Jared Jaffee Finds His Smile on the Way to Second WPT Title

Nine-and-a-half years after winning his first World Poker Tour title, Jared Jaffee broke from his stoic reputation as he celebrated winning WPT Choctaw.

Tim Fiorvanti
May 27, 2023
Jared Jaffee celebrated his WPT Choctaw win with a big contingent of friends and family.

Jared Jaffee has built a reputation in poker over the last 15 years for being stoic and self-deprecating. It takes a lot for him to break out a facial expression of any kind, and Jaffee even bristled when a photo of the final six players at WPT Choctaw featured a big smile on his face.

But once the final card fell Friday night at HyperX Arena at Luxor Las Vegas, and Jaffee sealed his second career WPT victory, his parents and a few close friends including Ralph and Aaron Massey mobbed Jaffee on stage for a big group hug.

And in that moment, a grin slowly crept onto his face.

“I’m not big on smiling, but in my old age I’m softening up a little bit,” Jaffee said. “This was fun. My parents were here, I had a ton of friends who came in and everyone was pretty rowdy having a good time.”

The 42-year-old Staten Island native’s first win came nine-and-a-half years ago, at the 2013 WPT Jacksonville bestbet Fall Poker Scramble. This time around, having his parents in attendance was a particularly special part of the equation for Jaffee, who was at his fifth career WPT final table overall.

The only other time they were present for one of Jared’s final tables,  the ending wasn’t quite so happy.

“They were at one other one at the (2014 WPT Borgata Poker Classic) when I got fourth,” Jaffee said. “That was a disappointing ending, and that was probably almost 10 years ago, so it’s been a while. It’s nice that they’re here.”

Along the way to his second title, Jaffee short-circuited Bin Weng‘s own attempt at a second WPT title, and a chance at history. On Friday, Weng won over $1.1 million and the 2023 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, and was trying to become the first player in history to win two titles in as many days.

The pair had already clashed in several big pots in the playdown to the final six earlier this month in Oklahoma, and when it came down to it on Saturday in Las Vegas, Jaffee got the upper hand. With four players left, Jaffee put Weng all in with Diamond A Club 9 and Weng called for his last 10 million with Diamond K Spade J. Neither player connected with the board, and Weng went out in fourth. 

“It turned out that I actually had to play a bunch of hands with him early on, and I got lucky enough to win the all in against him to bust him,” said Jaffee. “He definitely knows how to play poker and he knows how to make you uncomfortable and put the pressure on. Today I just got the better cards.”

Even as he enjoyed his happy post-win moment, Jaffee quickly settled back into a more comfortable deadpan tone when asked about his post-win celebration plans. 

“I don’t know man, I might just go to bed,” Jaffee joked. “No, I’m sure we’ll do something. I don’t know, I never expect to win, so I don’t plan anything. I’ll let my friends figure something out and I guess I’ll just pay for it.”