By Sean Chaffin
The Remington is one of the most sought-after prizes in poker and Faraz Jaka (pictured) certainly remembers winning his well. The professional poker player has more than $6.8 million in live tournament winnings and loves the LAPC.
On the WPT, the 34-year-old has two WPT Main Tour runner-up finishes and a WPTDeepStacks title. He spoke with WPT.com about playing poker, missing classes in college to win a Remington, entering the Tony Dunst 10% giveaway contest, and more.
How special is the LA Poker Classic and what do you like about it?
This event is one of the best. It’s one of the few $10Ks that’s survived. I used to play this back in college. I’d fly in here from the University of Illinois to play. My senior year I’d fly in, play, miss classes, and then go back. It’s one I’ve been chasing for a long time, so I look forward to a lot.
I built a bankroll my freshman year in college and started traveling and to these as soon as I could – this and the Bay 101 Shooting Star. That’s my hometown [San Jose, California] and that might have been one of the first ones I went to.
Did playing the event affect those college class grades?
Yes, those trips would definitely affect my grades [says laughing]. But I would make sure I went to the classes that I highly valued, which were my business classes. I didn’t miss those. I missed horticulture, which I’m actually into now. That’s why I took that class, but I’m saving it for a retirement hobby.
What was a trip to the Commerce like for you back then?
I used to come out and play cash games. I’d play these crazy, crazy long 36-hour sessions as a 21-year-old. I won a $1,000 side event here [2008 for $104,900]. They were pretty huge back in the day. That was one I think I missed a test for and my teacher wouldn’t let me redo the test, but I came back to school with $100,000 in my suitcase. I was okay with that, it was pretty cool.
What did you think of winning a Remington trophy?
They’re awesome, they’re very unique. I actually won a $1,000 no limit event but it was the last event of the series, so they only had limit trophies left. So mine says “limit” at the bottom, but I swear I’ve never won a limit tournament [laughing].
Where do you keep the trophy?
I don’t have a home so my stuff is kind of floating around in different places – parents’, storage, different friends’ places. I actually do remember where that one is – at my parents’ place. They have it in my old room I grew up in. They have a bunch of my old sports trophies and that kind of stuff. That’s where my Remington is.
Do you work in any long sessions like those from college anymore?
No, I know better than that. I don’t know if my body would handle it so well. I try not to mess around with that. I’ve learned how detrimental not getting sleep is for your body, so I try to take that pretty seriously. And as you get older it’s even worse. I wouldn’t recommend those sessions, with the late-night Red Bull and four coffees deep – it’s definitely not good for you in the long term.
Were you able to enter the Tony Dunst contest and what are your thoughts on the chance to win 10 percent of any of his winnings at the LAPC?
Of course, it’s cool. It’s a freebie. Any time you can get a freeroll on someone’s action, and Tony’s been having a good year so he’s hot right now, it’s fun to have a little sweat of someone.
For more on the history of the LAPC Remington trophies, click here.
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.