WCOOP profile: Shaun Deeb, his "retirement", and victory beers

wcoop2009-thumb.jpgAs a child, Shaun Deeb's family looked at him and knew he was going to be a handful. The kid liked to argue--or, to use Deeb's word, "debate"--and it didn't really matter what the topic was or what side he was on. He simply liked the process of confrontation on any level.

"I like making people think outside of their comfort zone," Deeb said. "It's great when you see the ahh-ha moment in someone's eyes, when you give them a whole new idea or concept they were ignoring or never considered."

This is pure Deeb. This is what he does--in life, in poker, in just about anything he can.

And, so, it was with no small amount of shock that the poker world accepted Deeb's announcement at the end of last year that he was retiring from poker. He was giving up the most accessible form of confrontation he had. Just 24 years old, Deeb said he was finished. He already had one WCOOP title under his belt from 2008 and countless other online wins. In fact, just a couple of months before he quit, he won the Kyiv High Roller event of EPT Season 6 for $86,071. Why quit?

Deeb said, "I've been invovled in poker for a good chunk of my life--most of it while I
was deciding what type of person I would be. I've always loved controversy and don't mind being the center of attention. So, I just tried too hard a few times early in my career."

There weren't many people who believed Deeb would stay gone. Even Deeb now only refers to it as his hiatus. It was a simply a break, one that ended with Deeb hitting the 2010 Spring Championship of Online Poker for nine cashes, including a SCOOP title.

"I've had a lot of soul searching during my hiatus and definitely think I've become a better smarter person during it," Deeb said.


It was just about six months after the retirement-turned-hiatus that Deeb headed into the 2010 World Championship of Online Poker running hot.

Deeb is a pro. In fact, he is such a pro you might might think his run in Event #28, a two-day $1,050 no-limit hold'em contest, wouldn't get his blood pumping. Not so.

"I was more excited for this win than any one I could ever remember," Deeb said.

He had too much energy. During a 15-minute break, he thought about going to play racquetball just to calm down a little. It was odd for him, because it wasn't like he wasn't used to making money. He'd hit another big score for $130,000 less than two weeks before. But when it came time for the WCOOP title, Deeb got excited again.

"My heart was racing the whole final table," he said, "which is rare, because my win two weeks earlier? I couldn't care less about it. I didn't even really become happy once I won."

It was a stress-filled night for Deeb. He stuck around the 30 big blind area for most of the time, something he was able to manage thanks to a sweet structure. And then, not surprisingly, Deeb won it all for $243,610 and his second WCOOP bracelet.

Sp, what did he do? He hopped in the car, drove the convenience store, and bought victory beers. He slept for three hours then got up early for the next day's WCOOP event.

"Hopefully I can parlay the success into some other more fun things," Deeb said. "We shall see."

In the meantime, he'll just keep being Shaun Deeb--outspoken and looking for some conversations with some heat.

"Those are when the truth comes out--no candy coated nice responses, true feelings," Deeb said. "Both sides become stronger thanks to it."

For more: What retirement? Shaun Deeb wins second career WCOOP title in Event #28, $1,050 NLHE

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in WCOOP