SCOOP 2012: Being Shaun Deeb

SCOOP logo.gifIt's no secret that I've become a little obsessed with Shaun Deeb over the past week or two. It's nothing scandalous, I assure you. I liken it more to a nightwatchman who sees the same person pass by his station every night at the same time. Eventually, he begins to wonder, "Who is that man? What's it like to walk in his shoes? Did I remember to pack a sandwich tonight?"

It seems like Shaun Deeb passes by my watch station once a day. Each time he goes by, he's wearing a new SCOOP watch and notches another nick in SCOOP's headboard. He's winning the SCOOP overall Player of the Series. He's in the lead for the high buy-in Player of the Series, award, too. He's the only person in SCOOP history to win four titles.

And so, I'm obsessed.

Every time he does something, my instant messenger, Twitter feed, and email box fill up with people asking, "Are you watching Shaun?" Which, if I'm being honest, is a lot like asking, "Brad, are you breathing presently?"

My first thought when this (almost assuredly temporary) obsession began was to beg PokerStars for an emergency plane ticket to Playa del Carmen so I could see all this happen in person. You know, as a real journalist would. But, I knew that wasn't going to happen. First, those last-minute tickets are pricey. And even if I could get the people in the travel office to okay a last-minute ticket, I'd have to explain to my wife why I was so hot on jumping a flight to the beach to probe the life of a 26-year-old man. The only way it would be a harder sell would be if Liv Boeree were winning Player of the Series right now and she were wearing a black latex superhero suit.

Where was I?

Yes, Deeb. Deeb.



So, instead of risking the wrath of the PokerStars travel office or my wife imagining Shaun Deeb in a latex superhero suit, I asked the expected SCOOP Player of the Series winner to take me through the last week or two of his life.

He doesn't sleep much.

"I only need 4 hours of sleep a day and thats what I've been keeping up with," Deeb said.

He wakes every day and makes a choice. It's Corn Pops, bagels, or sandwiches. He eats and grabs his laptop. He works without a mouse on the one screen. Or, he did until his laptop went down.

"My computer seems to have stopped working," Deeb said. "So, I'm using a borrowed laptop and monitor and hate it."

That could go a long way toward explaining why Deeb hasn't won a title in a SCOOP couple of days. It's surely not an overabundance of celebration. Though he's added three titles to his resume in the past two weeks, he's been celebrating other friends' birthdays or grabbing an occasional beer. Even when it's over, Deeb says his plans don't involve anything that would be considered baller...balla...ballar...or whatever the kids are saying these days.

"Just some paintball and then heading home to see family before the WSOP," he said.

In short, his day isn't much different than most SCOOP players. He's just winning a lot more.

Obviously, I had more questions.

What kind of response are you getting from friends and enemies?

Deeb: I think there is some jealousy, but most people are happy a friend is
winning. I don't think I have as many enemies as I had years ago.

I'm getting the impression this is about more to you than the EPT Grand Final seat you will win for Player of the Series.

Deeb: Yeah, I'm a title whore, so that's important to me. The added value is pretty sweet.

The range of the games you're winning at speaks to what you talked about in our last interview about players learning new games. Does this validate what you were saying?

Deeb: I mean, I'm not the best player in the field in these stud (events), but combining my no-limit tourney skills understanding, ICM, and stack-sizes, I can do
a lot of things people aren't doing when short-stacked.


I could go on like this for the rest of the day, but the first SCOOP events of the day are underway. I have to go take the watch.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in SCOOP