It’s Jared Jaffee’s time.
The second of three WPT final tables at the HyperX Arena belongs to the man they call “Tuna.”
Jaffee locked up his second World Poker Tour title after roughly six hours of play, navigating a stacked final table. He earned $400,740 for his victory and a star next to his name on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup to signify his second title.
WPT Choctaw final table results
|Place||Player||Prize (In USD)|
Dealing with the wait
Jaffee had to wait nearly three weeks between locking up his spot at this final table in Oklahoma to returning for play here in Vegas. That’s plenty of time to run every scenario in your head.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while,” Jaffee said. “Thinking about all the things that could go wrong, that’s usually how I do it. But I felt good coming into it, I felt like I had a good chance to do something special.”
Jaffee may have been thinking about how to handle the worst-case scenarios, but the first hour only brought good things for the Vegas local.
Jaffee quickly took the top spot
Jaffee came into the day in a precarious spot. Second in chips, he had the red-hot Bin Weng on his direct left. Much to Jaffee’s joy, those roles reversed in the first half hour. Jaffee tangled with Weng in a couple of early pots and got the better of him often.
In fact, Weng slipped down the leaderboard, Jaffee and the others watching his early decline. With every chip Weng lost, Jaffee seemed to be given more license to leverage his big stack against the others.
“When I came in I knew I needed to be a bit more careful than I like to be,” shared Jaffee. “I like to play the upper range of [number] of hands compared to most people. I like to play poker. So, I knew that would be a little bit of an issue. Once the chip lead flipped, it made it a lot easier on me to get back to what I’m comfortable doing and putting pressure on my opponents.”
Some time after taking the lead from Weng, Jaffee made a full house with ace-jack on the AdAs6sJsJd board. He checked to the aggressive Weng who was counterfeited with pocket eights. Not one to give up without a fight, Weng bet about 30 percent of his remaining stack on the river. Jaffee check-shoved all in to sit even more comfortably on top of the leaderboard.
Jaffee entered heads-up play with Dojie Ignacio with a 4:1 chip lead. Ignacio fought back quickly, though, and the two found themselves with even stacks for quite some time. Eventually, with about thirty big blinds effective, Jaffee found pocket nines against the ace-nine of Ignacio with all the chips in the middle preflop. Ignacio couldn’t find an ace, and Jaffee found his family and friends to share his immediate post-victory moments.
Ten years from the first time
With his parents in the crowd and a rail of friends alongside them, Jaffee had a supportive rail throughout the night. Cheers of, “Tuna! Tuna! Tuna!” were only ever rivaled by cheers for Weng in the early goings.
Playing for large amounts of money with cheers and occasional raucous outbursts isn’t easy. In the end, though, Jaffee seemed elated to be able to share the stage with family and friends.
The victory, about a decade after his first WPT title, comes as a comfort and reassurance to the veteran professional.
“Adding another prestigious title reassures me that the decisions I’ve made to continue to do this were good ones,” said Jaffee.
They certainly were, Tuna. The number of people that have a diamond next to their name on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup are an elite group. Now, you join their ranks.
Congratulations to you Jared Jaffee on the impressive victory, being able to share it with family and friends, and finding reassurance of your life path.
We hope to be there for the next such reassurance soon.