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Shaun Linefsky Talks Poker

So far he’s won $12,994. Today, Shaun Linefsky gives us his 2 cents about poker.

NJOY: How long have you played poker?

Shaun: I've been playing poker in a casino setting for 13 years. Started playing stud at the original Seminole Casino in Florida at 18 years old. Think it was a 1-1 limit with a 4bet cap, $60 max buyin back then! Heh. But first learned how to play from my grandfather as a kid.

NJOY: Why did you start playing poker?

Shaun: My grandfather taught me poker and other strategic card games like Gin and Uno. It was fun and I liked the competition… though as a kid, my grandfather would let me win most of the time.

NJOY: What's your favorite part of the game?

Shaun: My favorite part is the mental challenge. I love solving problems & equations & you're always tested in poker.

NJOY: What's the most memorable moment of your poker career?

Shaun: My most memorable moment was my first World Series of Poker cash. It was surreal and exciting. I played various top pros, but the most notable was with John Juanda for many hours. I avoided playing pots with him at all costs! Haha.

Then I flopped top set of Q’s on a rainbow, no draw anything, innocent board. First to act went all in and I was forced to call with almost all my chips; he was just messing around and was tired, but runner runner club gave him the backdoor flush. It was my best moment, then later worst moment. JJ did tell me that was “very sick” – so hearing that from him made me feel a little bit better.

NJOY: Are you playing in this year at the WSOP?

Shaun: Yes, I played a handful of $1K to $3K events.

NJOY: How did you feel about your chances?

Shaun: I felt great, but nervous, too. I took 5 years off from playing the WSOP so I was skeptical coming back to it. My first event back I outlasted about 6,900 players and bubbled from the money by just about a couple hundred. Third event, I outlasted 7,237 players and cashed.

All in all I had 1 cash, 3 bubbles, 2 duds while outlasting about 21,000+ players, so overall I'm happy with my first series back. If I was a little more patient, those bubbles would have been min cashes, but you can't blind off to the final table.

NJOY: Are there any players you particularly look up to?

Shaun: Only a few of the big old names. Phil Ivey, he's just sick. Period. Phil Hellmuth for always playing smart and staying on top after all these years. Daniel Negreanu for his consistency and telepathic reads. Mike Matusow for his courage all these years. The late Chad Brown for his integrity. Doyle Brunson for his longevity in the game. It's grueling for a young man or lady playing that many hours and it baffles me how he can still do it AND still be successful at it!