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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

The Round Table – Beth Shak the Charitable Poker Playing Mother

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Full Tilt sponsored pro Beth Shak is a busy woman. She is a mother, a wife to successful poker player Dan Shak, a budding philanthropist, as well as a successful poker player. Beth has five WSOP cashes, one of which is a second place finish in the 2007 $3000 no limit hold’em event for over $300,000.

KL: How did you get started playing poker?

I got started because my husband Dan was playing as a hobby, but I did grow up with a father and brother that played so I had poker around me my whole life.

KL: How was your WSOP this year?

My series was great. I don’t hold a really high bar for myself because I feel like when you do that you get disappointed. I have two cashes, I should have had four. I went deep in two other tournaments and went out like 10 off the money. I’m happy with two cashes because in my mind, my goal as a player isn’t to be the kind of player that is going to be ok Beth won $300,000, Beth isn’t around, ok Beth won $400,000. I want to be a consistent poker player and unfortunately there is a huge element of luck and I went all in, in a tournament with pocket jacks versus sevens and she four flushed me so what are you going to do in situations like that? I just want to be consistent. That is my goal that I have set for myself, and then I think it’s going to come again.

KL: I heard you have a charity event coming up.

I have a great charity event that Dan and I are presenting. It’s Wednesday November 12th at the Mandalay Oriental in New York. It’s called the All in for Kids Poker Tournament. All of the money is going to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for the palliative care program.

KL: What is the palliative care program?

It takes care of terminally ill children. It helps to take care of them and their family and extended family. It is going to be a great event. We have already raised close to three quarters of a million dollars. I am looking to raise upwards of millions of dollars. I have a watch company that is sponsoring already. They are donating a sizable amount of money and a beautiful watch. When I am done playing the Bellagio Cup and the World Series I am going to work on getting other people but I have just been immersed in poker right now. It is just a great charity. It is one that I have held closely to my heart for years and now Dan and I really want to make an enormous difference with them.

KL: How did you get involved with that specific charity?

I got started with Children’s Hospital because I have always been a charitable person. I asked myself what I wanted to align myself with and I am thinking kids, I want to align myself with kids. Then I was like, I want to do something that not everybody would do because a lot of people don’t want to hear about kids that are dying. It’s not a good topic. I picked a charity that needs money, it needs medical training, it needs money. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is actually the first hospital ever to train doctors how to take care of families and patients. The floor that they have, the program that they have, it is something that you can’t even believe. I handpicked this charity, I have been working with them for years and now I really want to make a huge difference to them. I want to continue to do this for them.

KL: You are a full time player and a mother, how many children do you have?

I have five kids, because I have his and hers with Dan. I have a 20 year old who is almost 21 at Indiana University in Bloomington. I have a 20 year old going to Drexel University, I have an 18 going to Penn State University, which I have to move her into college, and then I have a 13 and an 11year old. My 13 and 11 year olds are at overnight camp during the summer. They love it, my 11 year old stays up and blogs me till like 4 in the morning! I promised him if I ever win a World Series of Poker bracelet I would give it to him. I told him it was his, I just want to know I won, he can have the bracelet.

KL: Do they play poker?

They love poker, they all play. The boys are obviously more into it, though I wish the girls were more into it.

KL: What do you have coming up?

I am currently playing the Bellagio Cup events. I usually play 1 tournament a month. I’m not like all these other players. I probably have better financial results because I’m not like all these other players that are playing every single preliminary, every single thing. I have a family and I am very committed to being a good parent while having a profession that I love. I usually pick one tournament a month except for the World Series of Poker. While my kids are growing up, that’s what I am going to do.

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