If you don't know Shaun Deeb, you don't know online poker. For nearly as long as I've known the online game, I've known Deeb's name. Long before I ever met him, I knew who he was. He had a reputation as a sometimes brash, always confident marksman at the table. He crushed online. He has nearly $800,000 in live tournament winnings. This week, he won his second SCOOP title. There's not much more that people can write about the guy. But, as he won a second SCOOP (and now...third), it seemed like a good time to check in.
This is how it normally works. More often than not, Spring Championship of Online Poker winners are unknown, or if not unknown, at least anonymous. To help everyone have a better idea of who the winners are, I like to reach out to the winners with a few questions that might shed some light on their life, personality, and poker philosophy. Many people prefer to remain anonymous, but there are several who concede to outing themselves.
In Deeb's case, there isn't a great deal more to reveal. That said, I shot him a few questions anyway, and he was kind enough to respond.
Deeb is now 26 years old and living in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, a home away from home he found after leaving the USA post-Black Friday.
What is the most interesting thing that's happened to you in the last year?
Deeb: Moving out of the United States to continue to play online poker. The best part of Black Friday was getting me to move to Playa del Carman. I will be living here for a long time.
What's the hardest thing you've had to deal with in the last six months?
Deeb: Deciding between spending time with family or spending time to grind online.
How does your win compare to your other poker success?
Deeb: Oddly it felt a lot better then my other major titles. The prize money was less, but I have felt out of the game a bit in online MTTs with all my mixed game hands in the past few years. It was nice for it to pay off in a such a tough, albeit small, field.
What do you want everyone to know about you?
Deeb: I maybe not the nicest guy on the tables, but away from it we are all different people. So, don't hold grudges, especially if it was something that was done years prior. People change a lot during that time. Always giving second chances helps a lot more than it hurts.
Did anything particularly interesting happen in your SCOOP event (other than you winning it, of course...)?
Deeb: I was offered a bet by a fellow highstakes guy who wanted to make the event bigger so we crossbooked which means we paid out the amount if either cashed in the event. I got lucky to get an early chip lead, and he was bust, so it was a quick freeroll going for me.
Anything else on your mind?
Deeb: To everyone who is just a no-limit hold'em or pot-limit Omaha player, it's time to become a professional poker player. If you want to make the most money long term, you need to be adaptive. Learning new poker variants can only help you in the future.
Fish like other games they know. Everyone is good at no-limit hold'em, plus the older they are, the more likely they grew up playing games besides Omaha and hold'em. Plus, I personally really enjoyed the rejuvenation of motivation in poker when I got into them. It's like you're taking baby steps, and every stride for improvement you feel more rewarded than just grinding out hands in a game you aren't getting significantly better at every session you put in.