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Jennifer Shahade

Jennifer Shahade

Jennifer Shahade is a true renaissance woman: a chess champion, author, host and PokerStars Team Pro. A two-time American Women's Champion, Jennifer was the first female to win the US Junior Open.

Her mission to show that women can compete at the highest level amongst men has stayed with her for her entire career. She is the author of Chess Queens: The True Story of a Chess Champion and the Greatest Female Players of All Time, which intertwines her own story with the lives of great female chess players across the globe, giving a glimpse into real-life Queen's Gambits.

The book, along with other titles such as Play Like a Girl!, amplify her work to promote chess to girls, women and gender minorities through her non-profit program, US Chess Women. In Chess Queens, Jennifer points out that whether it's cards, chess or business, taking no risk is the biggest risk of all. 

Not only an accomplished author, Jennifer also hosts two award-winning podcasts. Ladies Knight, the official podcast of US Chess Women, and the GRID, (now sponsored by PokerStars) where she welcomes special guests within the poker community to talk about a memorable hand, with an ultimate quest to tick off all 169 possible starting poker hands. In 2020, the GRID won the Global Poker Award for the best podcast – you can listen to it by visiting

Jennifer's poker tournament wins include a PASCOOP title, a high-roller tournament in Prague and a tournament at the historic Binion's casino. She gives talks and seminars on poker, chess and better decision-making all over the world, from a TEDx Talk in Baltimore, to a Girls Scout Convention in L.A, to the Diversity in Gaming Awards in London.

Ever keen to share the wealth of knowledge she’s gained over an incredible career, she has guest lectured at many colleges, including Wharton, Yale, MIT and Harvard. She is currently working on another book, THINKING SIDEWAYS, which explores the overlap between chess, poker and life skills, and challenging our concept of greatness along the way.

As you can tell from her body of work, Jennifer is a keen advocate of getting more women into poker. She has spoken at various conferences specifically targeted at women, held interactive poker seminars to teach beginners poker, and is on the advisory board of Poker Power.

She has also taken a leading role in many events, including at PokerStars Women’s Day events, where gender and diversification in gaming has been discussed, debated and celebrated, and hopes to inspire more women to join her at the tables in the future.

Jen plays online poker exclusively at PokerStars, where she plays under the username ‘JenShahadePA’.

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