Jennifer Shahade is a grandmaster of women’s chess, a two-time champion of US Woman’s Chess, a member of the World Chess Hall of Fame, a poker player, and the writer of several chess books.
Previously, she used to focus on online multi-table tournaments, but today she is known to be a formidable live poker player, having enjoyed considerable success in prestigious live poker events such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2007 Ladies Event, European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final Monte Carlo, and this year’s Delaware Park Poker Classic Main Event.
Shahade also fights for the rights of poker women, having published several articles in PokerStarsWomen.com and being a member of PokerStars Women Initiative. Besides, she is the co-host of the radio show Women’s Poker Hour. Shahade is one of The Grindettes, which comprises 4 enterprising women professional poker players.
Recently, PokerNews discussed chess, poker, and being a woman playing both games with Shahade. Speaking about her childhood, Shahade said that she was born in a family of game lovers. Her parents were card counters and her mother played a weekly poker game. Her father taught her chess, she said.
Speaking about her chess career, she said that she became a master at the age of 15 and travelled in more than 20 countries to take part in international tournaments, Olympiads, and World championships.
Regarding similarities between poker and chess, Shahade said: “The approach to becoming good at either game has a lot of similarities — you need to put in thousands of hours. In both games, confidence is an underrated but essential ingredient to success.”
When asked if she prefers chess or poker, she said: “Chess has many artistic aspects. It’s an abstract form which can be enjoyed in a total vacuum. I love poker for different reasons, because it teaches you so much about life, money and desire.”
Stating that she was playing more poker in late 2010 and early 2011, she said that she also began writing for PokerStars Women around the same time. Post Black Friday, she decided to focus more on live poker and improve her live poker game as she “didn’t see an obvious way to make money from poker without regulated online poker.” However, Shahade has set up a second residence in Israel with her boyfriend and is looking forward to playing online poker at PokerStars again. Moreover, she is going to take part in the PCA in January 2013.