WCOOP Profile: ShawnZJones takes road less traveled

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgIt's easy to find a hold'em game--at your local casino, anywhere online, on just about every TV station at night. Hold'em is king and that probably won't change anytime soon. To be royalty in that kingdom takes more than just being good. And so some people, like Shawn "ShawnZJones" Grant, follow another path where they can be king.

"I love Omaha-8, Stud-8, and Razz. Those are probably my best games too," he said. "I feel like it's a lot easier to have an edge in a field like that over Hold'em because not as many people understand those games as much. Also, split games create a lot of action, which I definitely like. Not only that, but playing fixed limit allows you to take a bad beat every now and then and not ruin an entire tournament for you."

That probably goes a long way toward explaining how Grant is one of WCOOP's newest winners. Just a couple of nights ago, he took down the WCOOP $530 Stud-8 event for nearly $50,000.

"It was exciting, but incredibly exhausting after playing for so long." he said."Can't complain about the result though. I'm pretty stoked about it."


At only 23 years old, Grant is the current king of WCOOP Stud-8. He just graduated college with a degree in Communication studies. He's now back home in the Twin Cities working part time and playing poker on the side. Learning his game hasn't been as easy as it has for hold'em players.

"Split games don't get nearly as much publicity, so I had a close friend teach me, along with read a book," Grant said. "I grew up with AceQuad, so he helped me develop my skills in split games a ton, along with gave me a book to read by Ray Zee, and both helped me really establish my game."

Although he's played for the past five years, it's only been about six months since he started taking the game seriously. And although he's been traveling down the lonely road of split pot and lowball games, he also knows he's not going to get rich there.

"I plan to work on my Hold'em game so the next cash can be about four times the size of this one," he said. "There is a lot of money in Hold'em, and it'd be nice to get a piece of it."

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in WCOOP