Each and every Monday, we open up our blog and invite a partypoker player or member of staff in for a quick chat as part of our Meet The People campaign. This week, it is the turn of Shaun Blackshaw to sit in the hot seat.

Shaun is a 24-year old who calls Walsall home. We’re surprised that he manages to find the time to play poker considering he is a pub licensee, a partner to Sophie and a dad to three-year old twins, Oliver and Elliot. But he does find time to play – don’t we all – and it’s obvious from speaking with him that he loves this crazy game.

Like many budding poker players, Shaun discovered poker in the pub after being tasked with trying to increase sales in the establishment that he was deputy manager in.

“My chef advised I started a poker night on a quiet night. I’d never played in my life. I thought small blind and big blind meant you couldn’t look at your cards! Ended up doing pretty well then started reading a few books and finding I was winning more than I was losing. It went on from there really.”

Although Shaun prefers to play cash games at his local casino as he finds them better value than the low buy-in tournaments he finds there, larger buy-in MTTs and the buzz around them are what really appeal to him.

After competing in the partypoker Grand Prix Million, where he finished in 57th place for $1,250 in cash plus a $550 seat, all from a $5.50 satellite at partypoker, Shaun went and won his regional final in the Redtooth Poker League and secured a trip to Las Vegas.

“I beat 177 other players to win a free week in Las Vegas,” said Shaun, “I even managed to play a couple of World Series of Poker events out there in May, which was a dream come true.”

A common feeling among the UK partypoker community is that the partnership between ourselves and Dusk Till Dawn is a great one. Shaun is yet another player who mirrors these thoughts.

“The value in the DTD tickets and the fact the site is so easy to navigate. Also really enjoy the live events with the marquees pool tables and general party atmosphere. The WPT500 last year was the best event I’ve ever played plus I got a load of free partypoker gear.”

A high accolade indeed.

Shaun considers Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu and Erik Siedel as three of the best players in the world, but really looks up to Vanessa Selbst, a superstar of the game whose style Shaun tries to emulate at the tables.

Hopefully, Shaun can sample some of the same success that Vanessa has enjoyed over the years, maybe that success will begin later this year when he heads to Dusk Till Dawn to play in the WPT Nottingham Main Event as he has his sights set on a deep run and cash in the star-studded field.

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