Mohsin Charania is a 26 year old American professional poker player from Des Planes, Illinois. He has been playing poker since before he was old enough to walk into a casino, amassing nearly $5 million in live and online tournament winnings in the last five years. With 186 cashes, including 12 title wins under his belt, Mohsin “Chicagocard1” Charania is one of the world’s best poker players you’ve probably never heard of.
Charania’s story is unlike most pros of his age. Mohsin did not watch poker on television, he did not see a movie that inspired him to play the game. He was simply a college student who ended up in the right place at the right time thanks to a common ailment afflicting much of today’s adolescent society – boredom.
Mohsin was attending the University of Illinois and found himself with nothing to do one night when his roommate invited him to come along to a home poker game in the dormitory. The next thing Charania knew, he was playing once or twice a week, low stake no limit hold’em games, and bringing in more than enough cash to pay the rent.
As soon as he turned 21, Mohsin started going to the casino and playing more intensely. He racked up a few thousand dollars within a few weeks of playing real money texas holdem. Another friend asked him if he wanted to come to Vegas, and with $10k in hand, he was quick to acquiesce. It was a magnificent run to start, working his way up the stake levels to the point he had $180,000 in cash. Then came the inevitable down swing that all poker players experience; at the next table, Mohsin Charania lost every cent of it in two $100k pots.
That was the end of his party in Vegas, but the beginning of a new era as he discovered online poker. “Chicagocard1” was born at Bodog.com, where the young Charania kicked things off with a bang, entering the $100k GTD and finishing in 1st place. He entered again the next week and finished 3rd.
It was the beginning of an era for Mohsin Charania, whose new found hobby turned into a multi-million dollar career. In the last five years, he has racked up a phenomenal $4.28 million in online tournament cashes alone. He scooped up his largest cash to date on May 9, 2010 with a 1st place victory in the 20th PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP-20) when he routed a field of more than 1,000 players in a 2-day NL Hold’em tournament with a guaranteed prize pool of $2M. In September of the same year, Charania raked in another $106k in the WCOOP-2 with a 7th place finish.
Mohsin’s live tournament career has been successful as well, though not nearly as affluent as his online profiteering. The young American has cashed in 25 live poker tournaments, earning him just under half a million dollars ($491,176). His largest live tournament cash was on October 28, 2010, when he finished 6th in the WPT World Poker Finals Main Event at Foxwoods, worth $104,741. His only 1st place triumph in a live tournament was in November of 2011 in a NL Hold’em Turbo Bounty during EPT 8 in Loutraki, Greece, paying €24,850.
The only thing that seems to be holding Mohsin Charania back from being a highly recognized poker pro is his wicked downswings. He will be the first to admit that his fortuitous skills run on a tide. He experiences extraordinary streaks of prosperity, followed by severe downswings that can last for months at a time, during which cash games can send his bankroll into a vicious downward spiral. Once Mohsin learns to calm the crashing waves of those tides, his potential on the live and virtual felt is boundless.