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Shawn Sheikhan

Poker player biography of Shawn Sheikhan

Shahram Sheikhan, more popularly known as Shawn Sheikham, is a professional poker player currently living in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sheikhan was born in Iran in 1969. His father was a high-ranking military officer and a judge. His family had power and money and got to enjoy the perks of having drivers, body guards, and live-in household helpers. But when the Islamic Revolution happened in 1979, their family was forced to flee the country. With a relative residing in Santa Cruz, California, they flew all the way to US.

When Sheikhan's family arrived in the United States, his father purchased a small gas station in San Jose and had to commute from Santa Cruz for a few years to operate it. Eventually, the Sheikhans moved to San Jose, where Sheikhan attended high school. The family also moved to Las Vegas, but Sheikhan liked San Jose better. He had already made friends there, so he moved back. Sheikhan managed another gas station his father bought. In 1995, however, he returned to Las Vegas to be closer to his family and take advantage of business opportunities.

Shawn Sheikhan and his poker beginnings

Sheikhan's interest in gambling was fostered by his parents. His parents would often play card games with relatives and friends as Sheikhan watched. In 1986, Sheikhan tried his hand at playing poker at Caesars Palace. He lost all the money he bet in a $5/$10 Stud game and got thrown out because he was just 17 years old back then. When he moved back to California, he played a lot of poker games, which significantly improved his game.

Sheikhan has started to participate in Las Vegas tournaments only recently and sees himself as a cash game player. He usually plays for four to six days each week at Caesars Palace partaking in $400/$800 or $1000/$2000 mixed games, although there have been instances when he's played higher. He prefers playing drawing games such as Deuce-to-Seven, Omaha Eight-Or-Better, Triple Draw, Ace-To-Five, regular Seven-Card Stud, and Stud Eight-Or-Better. He claims that Hold'em is the game he likes the least.

Shawn Sheikhan and his behavior on the poker table

In the world of professional poker, Sheikhan is known for being outspoken and venting out his frustration in ways that have made other players angry. During the 2005 World Series of Poker (WSOP), Sheikhan got into a verbal fight with Mike Matusow due to Sheikhan's slamming of the table after seeing a flop on a hand that he wasn't involved in. Both Matusow and Sheikhan received a penalty after Matusow uttered vulgar words due to Sheikhan's comment that revealed what his hand was.

Shawn Sheikhan and his winnings

In March 2006, Sheikhan was part of the final four in NBC's National Heads-Up Poker Championship, winning $125,000. In July 2007, Sheikhan participated in the WSOP No Limit Deuce-to-Seven Lowball event, where he finished 3rd. He also managed to win a Poker After Dark title after he had defeated other professional players such as Phil Hellmuth, Mike Matusow, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, and Phil Laak.

Aside from playing poker games, Sheikhan is also a businessman. He owns a retail chain of tattoo and tobacco stores. He currently lives with his wife and daughter.