Even COVID-19 cannot crush the original Waffle Crush. Shaun Deeb has been known to stir the pot at the virtual tables and online, but right now the 4-time WSOP bracelet winner has been fighting for his actual life, while stricken with coronavirus while working in Mexico. Deeb, originally from the Albany area in upstate New York, flew down to Mexico so he can participate in the 2020 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). Well, somewhere along the way, Deeb caught coronavirus.
Deeb is an American online poker exile that has a family in New York, but he'd whisk himself away over the border to play online poker in major tournaments like WCOOP. It's still insane the American pros still have to live like that, but that's the way it goes in this crooked and backwards country.
Despite catching the bug, he's in a hospital and still trying to grind his way to another WCOOP title.
On September 19, Deeb informed the poker world and regular world about his health status.
"So I've been keeping this quiet last week and a half but I have COVID now," said Deeb. "I think I'm going to need your guys help making a tweet or two go viral so I don't have to get hospitalized in Mexico."
Ever the super-grinder and semi-degen, Deeb used the down time while sick to keep grinding it out with the WCOOP in full swing. One of the things doctors will tell you to do when you're sick is to rest up and stay in bed. Mashing call/fold buttons is not very strenuous, so the simple tasks of playing online poker could be done in bed, especially in a hospital.
"I will say this wcoop grind while sick was on a whole another level for me," tweeted Deeb. "I may lost a chunk but I played the best at like 10% strength. Sleeping during ever 5 (minute) break ever day."
As someone who caught COVID earlier in the year, I can attest to the severity of the infection. I never truly understood the term deathbed until I had a couple of nights when it was impossible to sleep due to the constant alternating hot/cold sweats and every bit of your body ached and you felt that there were entities in the darkness lurking around and ready to take you into the void.
During one of those dark moments, Deeb revealed his thoughts about preparing a statement for his young kids and family if his situation did not improve and he needed a ventilator to breathe.
"I will have to say scariest thing was debating with my wife making a video to my kids since they were asleep," explained Deeb. "In case I got intubated and whether to tell them I was sick or not."
Deeb continued to grind in the hospital, despite a strong and consistent internet connection.
"You not really a #wcoop grinder if you're not one handed 10 tabling on touch pad in a Mexican hospital with covid," tweeted Deeb.
Deeb shared some of the physical issue he encountered like constantly sweating and sweating through both sides of the pillow, or sweating out so much that he's constantly dehydrated despite pounding water.
Of course, the ups and downs and weirdness of being a poker pro mentally prepared Deeb for the more difficult mental side of being sick several thousand miles away from home.
"Poker has trained me for this fight," tweeted Deeb. "You have to show up everyday ignore the results and do what you're told. I'll have better days and days I'll feel I won't make it but can't give up mentally then you'll lose."
The poker community was quick to send Deeb well wishes, funny emojirs, vibes, and thoughts & prayers. The kid has always been a fighter at the virtual tables, but now he's fighting for his life... but still grinding. Always be grinding, even when sick as a dog in Mexico with COVID-19.