The US-based professional poker player and mother of three has developed a very particular pre-game ritual: ahead of almost every competition, she buys a new pair of designer shoes. And in such a manner has she built a shoe collection 1,200 pairs strong.
Yes. 1,200 pairs. Of designer shoes. In her wardrobe. As in, she could wear a different pair of shoes every day for THREE YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS and never repeat a trick.
As anyone who has ever seen Rounders will know, rituals are important to serious poker players (oreos!). Shoes have become Shak’s signature on the tournament circuit.
‘I wore UGGs [once] and a man said, “Where are your heels?” [My name is ] synonymous with shoes,’ she told WWD.
Her favourite brand? Christian Louboutin. She’s got 700 pairs of shoes by the French designer.
A few more excerpts from the story:
- Lucky pair for a poker game: ‘The pair Walter Steiger made for me because they are the only pair in the world. They are pink pumps with a little spade on them. I wore them to the World Series last year.’
- Organizational strategy: ‘I made [my closet] look like a boutique. In the middle of my island, I bought this display case and I put red encrusted Alexander McQueen [shoes] in there. My shoes are the focal point.’
- Biggest footwear regret: ‘I bought a pair of Louboutin thigh-high boots in suede for $3,500. I wore them once and decided they are the most impractical things. I can never wear them again.’
Sure, it’s excessive, but Shak's habit is making us look at the game of poker in a whole new light. Is she telling us that poker—the game that sweatpant-wearing men can play for days at a time, fuelled only by Doritos, whiskey and peer pressure—can lead to a museum-sized cache of designer shoes (she also seems to give a lot of money to charity, so it's sort of okay)? That enough chips stack up into casual purchases of hundreds of near-identical Loubis? That YSLs become the comfort option rather than a once-in-a-blue-moon-or-big-paycheck indulgence?
We have one more question: what’s better, a flush or a straight?