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Canadian Poker Pro Matt Marafioti Dies After Allegedly Jumping From New Jersey High-Rise

High-Stakes Pro With Nearly $3 Million In Earnings Was 33 Years Old


A 33-year-old poker pro died last week after he allegedly jumped off the 28th floor of a New Jersey high-rise.

According to a report from the Daily Voice, Matt Marafioti dove off the balcony of his friend’s condominium just after 11 a.m. last Friday.

On the felt, Marafioti was one of the best of his generation. In the pre-Black Friday era of online poker the Canadian played some of the biggest games available under the screen name “ADZ124.”

“When I first learned about poker when I was 18, I would pull up Stars and sweat the $25-$50 games,” tweeted poker pro Doug Polk when rumors first began circling about Marafioti’s death. “ADZ would be playing all of them, total boss. I dreamed of one day playing those games. Hope it’s not true, but if it is, I’ll always remember this legend.”

Marafioti racked up $2.85 million in live tournament earnings. His largest score of $381,507 came from a runner-up finish in the $10,000 pot-limit hold’em championship at the 2010 World Series of Poker. He also won the Empire State Championship in 2007. His most recent in-the-money finish came at the 2019 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open main event, where he finished 141st for $5,797.

But Marafioti battled demons away from the felt. During the summer of 2016, he went missing for 45 days. When he resurfaced, he informed everyone via social media that he was healthy, safe and was just camping with his friends. Following the incident, he was rarely seen at live poker tournaments. His next cash didn’t come until more than three years later in the fall of 2019.

Marafioti tweeted and made comments on YouTube about many conspiracy theories where he claimed that the Illuminati was trying to frame him and put him in a mental hospital.

“Looks like a set up to make it look like I disappeared before the court case to me to avoid exposing the whole Illuminati through factual evidence,” wrote Marafioti last Thursday below a posted selfie in front of the Hudson River. “Here comes the arrest or disappearance. I’m dead either way.”

In a post later that day, Marafioti wrote that he was scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 17 regarding a custody hearing.

On the morning of Friday, Aug. 13, he posted a picture of a man in a collared shirt standing in the hallway of an apartment building. Subsequent social media posts determined that the man in the photo was a driver sent by either friends or family to pick Marafioti up.

“If I leave this apartment they are going to make me go missing,” wrote Marafioti on Instagram. “If I stay, they are going to say I’m crazy and won’t leave. Everything is a Catch 22 and they are setting me up for torture if I go missing or by saying I’m crazy. Sammy I love you so much. You mean the world to me. I am always with you no matter what. Love dad.”

In 2012, Poker Listings did a short feature on Marafioti for their website.

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