Episode 70: Jennifer Shahade

Jennifer Shahade is a two-time American Women’s Chess Champion, an author, and a professional poker player. She joins the show to discuss the world of chess, her transition to poker, Open Face Chinese, the Grindettes, and her recent TED talk. You can follow her on Twitter or on Instagram and read her articles or buy her book, Chess Bitch.

Plus Nate returns to the show to let Andrew how he did in his absence, and the two discuss a big laydown Nate made in a $2/$5 game at Foxwoods.

14 thoughts on “Episode 70: Jennifer Shahade

  1. As if it wasn’t already obvious I am clueless, I wish to ask for an explanation of Nate’s use of the phrase “all-in protection”. I understand how online poker sites use that term, but I’m fuzzy on Nate’s use, which has spread like his infectious laughter across several TPP episodes.

    Thanks Nate, and welcome back.

    • Thanks, Piefarmer!

      “All-in protection” is just the ability to be treated as if all-in. It has several applications, one of which is historical:

      (1) Back in the day, on some Internet sites, if you disconnected in the middle of a hand you were treated as all-in. (This was sometimes called “disconnect protection.”) This was quickly abused by angle-shooters.

      (2) In some cases, in some cardrooms, this is available to players in stud if seventh street is accidentally dealt face-up instead of -down. The first player can check, bet, or declare himself all-in.

      (3) I believe that this is sometimes available as a remedy against impermissible soft play. Suppose it’s the flop, everyone is very deep, A bets, B raises, and C reraises. Then A folds and B and C agree to check it down. This is very situation-dependent and the appropriate remedy might range from kicking B and C out of the cardroom to issuing a general reminder not to play soft. One intermediate solution is to give A his cards back and give him all-in protection (creating a main pot with the preflop action, A’s bet, and equal amounts from B and C, and treating A as all-in and eligible for that pot if he wins at showdown).

      Note that (3) is very rare and indeed I could be wrong that it’s a possible remedy.

      • We had a similar controversy in a local game I play in. A bets, B raise, C shoves, A folds, B calls. C asks B is he or she wants to pull back the all ins and just play for what’s in the middle OR C asks B to run it 3 times.

        It was decided that this not fair to A so a rule was adopted to not allow the first thing and only allow running it multiple times on the next street after A folded.

        * I am not 100% sure I am remembering all of this correctly.

  2. Great guest – she is someone my daughters can look up to as a role model.

    As a class B player in both Chess and Bridge who started with both games before poker I would say that the bridge players bring in the skill with dealing with unknown information (one reason why computers have a harder time with bridge than chess) and chess players bring in the computational skill. But both games involve planning and strategy (in bridge you have to plan out how you are going to play a hand at trick one).

    Andrew – these are my 3 recommended books for learning chess for a serious beginner: Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess (for the tactics Jennifer talked about), Logical Chess: Move By Move by Irving Chernev (goes over every move of about 30 games and explains the reasoning for each move – good for planning and strategy and general opening theory), and Pandolfini’s Endgame Course by Bruce Pandolfini (you have to know basic endgames – I would win many games in high school because I knew how to convert simple end games).

    And re: gambling in chess, it is very prevalent in NYC parks and used to be very much a gambling game in NYC clubs before they cleaned up Times Square. I was just enlightened to this fact at a recent bridge tournament where Harold Feldheim saw me playing on chess.com in between hands and he told me of his NYC chess hustling past – do yourself a favor and google “Harold Feldheim chess” and read about the Flea House club in Times Square.

  3. Andrew,
    The story you told about the discussion of paying the bubble in the local tourney is interesting. I was disturbed by the turn it took, but I hope there is a separate future post about the issue and what went down. I am interested in the basic issue of locals wanting to pay the bubble more than the bad behavior you mentioned, but both are possibly related in this case.

  4. It took me about 3 months, but I listened to every single episode of the Thinking Poker podcast and it’s been quite a ride. I’m not sure how I’ll cope with only having one a week from now on, but I’ll be frantically hitting F5 in a week’s time. Thanks to all the team for your stellar efforts.

    • As in other cases of people listening to the whole archive quickly, I want to thank you sincerely for the kind words and listenership, and I possibly also want to encourage you to seek help.

  5. Wow. I just watched Jennifer’s Ted talk and was amazed at her poise during problems with the clicker. I was super impressed by the fact that she never broke stride or apologized. When people do this or laugh it off, I dont think it’s a true sincere apology, but a nervous tick that most humans have in moments of weakness.

    It’s amazing how strategy games can blunt the need to do this and keep us focused on the task at hand.

    Back when I started playing, Curtains was one of the first people in the STTF forum who I was kinda in awe of. I sort of just thought of Jennifer as his little sister until hearing her interview and presentation. Pretty cool person.

    BTW, Jamie Kerstetter from the Grindettes is a TPE pro.

  6. In the strategy hand, one of you made a quick point and the other agreed fairly quickly that had you been the UTG + 1 opener with pocket aces facing this action and had hero called, you were more likely to fold black aces than aces with the ace of diamonds. I would think the opposite. while your hand has slightly more absolute equity with the possibility of a backdoor flush draw, it also strengthens the range of all your opponents, since none of them can be calling with the nut flush draw. Can you explain your reasoning?

Comments are closed.