How you know Jennifer Shahade will be dependent on your interests. She’s a successful author, podcast presenter, content creator, chess Grandmaster, and professional poker player.
She is the embodiment of ambition and is the perfect example of the fact that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
A Chess Protégé
Jennifer Shahade is part of a chess dynasty. Her father, Mike Shahade, is a FIDE Master who has enjoyed great success over his career.
Like her older brother Greg, who is an International Master, Jennifer has played chess for almost her entire life.
She has, however, seen more success than both of her chess-playing relatives. In 2022, she became the U.S. Women’s Chess Champion at just 20 years old.
Shahade’s career continued to blossom, with the Philadelphian winning an International Master norm in 2003 and her second Women’s Chess Championship the following year.
Just to show off how good she is at chess, she even performs simultaneous chess exhibitions where she competes against as many as 50 different players in 50 separate games at once.
Following her success in the sport, Shahade has been given the role as a board member of the World Chess Hall of Fame, through which she promotes the game and examines its links to popular cultures.
Writing and Publishing
Looking to build on this success in chess, Shahade wrote a book titled “Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport” which she published in late 2005.
In it, she discussed stories of women at the top of the global chess circuit and how they struggled to compete in this male-dominated sport.
Following this success, Shahade also became the editor-in-chief for the United States Chess Federation’s website and then went on to write a second book, also focused on chess.
After dominating one mind sport, Shahade set her sights on a different form of intellectual competition – poker.
After playing for a while, she joined PokerStars as one of its ambassadors. The company operates an online poker site around the world, offering both free and real-money versions of this famous card game.
The latter works by allowing players to make deposits using a range of different banking methods, such as debit cards and e-wallets. Players can then use these deposited funds in games.
Shahade is the perfect match for the brand as she embodies many of the qualities that aspiring poker players can take inspiration from, including dedication and a passion for learning.
Shortly after her win, Shahade placed highly in a string of live poker tournaments, including a win at the Open Face High Roller Championship in Prague, and a 31st-place finish (out of 1,000) at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2014.
Just like she does with chess, Shahade has taken a keen interest in encouraging others to get involved in the sport, too, with a focus on women in particular.
This is because, like in chess, women are an under-represented group in the world of poker. So, she uses her fame to help raise interest in poker among people who may see her as a role model.
Following in the footsteps of success stories like Joe Rogan, Shahade has begun to host a series of podcasts to share her passions with a wider audience.
To channel her love of chess, she created the Ladies Knight Chess podcast, in which she speaks to other female players to discuss their stories and the issues currently facing women in the sport.
The Poker Grid is an outlet for her to share her interest in the card game. Over 169 episodes, Shahade discusses all of the possible starting hands in poker with a single combination discussed during each release.
A different professional poker player joins Shahade for each episode, giving listeners an opportunity to learn from many different perspectives.
Overall, Shahade has had a varied career that has spanned two different sports, covering a mix of both playing and undertaking a leadership role to help inspire a new generation.