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In Conversation with Grandmaster Ashley, on Naked Chess & Ladies Knight March 5, 2016

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I talk with Grandmaster Maurice Ashley about my piece, “Naked Chess”, installed at the World Chess Hall of Fame for Ladies Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess.

My Chess Lessons in Saint Louis on YouTube December 5, 2015

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Roulette Chess at the PokerStars Chess International/UKIPT in Isle of Man November 5, 2015

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Watch a couple of videos featuring roulette chess, a game I created with artist and curator Larry List back in 2009. The wheel and game was played both for fun and in a simultaneous exhibition at the 2015 PokerStars International in the Isle of Man.

My Poker Life Podcast with Joey Ingram September 5, 2015

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Shahade vs. Shahade: Crossfit Chess November 7, 2014

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Poker & Chess Simul in Isle of Man October 5, 2014

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Vegas, According to my phone August 10, 2014

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My yearly trip to Vegas for the World Series of Poker is my favorite time of year. A week after covering the US Chess Championship in Saint Louis, I was strapped in for my first live poker in months.

After a week of bricks, I moved on to covering the National Open in Las Vegas and also played in the G/10 Championship at the Riviera.

Daniel and I also filmed a video for CLO on the Millionaire Chess Open with GM Maurice Ashley. As usual, Vegas local and X Chess Champ Elliott Liu showed the chessplayers a good time. Here we are at one of my favorite spots in Vegas, Insert Coins.

Then I met with my friend Renae Garcia about REG “Raising for Effective Giving”, a non-profit she founded along with Liv Boeree, Phil Grussiem and Igor Kurganov.

I helped Daniel direct some promotional video for them and after learning more, decided to sign up and pledge 2% of my tournament winnings. I was just in time to win a contest for free training with Igor and Phil.
I wrote about that experience and some thoughts on giving on the PokerStars Blog.

I also had a great time at the Chad Brown Memorial tournament sponsored by PokerStars, which raised over $70,000 for charity.

My quick trip to Los Angeles for Adventures of the Mind “TED for teens” was another highlight. I played a simul against the high school students. After winning the final game, I was told by one high school girl that “I had so much swag it was ridiculous.” A sincere compliment from a teenager is no joke.

Back in Vegas, tournaments weren’t going too well for me so I kept my spirits up by running like god in Open Face Chinese. From my hotel room, I made a video for RunItOnce, which included some live hand histories:

Truly, the beauty of Chinese Poker is you can play it ANYWHERE.

Below are some of my favorite interviews in Vegas, including a dual one for the Mark Hoke show with Katie Dozier.

Seeing and rooting on friends like Katie is one of the best things about the WSOP. I was really proud of my friend Melissa Burr for her amazing performance, which Jen Newell covered in an excellent profile piece for Cardschat.

Some other fun Vegas pix:

When I finally left Las Vegas, a few days later than originally planned, I overslept for my flight. I haven’t been late for a flight in a decade. I’ve been waiting for a sign that I need to ease up and schedule in more breaks from travel.

But not quite yet. I’m too excited about my next batch of trips. First I head to Indiana for a Yamie Chess Simul with Scouts and panel talks at Gen Con, Then it’s off to STL for commentary of the Sinquefield Cup, the strongest chess tournament in history. Soon after, I’ll head to Europe for some WCOOP events (World Championship of Online of Poker), the Isle of Mann UKIPT & the PokerStars Chess International.

Follow me on twitter and Instagram for real-time updates.

Saint Louis to Jerusalem & a New Role at Stars April 24, 2014

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I have a new role at PokerStars, as their Mind Sports Ambassador, to help promote the connections between chess and poker leading up to the PokerStars Isle of Man International this Fall.

My first official tournament representing PokerStars was the World Series of Poker circuit Main event in Saint Louis (which I did not win). I played in that immediately after a two-week stint giving lectures at the Saint Louis Chess Club and the World Chess Hall of Fame. Brian Jerauld at the Chess Club wrote this sweet piece on my visit and the connections between chess, poker and PokerStars support of chess, including nine years of PokerStars sponsorship of the US Chess League.

