The World Series of Poker Main Event Day 1A hit the dinner break with players spread across the Brasilia and Amazon Rooms. Poker pro, chess pro and new mother, Jennifer Shahade, returned to poker earlier this summer after having her first child, Fabian, six months ago.
“Well I have a wonderful six-month old boy – Fabian – and it’s going fantastically,” Shahade said before heading to her break. “I was a little frightened at first from all the stories I heard from friends, but I think I have all cynical friends from poker and chess.”
Shahade has 13 WSOP cashes to her credit and cashed in the 2016 Main Event in 204th place for $42,285. She’s a two-time U.S. Women’s Champion and ranked internationally as Woman Grandmaster.
“They told me I was never going to have fun anymore, and not only do I still have the ‘old fun’ I have the ‘new fun’ of just playing with him is just incredible,” she said.
Shahade is looking for her first cash of the 2017 WSOP in the Main Event. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)
She played in the $10,000 Tag Team Event earlier in the summer with Ben Yu and it was the first time she’d been away from Fabian overnight. “I was still breastfeeding at the time and needed to pump – that’s why I picked that event so Ben could tag in when I needed to pump.”
“It was a little easier to leave him this second time around because we’re starting to mix his food,” she said. “He started out pretty skinny, but now he’s getting chubby and think the fact that he’s fatter makes me feel better leaving him with my husband.”
“Well I feel more privileged to get a chance to play because I realize how lucky I am to play a game, live in a subculture and also have a family,” said Shahade. “I’m really excited to play.”
“In the end, I have so much time with Fabian because I’ve built myself this wonderful, flexible lifestyle from succeeding at poker and chess,” she added. “The golden hours of his mornings, when babies are excited, I get to spend all that time with him. So, I don’t think it makes sense to stop doing things that got me to this place.”