The Blueprint: Jared Jaffee


Jared Jaffee won his first bracelet in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Mixed Max (Steve Schult Photo)

Jared Jaffee has had numerous close calls at a bracelet over the last several years at the World Series of Poker. After years of trying, the 33-year-old professional poker player broke through and won his first in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Mixed Max at the 2014 WSOP and took home $405,428.

In the semifinals, Jaffee dispatched of Joseph Alban in just two hands to set up a showdown with Mike Watson in the finals. Jaffee started the final match with just shy of a two-to-one chip lead and after a few hours of play, had defeated the Canadian pro and added a bracelet to a poker resume that already includes a WPT title.

Jaffee sat down with BLUFF to talk about a few hands that he played against Watson in the final match.

Watson Doubles Through Jaffee

With blinds of 25,000/50,000 and a 5,000 ante, Jaffee raised to 125,000 on the button and Watson moved all in for 1.255 million. Jaffee called and the cards were tabled. Watson tabled A6 and Jaffee was behind with his A4. The board ran out 85373 and Watson doubled up.

Jared Jaffee: “A lot of times I’m just min-raising [on the button], but as he was getting shorter I decided to make it a little bigger. I was putting him in some awkward spots where he didn’t really know what to do based on his chip stack, so I was trying to make it a little bit bigger and a little bit more awkward for him so that in order for him to three-bet me, he’s going to have to commit his stack basically, so I would have a better idea of where I was at.”

“In that spot, I feel like he is shoving pretty much any broadway cards, some small pairs, obviously some hands that beat me, hands like A-6 that I’m chopping with. He has less than 20 blinds and I can’t really fold in that spot. Even if I get it in behind and I lose, I still have a pretty sizable chip advantage. Plus the fact that I’ve been raising pretty much every button, I knew he was going to have to take a stand at some point, so there was even a chance that he would be shoving with less. He might have some 8-9 or 7-8 because I could tell he was getting frustrated and was going to have to make a move at some point.”

Jaffee Gets Caught Bluffing

Blinds were still 25,000/50,000 and Jaffee raised to 125,000 on the button. Watson flatted from the big blind and they saw a flop of A92. Watson check-called 165,000 and the Q fell on the turn. Watson check-called again, this time 320,000 and they watched the dealer peel off the 4 on the river. Watson checked and Jaffee pushed out 610.000. Watson snap-called and showed Q9 and took the pot against Jaffee’s 62.

JJ: “I folded a couple times, but I’m probably raising the button there 90% or 95% of the time. I think at that point I was just in a real good rhythm and winning most of the pots, so in that spot, I don’t think I’ll be folding any hands, so I’ll be raising almost every time there. I’m going to c-bet the flop there because obviously it’s hard to make a pair and I made a pair. I’m not going to like any turn card basically, so I may as well make him put some money in there if he is going to float me and sometimes just take it down. Obviously if he did flop like middle pair, which is kind of what I thought he had on the turn, the fact that I c-bet the flop, it allows me to look a lot stronger now if I fire three streets like I did.”

“I honestly thought there was a chance that he would call another bullet with a nine, but I didn’t think he would be able to call three streets with it. Especially since I had been very rarely showing down bad hands. For the most part, when I showed down yesterday, I had it. I took a similar line like three or four different times and I had it every time and I knew that if I fired three bullets, he would basically be calling off his stack on the river. When the turn hit, I had this weird feeling that he might have made two pair and I thought ‘If he calls here, I might have to shut it down on the river’ and then I find myself just putting in 600k on the river anyway.”

Jaffee Finishes Off Watson

After Jaffee had got caught bluffing, Watson was almost even in chips with the Brooklyn native. Jaffee continued to apply pressure and got the chip lead back over the next level and a half. With the blinds increased to 40,000/80,000 with a 1,000 ante, Watson limped in on the button and Jaffee raised to 180,000. Watson moved all in for 1.6 million and Jaffee called. Watson was in the lead with JJ and needed to fade an ace against Jaffee’s A6. Jaffee didn’t hit an ace, but the board ran out T8574 to give Jaffee a straight, the pot and the bracelet.

JJ: “He had limped the button quite a bit. Once he started to get short, he would limp the button a lot. Most of the time, I would just check behind. I think I raised twice when he limped and he folded both times. So I kind of had a feeling that if I put in a raise there, he was shoving a lot of the time because he hadn’t. So that would be the line to take with a lot of hands. Any hand with value there, he’s going to shove. He had under 20 bigs and I can’t really fold there. I think he’s doing that with every broadway combination and whatever. He did the same thing with A-6 before. I honestly never want to win a tournament getting it in bad, but it’s wrong to fold.”

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