Shahram “Shawn” Sheikhan (born in Iran in 1969) is a professional poker player who currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife and daughter. Sheikhan is the owner of a retail chain of tobacco and tattoo stores.
Sheikhan is known for venting his frustration in ways that have drawn the ire of fellow players. At the 2005 World Series of Poker (WSOP) he got into a much-publicized war of words with Mike Matusow after Sheikhan slammed the table when seeing a flop on a hand he was not involved in. Both players got a penalty since Matusow used a vulgarity after Sheikhan made the inappropriate reaction that gave away what his hand was, thus giving other players who were still in the hand free information that may have altered the outcome of the hand. Sheikhan was involved in several more incidents, one involving Phil Hellmuth on Poker After Dark when he refused to stop talking while Hellmuth was involved in a hand with Annie Duke.
In March 2006, Sheikhan made the final four of NBC’s National Heads-Up Poker Championship (during the early rounds of which he told Gus Hansen, whom he eliminated, to just “throw away” his cards – Sheikhan had made Four of a kind), earning $125,000. He lost to eventual winner Ted Forrest.
In July 2007 Sheikhan placed 3rd in the World Series of Poker No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball event. He also won a Poker After Dark title defeating a field which consisted of Phil Laak, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow and Antonio Esfandiari. This first place finish earned him $120,000. He has also appeared in the GSN television series High Stakes Poker in which he intentionally ripped and broke an expensive pair of Matusow’s sunglasses.
As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $1,400,000. His 9 cashes at the WSOP account for $1,156,360 of those winnings.
While driving in Las Vegas in 1999 during heavy rain, Sheikhan lost control of his vehicle and collided with another car, resulting in the death of one of its passengers.
Arrest and possible deportation
Sheikhan, a resident alien since he was nine years old, was arrested at his Las Vegas home on August 30th, 2007 for violating his immigration status due to a 1995 conviction for misdemeanor sexual battery on a child under 18, where he served nine months in prison and five years probation. According to Sheikhan’s lawyer, David Chesnoff, the child in this case was a 17-year-old girl that Sheikhan knew when he was in his early 20s. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actively searches for foreign nationals who were convicted of a sexual crime against children and then tries to get them deported. He was detained on an immigration hold for one week facing deportation proceedings. However, those proceedings have since been since halted.