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The inaugural WPTDeepStacks Black Hawk $1,500 Main Event attracted 251 entries across three starting flight at the Golden Gates Casino, creating a prize pool of $336,340. After five days of grueling play, San Jose native Faraz Jaka (cover image) was the last man standing, and he banked $77,290 in prize money for his win.
The end result was not surprising given that Jaka was the most accomplished poker player at the event with more than 100 live scores to his credit, amounting to nearly $6.3 million in lifetime tournament earnings. Jaka had previously won the Season VIII WPT Player of the Year award, and with this win, he has become the first player to win both – WPT Player of the Year honors, and a WPTDeepStacks title.
While Jaka is without a doubt a talented player, it has been almost five years now since he last won a tournament – his last major win came back in November 2014 when he had won the $6K NLHE High Roller event at the WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic, Johannesburg. Talking about his win, Jaka said, “Feels great. I actually didn’t play too much the last two years and I just got back on tour this year. So, it’s kind of a nice refresher to get back in there and get a little win. I’m going to be playing much higher stakes the next few months. So, it’s nice to get back in the groove of things.”
Jaka had entered the final table with the second-largest stack, and after eliminating William Mietz and Aaron Frei, he squared off against Ryan Remington in the heads-up play. Following a slightly prolonged final showdown, Jaka eventually claimed the title, relegating Remington to a runner-up finish. With this win, Jaka has also booked himself a seat at the season-ending WPTDeepStacks Championship worth $3,000.
Other notables who also finished in the money were Jonathan Cohen (12th for $6,575), Wendy Freedman (13th for $5,650), Tyler Patterson (20th for $3,885), and Angel Vu (24th for $3,060).
WPTDeepStacks San Diego Champion Maxwell Young bubbled the final table, finishing 10th for $6,575.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Aaron Frei – 1,965,000
2. Faraz Jaka – 1,585,000
3. Ryan Remington – 945,000
4. Zackery Whitney – 730,000
5. Jeremy Wood – 605,000
6. Krzysztof Stybaniewicz – 470,000
7. Yang Ruan – 435,000
8. William Mietz – 435,000
9. Evan Shaughnessy – 365,000
Final Table Recap
Evan Shaughnessy, who was the shortest at the start of the final table, unsurprisingly was also the first to go. His lost out to William Mietz’s which bettered to three-of-a-kind aces.
A level later, Yang Ruan was entangled in a three-way pot with Krzysztof Stybaniewicz and Jeremy Wood. Ruan moved all-in and received calls from the other two players.
The board ran , and Stybaniewicz doubled up, while Ruan had to walk out in eighth place.
Less than 10 minutes later, Jeremy Wood locked horns with Ryan Remington. Wood held against Remington’s . The runout gave Wood a pair of nines, but it was no match for Remington’s turned two pair, resulting in Wood’s seventh-place finish.
Finishing in sixth place was William Mietz. With the board open , Mietz shoved all-in with and Faraz Jaka called with . The latter held a stronger hand, sending Mietz to the rail.
Immediately after that, Krzysztof Stybaniewicz jammed and Remington made the call holding . The community cards fanned out and Remington flopped two pair dismissed Stybaniewicz in fifth place.
Minutes later, Zackery Whitney became Remington’s next victim when the former’s were cracked by Remington’s . Receiving no help from the board, Whitney was ousted in fourth place.
Aaron Frei‘s final table run did not last much longer either. During level 27, his ran into Jaka’s . The rundown brought , and Jaka hit two pairs of aces and queens on the flop, eliminating Frei in third place.
The heads-up finale between Faraz Jaka (4,610,000) and Ryan Remington (2,920,000) began with the former enjoying a comfortable lead over Remington, and it took him a little over two hours to take down the title.
On the final hand, Remington moved all-in on the button with , and Jaka called holding . The board spread out and while Remington flopped a pair of queens, Jaka found a better pair of kings on the turn to whisk the title away from his rival, pocketing $77,290 in first-place prize including a $3,000 seat into the season-ending WPTDeepStacks Championship.
Final Table Results (USD)
1. Faraz Jaka – $77,290*
2. Ryan Remington – $54,305
3. Aaron Frei – $34,475
4. Zackery Whitney – $20,970
5. Krzysztof Stybaniewicz – $16,195
6. William Mietz – $13,420
7. Jeremy Wood – $11,265
8. Yang Ruan – $9,420
9. Evan Shaughnessy – $7,730
*includes $3,000 buy-in into the season-ending WPTDeepStacks Championship
Content & Images Courtesy: World Poker Tour