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Jared Jaffee Wins Choctaw Main Event For Second WPT Title

The 42-Year-Old Poker Pro Topped A Field of 612 In The $3,800 Buy-In Tournament To Earn $400,740


Jared Jaffee won his first World Poker Tour main event title in November of 2013, taking down the WPT bestbet Jacksonville Fall Scramble for what was then a career-high payday of $252,749. Nearly ten years later, the 42-year-old poker pro based out of Las Vegas returned to the winner’s circle, topping a field of 612 entries to take down the 2023 WPT Choctaw $3,800 main event. Jaffee earned $400,740 for the win, the second-largest score of his career. He also became just the 33rd player in history to win multiple WPT main event titles.

“It’s been too long [since winning my first WPT title]. I guess they weren’t lying when they said if you wait a little longer it will be a little sweeter,” Jaffee told WPT reporters after coming out on top. “This is definitely the best feeling I’ve had winning a poker tournament so far.”

This victory resulted in 1,260 Card Player Player of the Year points being added to Jaffee’s total. This was his first title and fourth final-table finish of the year, with more than $540,000 in POY earnings accumulated so far. He has now climbed into 46th place in the 2023 POY race standings presented by Global Poker.

This event began at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma back on May 5. The tournament attracted 612 total entries across its two starting flights, surpassing the $2 million guarantee to create a prize pool of $2,131,600. The final table of six was set late on May 8, with Bin Weng leading the way. Incredibly, Weng bagged up the chip lead in this event just six days after making the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final table as the biggest stack. The two events both went on pause for a few weeks, with their final tables set to play out on back-to-back days at the HyperX Arena located in Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

On May 25, Weng converted his chip lead in the WPT SHRPS into a title and a $1.1 million payday. He then had one night’s rest before this tournament resumed, with another WPT title and hundreds of thousands in prize money on the line.

Weng took a hit early, relinquishing the lead to Jaffee and then sliding back a bit closer to the pack when his pocket tens lost a preflop race against the A-K suited of Mike Vanier.

Weng continued to fall down the leaderboard as six-handed play continues, bet-folding pocket eights on a double paired board after Jaffee check-shoved with aces full of jacks. After that hand, Weng was down to fifth in chips.

Two-time WPT main event champion Erkut Yilmaz was ultimately the first to fall. The 2018 WPT Borgata Poker Open and 2019 WPT Rolling Thunder winner got all-in with pocket fives and found himself flipping against the A-10 suited of Vanier. The flop kept Yilmaz ahead, but an ace on the turn left him drawing slim. He failed to catch either a five or a spade (having picked up a four-flush on the turn) and was sent home with $81,700 for his efforts. He now has more than $2.2 million in career tournament earnings, with nearly half of that coming from cashes in WPT events.

Rusty Farrin was the next to hit the rail. It was a clash of two short stacks, as Weng shoved from the cutoff for 6.5 big blinds and Farrin called all-in from the small blind with just over four big blinds holding A-4. Weng was ahead with A-7 suited, but the two would tie nearly 27 percent of the time given their low side cards. They both ended up with a pair of aces, and with three non-four cards below a seven on board, Weng’s kicker did play. That meant that Farrin was officially the fifth-place finisher, earning $107,000 for his efforts. This was his first six-figure tournament score.

Bin WengDespite winning that pot, Weng was still fairly short. Just seven hands later, he was all-in and at risk with K-J trailing the A-9 of Jaffee. Neither player connected with the queen-high runout and Weng was sent to the rail a few spots short of winning his second WPT title in as many days. He earned $143,000 as the fourth-place finisher, bringing his total haul across his back-to-back final tables to nearly $1.3 million.

Weng has now made eight final tables in 2023, with three titles won and nearly $2.7 million in POY earnings accrued along the way. With his WPT, World Series of Poker Circuit main event, and The Return at Borgata victories, Weng is now the second-ranked player on the POY leaderboard with 5,505. Only Nacho Barbero (6,075) has accrued more points so far this year.

Vanier had begun the day in third chip position, but held the lead at various points during short-handed action. A Dojie Ignacio double-up through Jaffee during three-handed play saw the stacks nearly level out. Jaffee began to pull away again as the battle for the title continued, though, winning a big pot against Vanier with a flush to surpass half of the chips in play.

Shortly after that, Vanier limp-shoved from the small blind with ASpade Suit6Club Suit and received a quick call from Jaffee in the big blind, who had raised with QHeart SuitQClub Suit. Vanier flopped a six, but was eliminated in third place when the turn and river brought no further help. Vanier was awarded $192,000 for his efforts, increasing his lifetime tournament earnings to nearly $1.5 million.

Jaffee took nearly a 4:1 chip lead into heads-up play with Ignacio. That gap was quickly narrowed, and Ignacio overtook the lead just 12 hands into the match without an all-in confrontation. The two traded the advantage back and forth again before Jaffee won a key pot with a full house, showing A-Q on double-paired board with queens and nines to put some distance between himself and Ignacio.

The very next hand was the last of the tournament. Jaffee limped in from the button with 9Heart Suit9Diamond Suit and Ignacio raised to 2.25 big blinds. Jaffee unleashed a limp-reraise to 8.5 big blinds. Ignacio moved all-in for 27 big blinds total with his AClub Suit9Club Suit and Jaffee made the call. The board ran out QDiamond Suit4Spade Suit3Heart SuitQClub Suit8Diamond Suit and Jaffee’s pocket pair held up to bring the event to a close. Ignacio earned $261,000 as the runner-up finisher.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Jared Jaffee $400,740 1260
2 Dojie Ignacio $261,000 1050
3 Mike Vanier $192,000 840
4 Bin Weng $143,000 630
5 Rusty Farrin $107,000 525
6 Erkut Yilmaz $81,700 420

Photo credits: WPT / Drew Amato.