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Poker Stories Podcast With Jay Farber

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Oct 24, 2018


Poker Stories is a long-form audio podcast series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

Age: 33
Born: Santa Barbara, California
Live Tournament Earnings: $5.5 million

Top Five Tournament Scores

Date Tournament Place Winnings
July 2013 WSOP $10k Main Event 2nd $5,174,357
July 2018 CPPT Venetian $5k Main Event 5th $134,083
June 2018 WSOP $1,500 NLHE Bounty 3rd $121,329
Oct. 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event 34th $27,909
July 2016 WSOP $3k NLHE 15th $25,485

Jay Farber is best known for finishing runner-up to Ryan Riess in the 2013 World Series of Poker main event, where he earned $5.2 million. Farber was a relative unknown in the poker world at the time, but had made a name for himself in Las Vegas as a nightclub promoter and VIP host, which led to some high-profile people on his rail including Ben Lamb, Shaun Deeb, and Dan Bilzerian.

Now five years later and considered retired, the Santa Barbara, California-native is coming off of another solid summer. In late June, he took third in a $1,500 bounty event at the WSOP for $121,000, and in July, he finished fifth in the Card Player Poker Tour Venetian main event for another $134,000.

Highlights from this interview include the joys of retirement, growing up in a pool hall, gambling as a child, sneaking into casinos, going from bouncer to club promoter, playing for rent money, partying for a living, finding clients at the poker table, knowing your table image, running like god in the main event, finding ways to spend a seven-figure score, not watching himself on TV, losing six figures in a blackjack session, the politics of high-stakes games, losing $250,000 pots to Rick Salomon, getting Chino’d by Chino, how to eat a lot of McDonald’s, and why the octopus will take over the earth.

The Highlights

On his WSOP main event run…

“I was going to play anyway, but I won a satellite. So I got in, and sold pieces to a bunch of my friends, clients, people I have known forever. [Shaun Deeb], Dan [Bilzerian], Ben Lamb… I think those were the three big ones. I had a pretty good rail. I managed to run like god for seven days. I definitely ran really well. I got slapped in the face with the deck a lot, but I also got paid a lot. Part of being aware of your image is knowing, I’m going to get value. I will get three streets. I look like the type of person who is going to play super aggressive, and try to win every pot, and bluff you on every street. It’s the tattoos, the muscle, being Asian. So I was always getting value. I just didn’t bluff, and luckily I got there a lot.”

On if he had any regrets about how he spent his WSOP main event winnings…

“There’s was a lot of… ‘I probably shouldn’t have done thats’ but no, I don’t really have a lot of regrets, aside from firing off really big in blackjack. That’s really dumb. I’ve lost over $100,000 playing blackjack, in a session. It started off small… then I lost, so I was like, ‘fuck this, I’m not losing’ and I went to my box. I got up to the table max, which was $10,000, and then I had split sevens, four times against a six. Two doubles, and I made four 17s…. And the dealer made 18. I wanted to vomit. That was one of the worst losing sessions I had at blackjack. At Aria, so, you know I’m platinum [status] for life at MGM properties (laughing).”

On running bad against Rick Salomon in high-stakes cash games…

“I lost a really, really, really big pot to Rick Salomon. Rick has beat me in the biggest pots of my life, ever. One was in a private game, one was in Ivey’s Room. Both were well over a quarter of a million. I remember I four-bet pre, and he called with J-7 or something like that. I bombed the flop, and he turned a gutshot straight against my two pair. And the other one was in a private game. It was a $50-$100 game, but there were unlimited straddles. It was an uncapped buy-in [game] with Rick and a couple other people, but it was basically playing $1,500-$3,000. So if you had two cards, you were putting it in, and four of us ended up putting it in, and Rick just got there.” ♠

You can check out the entirety of the interview in the audio player at the top of the page or download it directly to your device to play on the go from iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.

Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Justin Bonomo, Nick Schulman, Barry Greenstein, Michael Mizrachi, Bryn Kenney, Mike Sexton, Brian Rast, Scott Seiver, Freddy Deeb, Chris Moneymaker, Maria Ho and many more. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes automatically when they are released.