WPT SHRPS Lets Faraz Jaka Put Fans To The Test With Poker Pop Quiz

Faraz Jaka has garnered significant responses with hand history quizzes on social media, and he took advantage of his run during the 2024 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown to generate discussion around several key hands he played along the way.

Tim Fiorvanti
Apr 22, 2024
Faraz Jaka, the Season VIII WPT Player of the Year and previous Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown runner-up, has taken to turning social media into a classroom environment.

If you’ve spent any time on poker social media over the last few months, there’s a good chance a specific kind of post has crossed onto your ‘For You Page’ at some point. Within the limits of one or two tweets, Faraz Jaka will lay out an interesting hand he or one of his students has played, give enough pertinent details about the action, and then drop a poll with all of the potential options at a critical point in the hand.

The poll sits up for a few hours, and while respondents wait for the conclusion, debates start brewing in the comment section. Eventually, Jaka will drop back in with the results and more discussion percolates among all the respondents.

If this call and response feels like it comes straight out of a classroom, it’s because that’s exactly the kind of interaction that Jaka’s after.

“I do my weekly group coaching lessons on Jaka Coaching, and in the middle of the lessons I will usually quiz students to try to see if they actually retain the information,” said Jaka. “So that’s where I kind of got the idea of doing quizzes. I just thought it’d be cool to bring that format to social media so that I could also reply in the answers with some educational stuff.

“I was getting really frustrated when a good player posted a quiz, and I got really curious to kind of hear that thought process, but then kind of left you hanging. So I’m trying to give that extra information out to those students.”

For Jaka, the World Poker Tour’s Season VIII Player of the Year, coaching has become a big part of his day-to-day life. But he’s still out in the poker streets fighting it out for titles, and he was at the top of the chip counts for much of Day 2 of the 2024 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. It’s a tournament that he knows well, and one in which he’s found significant success in the past; in 2018, Jaka finished second to Scott Margereson in Hollywood, Florida, and has seven career cashes on property.

It’s an environment in which he tends to thrive for a few different reasons.

“The Hard Rock here in Florida has a mix of two things going on. It’s kind of unique here that we have downtown Fort Lauderdale, just 15 minutes away, Miami is not far, and all these cities in between bring in a more affluent crowd here, which creates for a way more fun experience and a lot more money. And that’s what makes these tournaments juicy.

“For me personally, I have a lot of local friends here, many who are not even poker players. So for me, I’m just always kind of in a good space here. I like the lifestyle. I get a good workout routine in, and I get my sun. I feel great here and it feels like home.”

Making a run into contention in this edition of SHRPS also offered Jaka the opportunity to present some of his hand quizzes in real time, shortly after they happened, with corresponding photos and videos of the action.

“I mean, it definitely creates for great engagement,” said Jaka. “There’s a lot of people that wish they could be playing these events or plan to in the future, so that kind of gives them a glimpse, to not only see the action, but also hear your thought process in between hands and on break. So yeah, I was just kind of bringing everyone along for the journey.”

Because Jaka was documenting his tournament run in real-time, it was subject to the volatility that comes with tournament poker. Over the last two levels of the night on Day 2, Jaka got into a massive coinflip spot for a lot of chips, and documented the hand that would ultimately go on to define how his event would play out.

Jaka doubled up and grinded back over the last couple of hours of Day 2, but shortly before chip bags came out late Sunday night his tournament run came to a close in 110th place. The dream scenario would obviously have involved running out quizzes and social media content all the way down to another SHRPS final table appearance. But on this occasion, it wasn’t meant to be.

Still, the experience was an overall fruitful one for Jaka. As someone who wears a few different hats within the poker industry, Jaka has to play a balancing act between his various responsibilities. In the ideal scenario, he’s making money at the poker table while setting himself up for future revenue streams at the same time. But even when the poker doesn’t fully go according to plan, there are other actions in play.

“I mean, my number one priority is to, you know, win the tournament,” said Jaka. “But I’m also an influencer, growing my social channels, trying to entertain people, trying to educate people, and trying to bring people into my coaching product. Showcase what I can teach them, and how I think about the game. And hopefully, if that’s interesting to them, they’re interested to join me and learn some more.”