How Shaun Deeb Lost & Then Found $10,000 at WSOPC Turning Stone

Shaun Deeb

Shaun Deeb, who recently entered a body fat prop bet, threw away $10,000 at a recent poker stop, and it wasn't by max-late regging a high-stakes event.

The incident in question took place late last week at the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Turning Stone stop in New York. It involved a wad of cash ($10,500, to be exact), a box of protein bars, a casino garbage and an unfortunate miscommunication.

The five-time bracelet winner's bad luck quickly turned around at his hometown casino as he got the money back before going on to win the $1,700 buy-in Main Event for $275,916 and his first Circuit ring.

Here's what went down at WSOPC Turning Stone, as recounted by Deeb himself.

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What's In the Box?

The debacle began last week when Deeb went to play WSOPC Turning Stone, a stop that his friend DJ MacKinnon also happened to be playing.

"He (MacKinnon) did me a favor holding some money for me from someone who owed me money in Buffalo," Deeb told PokerNews. "So I was going to collect it from him here and give it to a friend of mine who lives in Albany. So I wasn't worried about it, he's a great kid, he's a good friend of mine."

Deeb added, "We troll each other a lot, we f*** with each other. I always like giving him shit wherever we go. And throughout the tournament I'm texting him talking shit when I had a bunch of chips and he didn't. I'm like 'How don't you win a Circuit every time?' Just the usual needles I do. And he's all butthurt like he usually is."

Dj MacKinnon
DJ MacKinnon

That context may help explain why when MacKinnon walked up and handed Deeb a box of protein bars, it never crossed Deeb's mind that it may be filled with the cash he was owed.

"So I'm getting a massage like 4 or 5 o'clock and he comes up and says 'Here, have some protein bars, and puts a box of protein bars in front of my stack," explained Deeb. "I'm not going to f***ing want that! And he's like 'Whatever' and he just walks away."

Not one of poker's greatest health food ambassadors (this was before he took a prop bet that he could lose a significant amount of body fat before the 2024 WSOP), Deeb wanted nothing to do with the ostensible protein bars he had just been gifted.

"I offered the masseuse the protein bars, she's like 'nah,'" Deeb recalled. "So I put them by my feet. I don't want this, I'm not going to get up and throw it away yet, I'm just gonna put it down."

Hear Deeb tell the story himself in the latest episode of the PokerNews Podcast:


Dude, Where's My Money?

A few unfortunate runouts later and Deeb was separated from the protein bar box at his feet at five figures.

"So I get knocked out like 20 minutes later, go play another bullet, bust, then go hop in the $400, bust twice, and before I busted the second time, DJ also busted (and) I was telling him I was starving because I missed dinner break of the Main because I went to the $400," Deeb said. "He's like, 'Oh, I'll go to The Tavern and get you some food.'"

Deeb went to meet up with his friend at Turning Stone's Upstate Tavern and then the following conversation took place, as remembered by Deeb.

"Do you like how I paid you the money?" MacKinnon asked with a smile as Deeb sat down.

"What money?" Deeb asked.

"In the protein box," MacKinnon said. "I put the money that I was holding for you in there."

Deeb stopped eating. "You're f***ing joking."

"No," MacKinnon said as his smile left.

"I f***ing left it on the floor," Deeb told him. "It's probably thrown away."

"Haha, you're joking," MacKinnon laughed nervously.

"No," Deeb said.

This loop of mutual incredulity continued for several iterations before the duo realized neither was joking.

"So we have five minutes of arguing with each other that we're joking and I realize he's serious because he's starting to sweat, and I'm like, 'Oh f***,'" Deeb remembered.

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Deeb's Luck Turns

The Tavern was just a short walk from the tournament floor, so Deeb ran back to his old tournament table before getting the bad news: the box was gone.

"So I asked a couple of the players who I was playing with (where the box was) and they're like, 'why does it matter?'" I was like, 'Oh you remember that protein box that DJ gave me? There was money in it.' They're like, 'What?!'"

Matthew Wantman was particularly perplexed by the transaction he had witnessed. "That's the dumbest way I've ever seen someone f***ing pay money," he reacted, according to Deeb. "He didn't say a word, why the f*** would you ever think there's money in that thing?"

"No sh**!" replied Deeb. "That's what I was saying."

Matthew Wantman
Matthew Wantman

Out of luck, Deeb gave his number to the casino staff and headed back to The Tavern, where he had another conversation with MacKinnon.

"Hey, I'll go on a payment plan," MacKinnon said before Deeb cut him off.

"DJ, I'm not going to f***ing make you pay. It's my own fault, whatever. It means way more to you than me. You did me a favor, and I appreciate you doing that favor, and I just can't freeroll you in this spot. Yes, you're a f***ing idiot for giving the money this way."

MacKinnon thought for a moment before asking, "Why would I just give you a box of protein bars?"

"Because it's a fat joke!" cried Deeb. "I don't understand why anyone would ever think that I was being paid money. It wasn't like some obscene amount or some place you can't hand money. We're in a casino! You can hand me money and it's fine. You don't need to put it in a box."

Just then, Deeb's phone rang. A custodian found the box in one of the casino garbages.

"You were so lucky because in a few minutes he was going to take it to the big dumpster outside and you probably would have never seen it (again)," Deeb was told.

Shaun Deeb
Shaun Deeb

As he retrieved his money and tipped the good samaritan janitor $500 for his efforts, Deeb thought about how lucky he was to see that money again.

"If I didn't bust the tournament (when) I did ... I mean, I'm the only person who runs that good, that to lose a $400 tournament I save a bunch of money (by) finding money that was thrown out of mine," he said.

And in addition to getting the money back, "now we've got a great story out of it."

Find out more about five-time bracelet winner Shaun Deeb

  • Shaun Deeb's good fortune continues as he lost and then found $10,000 at WSOPC Turning Stone.

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