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Poker Stories Podcast: High-Stakes Chess Queen Jennifer Shahade

Poker Stories Is An Audio Podcast Series That Features The Game's Best Players and Personalities


Poker Stories is a long-form audio podcast series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

Jennifer Shahade grew up in Philadelphia. Her father Mike was a master chess player and her mother Sally a professor at Drexel University, but at night the two would count cards at the blackjack tables in Atlantic City. Jennifer and her older brother Greg each took up chess as well, and both excelled at the master level, competing against the best all over the world.

The NYU graduate was the first woman to ever win the U.S. Junior Open, and was also a two-time U.S. Women’s Chess Champion. She is the director of the women’s program at the U.S. Chess Federation and is also a board member of the Women’s Chess Hall of Fame.

But Shahade is also a top-notch poker player, and has been competing as a mindsports ambassador for PokerStars since 2014. She has numerous scores on her tournament resume, most notably taking down the $10,000 high roller open-face Chinese pineapple event in Prague.

Most recently, she authored Chess Queens: The True Story Of A Chess Champion And The Greatest Female Players Of All Time. She is also the host of The Grid podcast, which analyzes key hands played by professional poker players.

Highlights from this interview include the body goes to the potty, card-counting parents, a sibling rivalry, competing in Brazil, Spain, Iceland, Russia, and India, luck in poker, sweating a $50,000 chess match with Tom Dwan, a big win in Prague, working as a bridge caddie, using Ms. Pac-Man to flirt, a seven-hour game, hula chess, gambling in yoga class, Lake Bell, omelet salad, a fortunate couch landing, waking up in a fire in Belize, going to NYU during 9/11, and crushing on Vanilla Ice.

Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, Patrik Antonius, Justin Bonomo, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Galfond, Nick Schulman, Fedor Holz, Barry Greenstein, Dan Smith, Scotty Nguyen, Mike Sexton, Maria Ho, Brad Owen, and many more. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes automatically when they are released.

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