Shaun Deeb became the tenth player to win six World Series of Poker bracelets last night, an accomplishment that puts him with the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Jeff Lisandro, Ted Forest, Layne Flack and Brian Hastings.
He did it by taking down the $1,500 6-handed 8-Game Mix event last night with one of his good friends and poker rival, Josh Arieh rooting him on, despite a wager that Deeb made with him after Arieh won his fifth bracelet a few days ago. Deeb said he’d retire from poker if Arieh won his sixth bracelet before he did.
It didn’t take long.
“It was only, what, four days ago, three days ago, I don’t even remember,” Deeb told the WSOP. “Battling with your friends is so much fun. The camaraderie. Me and Josh are family men the rest of the year. So we come out here, we have fun, we bullshit, we see each other, we’re talking trash all the time in our group chat. When he won five, it definitely lit a fire.”
Deeb is chasing his second Player of the Year title after winning this bracelet and cashing seven times so far this year. He won the race in 2018 by winning two bracelets and cashing another 13 times.
Many showed up for the mix
The $1,500 6-handed 8-Game Mix tourney broke the $1 million prize pool mark thanks to 789 entrants, some who played with Deeb as he did arm curls with a weight at the table in an attempt at burning some calories. Deeb will win $1 million from high roller Bill Perkins if he can get to 17% body fat by next WSOP.
— shaun deeb (@shaundeeb) June 12, 2023
The only two players with WSOP hardware to their names in the final six were Daniel Strelitz, who has two bracelets, and Kyle Loman, who won a Circuit ring in 2017.
The three-day event tests player’s skills in eight different games: No Limit Hold’em; Seven Card Stud; Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, Razz; Pot-Limit Omaha; Limit Hold’em; Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better; 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw.
The game changes every six hands.
Deeb won when he cracked Aloisio Dourado’s pocket queens playing no limit hold’em in the final hand. Deeb hit runner-runner 10’s holding KT, and then put all the pressure on his opponent to call his entire stack. The two were just about even when the hand began, but Dourado called and Deeb had his sixth WSOP bracelet.
The top six players of the WSOP $1,500 8-Game Mix
- Shaun Deeb –$198,854
- Aloisio Dourado — $122,910
- Kyle Loman — $84,329
- John Bunch — $58,888
- Daniel Strelitz — $41,867
- Craig Carrillo — $30,315
Two players who already won bracelets this year, David Baker and Nick Schulman, ran deep in this event, but both got knocked out just shy of cracking the top eight. They are both right in the WSOP Player of the Year race with Deeb, as is Arieh, who won the title in 2021.
Even before winning his sixth bracelet, Deeb would have been part of the conversation of who should be in the Poker Hall of Fame — but he’s not qualified. At 37, he’s three years shy of the minimum age to be nominated (Nominations are now open for this year’s inductee).
Deeb’s WSOP success is among the highest standard, and it’s been a lifetime project. He began cashing in WSOP events only three months after turning 21 in 2007, failing to cash in only two years since (2008 and 2014).
He sits at 34 on the all-time cash list with 147, but is tied in tenth on the all-time bracelet list with these men, right behind Negreanu with $8,869,962 in WSOP cashes:
Deeb’s first bracelet came in 2015, and he’s been rolling ever since, even adding a ring to his WSOP bounty in March:
Eye on Phil
Deeb isn’t shy about, well, anything, but he most certainly isn’t bashful about his goal of breaking Phil Hellmuth’s record of 16 WSOP bracelets. There’s no question that Deeb can stack tournament wins, but he’s a bit behind Hellmuth in this race.
Hellmuth won his first bracelet in the 1989 Main Event, at the age of 24. His sixth bracelet came eight years later in 1997 at the age of 32. He won his recording-holding 16th in 2021 at the age of 56, 24 years after his sixth. Nine of those 10 came after the age of 40.
Deeb’s first bracelet came when he was 29, and it took him the same amount of time — eight years — to ring-up his sixth. Right now, they’re on very similar-looking trajectories, and if that continues and it takes Deeb about 24 years to win another 10 bracelets, that will put him at 61 years-old.
Can he do it? Deeb sure thinks he can, and there’s no doubt that he is one of the best players walking the halls of the Horseshoe today.
But who the hell knows what time and fate have in store for the big man who struggles with his weight and diet so badly, a billionaire is willing to give 10-to-1 odds that he can’t achieve what is normal for average men his age.
Deeb has until the start of next’s year’s WSOP to get to 17% body fat, and seems to be up for the challenge that would net him $1 million if he wins it, but there still seems to be bacon on that plate in the Tweet above.
But, like the PokerGuru said:
— Pokerguru740 (@RobKuhn_) June 12, 2023
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