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Catching Up with Shane Schleger

Age: 34 Hometown: New York, New York Resides: Vancouver, Canada Best Known For: 'shaniac' online, blogger This week, we caught up with Shane Schleger who recently relocated from Santa Monica, California to Vancouver, Canada to continue his career as an online poker player. Shortly after relocating, Shane won the 2-7 lowball World Championships of Online Poker (WCOOP) event for $21,000. online poker 468x60 PokerTips.org: After Black Friday, what options were running through your mind regarding how to proceed, or not proceed, with your poker playing career? Schleger: Well, at the time, like a lot of people my thinking was, "play the WSOP and re-evaluate" which quickly became, "probably move to Canada after the WSOP." I guess I was considering live poker as the alternative, but moving to play online made the most sense. I wish I had moved on April 16th (May 1st) really. PokerTips.org: How have you found the experience of getting back into online poker after a four month break? Schleger: Enjoyable in terms of having a direction and focus and feeling comfortable with MTTs again. I still don't love the fact that I had to leave the US to do the same thing I was doing when I was in the US. It's absurd, but I still enjoy the poker at least. PokerTips.org: Just a couple weeks after setting up shop in Vancouver, you won the $350 buy-in 2-7 lowball WCOOP event. What did that win mean to you? Schleger: It meant I had a profitable day and that I could win a limit poker tournament in a game I don't play all that often. Felt good for all those reasons, plus the prestige attached to WCOOP is cool. PokerTips.org: Characterize what your daily grind has been like since getting to Vancouver. Schleger: Been grinding long hours day after day since I got here...I wake up, I make coffee, I sit down in front of the computer and click buttons for 12+ hours usually. PokerTips.org: Do you feel any semblance of closeness or camaraderie with American poker refugees in Vancouver or in other parts of the world? Schleger: I would say yes actually...it's nice to have a community of players living somewhere outside of Vegas/WSOP. PokerTips.org: Has there been an observable difference in the difficulty of online poker competition with the absence of most American players? Schleger: I think these things are hard to "observe" or judge objectively, but yeah the action seems good and possibly softer than it was a year ago, but it's really hard to say. PokerTips.org: Due to visa restrictions, you can only stay in Canada for a few more months. What do you think might be the next step after Vancouver? Schleger: Perhaps Mexico or some Caribbean location or Buenos Aires or Israel. PokerTips.org: Has being forced to leave the U.S. to continue your poker career led to any changes in your feelings towards the country and its government? Schleger: Still love my country, I guess I just feel annoyed at the government and frustrated by bureaucracy. PokerTips.org: Finally, aside from the WCOOP win, have there been any unexpected positive aspects of leaving California for Vancouver? Schleger: Nothing distinctly positive except maybe that I actually got up and did it, which wasn't an easy or natural move for me. It seemed so far out that I'd pick up and relocate to another country, but here I am, I did it, and I guess that will prove valuable in terms of "life experience" or something.

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