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Poker Player PROfile: Shawn Daniels is a Regular in Reno Cash Games

Daniels Plays a Range of Tournaments From Large to Small


Shawn DanielsCard Player first took notices of 28-year old Reno, Nevada pro Shawn Daniels during the Card Player Poker Tour Atlantis Casino Resort Spa when he showed up for the $1,100 no-limit hold’em main event.

Daniels started out small as a professional poker player about four years ago, playing $200 tournaments and $.50-$1 to $1-$2 cash games, before moving up to high-stakes. To date, Daniels has just over $74,000 in World Series of Poker and Circuit cashes dating back to the 2011-2012 Circuit.

In addition to being a regular face at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa and the Peppermill in Reno, Daniels is also a Team Pro for the Two Pair Poker Tour, a small tour emerging in his local area.

Card Player caught up with Daniels just before the start of event 4, a $1,000 no-limit hold’em.

Diana Cox: What stakes and games you typically playing in Reno?

Shawn Daniels: During the week up in Reno I play $3-$5, that’s really all they run. Then during the weekends I play at Peppermill where they run a $5-$10-$20 game that’s usually really good. So I’ll play that Friday, Saturday and Sundays. Occasionally it will run on Mondays but not that often anymore. The $3-$5 games they have up there are really good. There is no cap and people play pretty deep.

DC: What size tournaments are you usually playing in?

SD: I usually play in the lower ones, about $500 to $1,500, then a couple during the Series and a couple $3,500 WPTs but nothing too big.

DC: Are you typically playing the Reno and Northern California area, or do you travel outside the region?

SD: This year I haven’t really traveled that much. I’ve just been playing a lot of cash in Reno. I haven’t had much reason to leave. I just went to Florida for the WPT down there. If the tournaments are big I will travel or if I want to see my friends. Traveling the Circuit is really fun but it just gets so expensive with all the rake and expenses. Traveling is fun, I just didn’t do too much of it this year. I’d rater stay and play cash.

DC: What are your plans for this summer?

SD: I’m staying for the first week and as soon as the six-max is done I’m going to go home and spend some time with my girlfriend. I’ll come back around the Monster Stack in the middle of June, and then I’ll play a lot of stuff through the main event. And I’ll definitely play the main.

DC: Aside from seeing you at the Card Player Poker Tour in Reno in March, we have also been seeing your name linked with the Two Pair Poker Tour. What is your role within that organization?

SD: I’m a team pro for Two Pair Poker Tour, which is a new magazine and tour coming out for our area. They have started up a tour with great structures and a smaller buy-in range. All the preliminaries are right about $200 and then the mains are getting up around $300 with a $60,000 to $70,000 guarantee. But the structures are as good as a $3,000. They are focusing on the lower stakes players and trying to get more people involved in the game, which is really good.

DC: So you are playing those events that have a much smaller buy-in, and you are also playing $1,000 and up to $3,500. The stakes and player pools are different in each of those. How do you keep your game consistent and what changes do you need to make to adjust to those different types of fields.

SD: I think the changes you have to make for the smaller buy-ins around home, it’s really hard to just not put everybody down and think that you are so much better than them and try to win all the pots. You have to give everybody the same respect. As far as keeping your game sharp when you play the bigger ones, I think that has to do with studying and talking about hands with friends, more so than actually playing. I think you can learn the most just from talking to people and getting different ideas and seeing how different people’s brains work around the same hand.

DC: Are you playing online now that is legal in Nevada?

SD: I play a little bit online, but the Nevada sites are still kind of struggling and there is not really a huge player pool yet. Hopefully with the WSOP allowing you to deposit at the cage and cash out it will be a lot easier and they will get more people. It seems like they are focusing more on tournaments instead of cash anyways, so we will see what direction that goes.

SD: Tell me a little about the changes in that aspect of your career since Black Friday, when you were able to play on the biggest sites in the world to now playing on smaller online sites or live.

SD: It’s terrible. It’s almost like a real job now! On there are certain times when you need to go on, where you just have to make sure people are on playing. On Stars you could play whatever time you wanted. You could play at four in or morning or nine at night. No matter what time, you could find whatever game and whatever size tournament you wanted. Now with these Nevada sites, maybe you will log on and there will be one game at each limit but most of the time it’s one game of $2-$4 and one game of $1-$2 and it’s all the same people all the time.

DC: Do you do anything outside of poker work-wise, or are you fully supporting yourself as a poker player?

SD: I just play poker now. I was teaching golf before I got into poker. I wouldn’t mind just going back to giving some lessons here and there but poker is the only way to go.