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Faraz Jaka Beats Tough Final Table To Win $1500 Shootout

Jordan C

Jul 17, 2023

Faraz Jaka Beats Tough Final Table To Win $1500 Shootout Event

In one of the more unique bracelet events of the series, prominent poker coach Faraz Jaka took down the $1,500 Shootout event after beating out a tough final table. The longtime MTT player turned poker coach already had $7 million in earnings along with a WPTDeepStacks title, and he can now add his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet and another $237,367 to his already impressive resume.

Tough Final Table

The $1,500 Shootout is unique in that each table is played down to a winner, with the surviving player from the table moving on and facing a brand new lineup each day. It tests players on all aspects of their No Limit Hold’em play; whereas most tournaments only require you to play shorthanded/heads-up when you get down to the final few players.

There was a total of 987 entrants in this event, with 100 players progressing from the first round. Those 100 players were separated into ten tables of ten, with the winners of each table convening for the final table on July 15th.

Being a prominent poker coach and a long-time MTT player with a long list of impressive results, it’s no surprise that Faraz survived his first two tables and found himself on the final table. However, he may have been surprised at the quality of his opposition at that final table, given the size of the buy-in. 

Faraz sat on the left of five-time bracelet winner Adam Friedman and also had to contend with three-time bracelet winner Yuri Dzivielevski a couple of seats to his left. Five of his opponents had over $500,000 in lifetime tournament winnings and the remaining players had shown that they weren’t going to roll over easily.

However, Faraz took it all in his stride, and after chipping up in the early stages, he won a huge flip with 99 against the AK of Ao Chen to sit on over 6.3 million with eight players remaining. From that point on Faraz always looked in control, further extending his chip lead when his AQ beat the JJ of Matteo Cavelier to eliminate them in 6th place.

Faraz continued to accumulate chips during short-handed play, and by the time they were three-handed, he had a nearly 2:1 chip lead over second place. After extending his lead even further, his TT beat the A8 of Olga Iermolcheva to take the match heads-up. It would take a little over half an hour for Faraz to seal his first bracelet after his rivered straight snapped off the bluff of Michael Finstein.

Never Say Die

Faraz almost didn’t make it to this year’s WSOP, as he suffered a major injury that could have scuppered his plans to come to Vegas and compete. When asked about what injuries he suffered and how he came close to missing the series altogether, Faraz said:

“Yeah, so I had two herniated discs. I was signed up for surgery. It got so bad that I was stuck on the floor one day for four hours. Couldn't move. Any movement was a level 9 or 10 nerve pain and had to call 911. They gave me ketamine just so they could move me and that literally zapped away all the nerve pain that I had been having for four weeks. Then that put me in a position where I was able to do physical therapy and yeah, basically, recovered in about three, four weeks and made it out to the series. I thought I was gonna miss the whole thing. So yeah, this is awesome.”

It’s this “never say die” attitude that makes Faraz such a tough competitor. His drive to improve and keep getting better is reflected in his results, as he’s been performing at the highest level for well over a decade.

When speaking about this aspect of his personality, Faraz said, “I have this personality where if I make a mistake or bust out deep in a tournament, it kind of annoys me in a way where I just want to jump right in and play better. So, I was kind of unhappy with my bust-out hand in the main and I just instantly went right to the Wynn and played the 10k there. Got kings into aces instantly, jumped right in here, and was just focused and determined to play better.”

With this kind of spirit, we wouldn’t bet against Faraz picking up another WSOP bracelet in the near future.

Event #85 $1,500 Shootout No-Limit Hold'em Final Table Results  

Place Name Country Prize (USD)
1 Faraz Jaka United States $237,367
2 Michael Finstein United States $146,686
3 Olga Iermolcheva Ukraine $109,780
4 Ao Chen United States $82,954
5 Yuri Dzivielevski Brazil $63,295
6 Matteo Cavelier France $47,772
7 Mo Zhou China $37,955
8 Adam Friedman United States $29,834

Is Faraz’s win one of the most impressive of the series given his injuries in the lead-up to the summer? Who is now the best player to never win a bracelet? Let us know on social media and stay tuned for all the latest WSOP news and events.

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