Faraz Jaka wins first World Series of Poker bracelet in $1,500 Shootout event


In the weeks leading up to 2023 World Series of Poker, Longtime professional poker player and coach Faraz Jaka was dealing with health issues that left him unsure if he would make it to Las Vegas for the biggest tournament festival of the year.

According to a posts on social media did in June, Jaka had two herniated discs which resulted in a “…severe four week episode of nerve pain that left me unable to perform basic activities such as walking, sitting up, getting my food from the fridge and even put myself in the emergency room for a day.

The 37-year-old an Poker World Tour The Player of the Year award winner at one point gave himself a one in five chance of being in the WSOP as a result of his struggles. Eventually, he recovered enough to make the trip to Paris and Horseshoe Las Vegas. After a slow start, Jaka hit his stride in the final weeks of the series, making a strong run in the main event (219th – $58,500) and then, days later, emerging victorious in the $1,500 no-limit hold’em shootout event with his first WSOP gold bracelet and the grand prize of $237,367.

The shootout event essentially sees players participate in several consecutive single-table sit’n’gos. A total of 987 entrants took their seats, with 100 players winning their tables to cash and advance to day 2. The next round repeated the same process, with ten tables of ten playing until they were The ten winners have been decided.

Jaka was one of those players, and he was joined by the likes of five-time bracelet winner Adam Friedman and three-time bracelet winner Yuri Dzivielevski at the ten-handed final table. Friedman entered this final table with a chance to win a live tournament bracelet for the fifth year in a row, but ultimately busted in eighth place for $29,834 after losing a preflop coin flip.

Dzivielevski’s run ended in fifth place ($63,295) when his Q-10 suited failed to rally against Michael Finstein’s pocket tens. Ao Chen (4th – $82,954) also fell to Finstein, and Jaka eliminated Olga Iermolcheva (3rd – $109,780) to set up a heads-up match for the shootout title.

On the final hand, Finstein limped in from the button with JClub dress3Diamond dress and Jaka checked from the big blind with 9Club dress7Heart dress. The flop came 10Diamond dress9Suit in spades8Diamond dress. Jaka bet with his pair and an open-ended straight draw. Finstein raised into position with his own straight draw and Jaka called. The KDiamond dress on the turn Jaka check-called another bet from Finstein. The 6Suit in spades completed Jaka’s board and straight. He checked again and Finstein moved all in with his eliminated draw and jack high. Jaka called to secure the pot and the title. Finstein earned $146,686 as a runner-up, the second-highest finish of his career.

Here’s a look at the payouts and leaderboard points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY extension Points
1 Faraz Jaka $237,367 912
2 Michael Finstein $146,686 760
3 Olga Iermolcheva $109,780 608
4 Ao Chen $82,954 456
5 Yuri Dzivielevsky $63,295 380
6 Matthew Cavelier $48,772 304
7 MoZhou $37,955 228
8 Adam Friedmann $29,834 152
9 Alan Mello $23,689 76

Visit the Card Player 2023 World Series of Poker page for schedules, news, interviews, and the latest results from the event. WSOP coverage sponsored by Global Poker.

Photo copyright: WSOP / Omar Sader.

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