Right after Saint Louis, I traveled to Israel, where I am now, playing on the Pokerstars client for the first time since PCA. As lucky as I feel lately, I can’t help but feel a twinge of regret when playing a limited number of Sundays here. As I soak up so much playing just a few tables at a time, I realize how much stronger a poker player I’d be now if not for Black Friday. Part of me knows it’s futile to predict such things. Maybe I wouldn’t have taken up Open Face Chinese Poker in that case, for which I now do videos on Run It Once. Or maybe I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people, leading to a lot of the opportunities I have now. I certainly wouldn’t have played as much live poker, and I better appreciate some of the specific skills required in that arena.

And yet it still pains my ego to know that I’d understand the game better if not for Black Friday. In the future, I need to schedule more trips to grind online, and focus less on the excitement of live stops. That being said, see you all in Vegas :)

On a positive note, I’ve done a lot of other fun interviews on chess, poker and making both games more popular.

1. I was on one of my favorite poker authors, Jared Tendler’s podcast. We talked about the “Mental Game” in both chess and poker, why Magnus Carlsen has a mental game coach and whether there is tilt in chess.

2. Another podcast I love: Thinking Poker. We talk about everything from Open Face Chinese and why I decided to do training videos on the game, to what little I remember about Comparative Literature.

3. Some questions you just can’t prepare for. In this fun interview with a popular Spanish YouTube chess channel, they asked me if I’d rather play Strip Chess with Magnus Carlsen or Chess Boxing with (the infamous) Borislav Ivanov!

4. I was recently on the Twoplustwo pokercast. The hosts Michael and Adam have such great chemistry. They also just interviewed the first two-time EPT Champion, PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren. It’s exciting that a woman and an accomplished writer is the first to achieve this milestone. I’ve played with Coren a few times and her humor and charm comes out in person just as on the page.

5. I really enjoyed doing this two part interview with Poker News Daily from a few months ago- they did a flattering amount of research into my career.

6. Also a while back, me, Katie Stone & Katie Dozier were interviewed on the Full Tilt Poker blog and by Lee Davy on women in poker.

I was reminded of the last two pieces when reading this controversial piece, quoting Selbst, Stone, Danielle Moon-Anderson, Kara Scott and several other female pros.

Around 80% of the time I have a better time at the tables, because I get more attention as one of few women in the game. 20% of the time my experience may be particularly negative because I’m female. This polarization can apply to a woman’s image at the table- play a hand poorly, you’re probably a whale, pull off a well-timed and calculated bluff, you may be the next Vanessa Selbst.

So overall, it’s a net positive for me, but as a writer, I can’t help but highlight the hilarious examples of poor behavior (as I explain in this Bluff video). Things like this just aren’t quite as funny:

as this

The more involved I become in the poker culture the less my own experiences are relevant to women starting out. More people recognize me at the table and tend to be nicer to me as a result. Poker is a global game, and picking up the game may present very different challenges for women in other situations and countries.

The comment plug in isn’t working here so hit me up on twitter or email. I’ve also been far more active on instagram lately, especially because Jerusalem provides such a photogenic backdrop for sunsets, food porn and selfies.

Watch my TED Talk! March 4, 2014

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PCA & TED X: Bahamas to Baltimore February 4, 2014

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2014 began with my yearly trip to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. A couple weeks before the event, I decided to play in the Main Event, rather than focus on my favorite new game, Open Face Pineapple. The PCA Main was technically my highest buyin ever, $300 more than the World Series of Poker Main.

In my PokerStars blog “Count His Stack First”, I wrote about my experience of going super deep in the event, ultimately coming in 31st place for 43,000.

Immediately after returning from the PCA, I headed to Saint Louis for some chess classes and promotion of the Queen Within (see a good video piece on it here).

Then it was time to cure my glossophobia forever; Ted X Baltimore! I spoke to a crowd of about 1000 on chess, decision trees and poker. I’ll post the video here when it lands on TED X. For now, you can find it at the livestream link. (Stream A, 49:10). Thanks to Gretchen and Mike of Code-in-the-Schools for connecting me with the opportunity.

For updates follow me on twitter. And I’m finally on instagram!