Shahade on Recent UKIPT Chess/Poker Event


The UKIPT might have just finished up probably its biggest stop of the year in London in the past week but before that it was over on the Isle of Man. The UKIPT Isle of Man was held for the second year running and this time around it introduced an event that combined both poker and chess.

The event turned out to be quite a success as it attracted both poker professionals and chess players, each looking to prove their competence at both games. In a recent blog post at PokerStarsBlog, the PokerStars Mind Sports Ambassador Jennifer Shahade talks all about how the action unfolded as chess players crossed over into poker and vice versa.

There were a number of chess specialists on show such as Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Peter Svidler, David Gormally, Gaby Livshitz, Nigel Short, Mickey Adams, Julio Granda Zuniga and Baard Dahl. They were also joined by the likes of poker professionals Duncan McLellan and PokerStars Team Pros Ike Haxton and Mickey Petersen.

Shahade herself took part too and not only in the tournament itself but also in a special 6-handed chess/poker event.

As PokerStars Mind Sports ambassador, the festivities started that morning for me, with a speech to the IOM Junior Chamber of Congress on the intersections of chess, poker and business. I then played a unique six-player combined poker/chess simul. My opponents included two of my favorite poker players Team Online pros Ike Haxton (fortunately, I faced him in Heads-up chess) and Mickey Petersen.”

You can see the highlights from that event below:

As for the actual tournament, each player started with a minimum of 8,000 chips but could use the chess aspect of the tournament to add as many as 5,000 more. This even attracted non-chess playing poker pros as Shahade explains below:

Every entrant to the chess/poker event was guaranteed 8000 chips, even if they bombed the chess portion, which offered a max of 5K bonus chips. Several poker professionals who had never played a serious game of chess participated because they knew that at worst, they’d start with a stack around 20% below average.”

In the end it was Baard Dahl who was triumphant in the event after defeating chess Grandmaster Mark Hebden heads up. When you learn a little more about Dahl, you will see just why this event would have been perfect for him. He works at PokerStars as the Sit n Go Manager and has been both a professional poker player and has always been a huge fan and player of chess too.

It seems like the event turned out to be a very popular choice and something that we might possibly see on a more regular appearance on the UKIPT. The two games are often thought to have a lot of similarities with each other , especially with regards to strategy and outplaying your opponents.

After buzz spread about the combined poker/chess event, Vicky Coren and Chris Moneymaker of Team Pro said they wish they had played. “

You can check out the full piece by Shahade by heading over to PokerStarsBlog here.