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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Shaun Deeb Announces His Retirement From Tournament Poker

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It is this writer’s guess that Shaun Deeb has played more Multi Table Tournaments online than anyone that has ever logged on to a poker room.  From his very first cash on PokerStars of 57 cents on July 10, 2006 at age 19, he has played in a total of 24,809 tournaments, and that’s only between PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.  Those two websites are tracked by OfficialPokerRankings.com, but they don’t track the other handful of websites Deeb logged tournaments on.  A safe estimate, and this could be too low, would suggest he has played in the 35,000 range in three plus years he has been playing online, and the cashes got much bigger than 57 cents.

Deeb, still in his early 20’s, shocked the poker community on November 19, 2009, when he logged onto the poker community TwoPlusTwo.com announcing he was retiring from tournament poker.  Famously, or notoriously as some might see it, Deeb has a unique way of choosing to express himself on poker forums, ignoring most basic rules of the English language.  However, here is the quote from Deeb himself:

“yah Im burntout I hate them I'm done with them. I cant win live everyone was always right I cant win online I just ran good everyone was always right. I'm gunna take rest of year off hopefully and go do something else yah poker was good for a while but **** I hate what I've become”

Despite profits of over half a million dollars online this year, Deeb has been unable to have the same luck in live tournament poker.  In fact, he made this thread after busting out of the European Poker Tour, without making the money.  People have wondered what his financial situation is like, despite the big scores.  He is backed, meaning he is splitting half of the profits he wins, and has apparently spent a ton jumping from continent to continent trying to get that big score.  Between his lifestyle, paying money to his backers, and travel, it’s possible to surmise that he isn’t living as well as many of his followers thought.

The thread on TwoPlusTwo is mixed with emotions.  Many people initially thought that his account must have been hacked.  However, people have clarified it was indeed Deeb.  Some people were seemingly ecstatic with this information, saying that all the tournaments he used to play in just got a whole lot softer.  His following is huge, and many others were in shock, refusing to believe it, and even one poster said he felt like he was going to have a panic attack while reading the thread.  Admittedly, I’ve watched Shaun Deeb more than any other poker player online.  Even when I wasn’t playing myself I couldn’t help but log on to see what tournament (or two, or three, etc.) that Deeb was deep in that day.
 
I liken this to a professional boxer retiring seemingly after every fight, only to announce their comeback days later.  At the end of a long, hard fight, win or lose, they feel beat up and drained, and can’t imagine coming back.  Not to mention the 4-10 weeks of training fighters put in.  That, to use a poker term, is a grind, and when things don’t go your way for a period of time, either in boxing or in poker, it’s easy to see why even the most prolific of people would need a break.
 
Someone set the over under of 13.5 days until Deeb returns to the grind.  I’m taking the under, as I can’t imagine Deeb being able to recreate the feeling of raking in the last pot of a tournament in anything else he does in his life.  Maybe I’m wrong, and in a way I wouldn’t mind if I was.  Poker is going to take its toll on anyone, and when it takes its toll on one of the most well known players the game has ever known, then maybe that’s a sign for all of us to reexamine our life goals.

Speaking of reexamining life goals, Deeb could use an extended vacation to do that himself.  The topic of Shaun Deeb’s marijuana use is an open one of the forums.  He has also admitted to doing very little outside of playing poker, having caused him to gain weight, and having cause for other concerns.  A few posts in his retirement thread make fun of these things in a sarcastic light.  One poster said “so you mean to tell me if all I do is gamble and get high all day there could be negative consequences?”  Poker or not, it would be nice to see Deeb take better care of himself for the sake of his future.

In his true gambling spirit, Deeb is looking to take action on whether or not he’ll return to tournament poker.  Some suggested that since no one will take him up on his offer he’ll have to return to poker to make more money.
 
The news is especially shocking considering the timing.  Deeb is the reigning back-to-back Tournament Leader Board Champion at PokerStars, and has done most of his better work during the last month of the year.  Last year he was down by 3,000 points at the beginning of December, and announced that he would win the TLB.  Many people made bets with him saying he had no chance, including Dereck8, a well known tournament grinder, who was in first place of the TLB when Deeb made his prediction.  Deeb amazingly profited $400,000 during his epic run, winning the TLB with ease, and winning thousands of dollars in side bets in the process.  Dereck8 could only watch in awe, eventually congratulating Deeb on his efforts, after the two of them started off in a bitter war of words.  Dereck8 has even contributed to the retirement thread, suggesting taking at least the rest of the year off would do Deeb a world of good.
 
Currently Deeb sits in 6th place of this year’s TLB rankings, approximately 5,000 points behind the leader.

*Read Billy Monroe's Blog*

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