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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

The Round Table – Players to Watch - Shaun Deeb

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Cashing for almost two million dollars, Shaun Deeb is one of the best online tournament players in the world. He recently took down the FTOPS $500 Heads Up event on Full Tilt, besting numerous tough opponents, and winning $115,014.

KL: How long have you been playing poker?

Shaun:
A long time now, actually since I was about 5. I played poker and other card games.
 
KL: How did you get started?

Shaun:
My gram taught me the basics and I learned from running home games after that. Then I had my first TS trip where I met a lot of good tourney players.

KL: What is your favorite thing about the game?

Shaun:
Traveling, who I get to hang out with, and trying out everything anywhere I go. The money ain't bad either!

KL: What is the hardest or your least favorite thing about it?

Shaun:
The hours suck. You don’t get to pick and choose when you play or how long as often due to the unsureness of when the last tourney ends. It's tough to make plans on days you are running a session no matter how big or small.
 
KL: Why do you think you have been so successful?

Shaun:
Volume. I am able to get up and grind the next day even if I went 0-40 or something the day before. I don’t get attached to chips and the equity associated with it.

KL: How important is it to you to be ranked online?

Shaun:
At first it was cool to be in top 100 being a 180 man grinder that I was for so long. For next year or so it only served as a basis for different prop bets. I made a goal to be ranked first and once I got there I lost it quickly. I noticed I didn’t care that much, the polls can easily be manipulated so who cares about being at the top, I would rather worry about winning more money.

KL: You just took down the FTOPS heads up event – what was that tournament like for you? Was it easy or were there ups and downs?

Shaun:
It was a lot of fun. I ended up doing a bunch of different things during it. At one point I was coaching an 11 year old kid and his father who stopped by to watch me play online. The father I met at Club One and he told me how his son knew of me. His kid was quite good, he said he once played the 750k on Full Tilt Poker through freerolls and ended up going deep before losing a flip. It's scary to actually meet one of the kids who will get seven years of online experience before their first true live tournament.
 
Then the middle matches I was playing in my room, the later matches I moved to the restaurant in Club One [card room in Fresno, CA.] I even snuck in some $15-$30 three-handed limit in between my round of 32 matches. With heads up events there aren’t as many ups and downs. I got it in bad I think three of the matches and all three I didn’t hate my play. I didn’t like what I did, but had justification.

KL: Who was your toughest opponent?

Shaun:
Obviously Annette_15. She's the second best female player out there that I know, slightly behind Vanessa Selbst.

KL: How different is heads up to 9 handed or 6 handed? What are some major key strategy points?
 
Shaun:
You get to be way more aggressive, there are never any antes but knowing when the blinds are going up is key to gain a smidge of EV sometimes. You just get it in a lot lighter pre and post flop it's a lot more variance that's why even versus my weakest opponent, which there really wasn’t one to point out, I would be shocked if my edge was over 60% and when you realize I had to win a bunch of 55% edges including one or two where I was 45% edge prior to match starting to win 9 or 11 matches whatever the amount was is quite tough. I also did get a bye the first round which always helps your EV.

KL: How much are you playing live?

Shaun:
I'm playing a lot. I just got done with a small series at Club One; I was one of their celebrity bounties for a $250 bounty. I played the Main Event as well. I have a long Europe trip planned and I’m heading to Turning Stone [casino in New York] this week for their upcoming series.

KL: Which do you like better and why?

Shaun:
Both have their advantages. I've had the opposite spectrums of success when it comes to live versus online tourneys but I still find enjoyment in all forms of poker tourneys.

KL: What do you have coming up? Future plans or goals in poker?

Shaun:
Sponsorship is key; hopefully it's a non poker site. It's time we move like other televised events and have a host of sponsors who don't compete with each other. I'm hoping to final table WSOPE or an EPT event. I want a big televised final table sometime in the next 6 months. Goals for poker repeat TLB win on PokerStars and beat Thayer in our 5 figure score prop bet for the year.

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