islands; and Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Shulman has blogged about most of the cities and posted photos.

According to the Crystal Cruises brochure, the Serenity on this cruise is still to visit Kefalonia, Mykonos and Santorini, Greece; Constanta, Romania; Odessa and Yalta, the Ukraine; Fethiye, Kusadasi, Trabzon and Istanbul, Turkey; and Kotor, Montenegro, as well as re-visit some ports stopped at earlier in the cruise.

The Shulmans' cruise vacation is to end October 13 in Venice, Italy.

According to the brochure, the original listed cost for the Shulmans' cruise was $393,950, but under the cruise line's special buy one fare, get one free offer, the trip cost them only $196,975.

But since that figure doesn't include expenses incurred off the ship, such as meals and sightseeing, it's reasonable to presume the total cost of the vacation exceeded 200 grand.

According to official tournament records, Shulman has earned over $4 million in his career playing tournament poker.

In addition to his WSOPE Main Event win, he also won several other major poker tournaments, including a WSOP stud tourney in 2001 and a Los Angeles Poker Classic Omaha tourney in 2002.

He also makes big bucks playing poker online, and of course earns a nice stipend as publisher and owner of Card Player.

So despite $200,000 being approximately the combined annual income for six average Americans, for Shulman it's tip money--something to be dropped casually for a vacation.

The moral of this story?

Excel at poker and you too can cruise the Mediterranean with a butler named Rao.

By Tom Somach Staff Writer