Photo by Joe Giron
 
The Morning After
 
Las Vegas, Nevada (July 4, 2012) – Following the richest night in poker history, Will Jaffe took poker’s grandest stage and seized the spotlight.

On the "morning" after Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari's jubilant victory in the Big One for One Drop, Jaffe and his merry band of fellow New Yorkers came to the Rio in Las Vegas and launched their own poker party.

Of course, "morning" for most poker players is usually sometime around noon.  Walk the halls of the WSOP, and you are likely to hear "good morning" spoken as late as 2 pm.  
 
If any group is capable of splashing of water on the face of a monster hangover, it was Jaffe and his colorful and often vocal rail of supporters.  Prompted by a horde of Brazilians standing at the opposite side of the gallery cheering for their favorite player, Luis Campelo, the heads-up finale resembled an international soccer game more than a poker tournament.  There were chants.  There were cheers.  There were flags.  All that was missing was a riot.

Final score:  Jaffe (USA) – 1….Campelo (Brazil) – 0.

Indeed, Jaffe won the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em (Event #54), which attracted a monster-sized field totaling 3,221 players.  He collected $500,070 in prize money.  Jaffe was also presented with his first WSOP gold bracelet.  Fittingly, the victory by the American took place on the Fourth of July. 

Jaffe is a 25-year-old professional poker player from Bridgehampton, NY – located in Long Island.  He has been playing full time for about four years.  Jaffe first became passionate about the game when he was a sophomore in college, studying in New York City.
 
Jaffe defeated the Brazilian after a long heads-up match that lasted nearly four hours.  The third day and final table session went so long that it was suspended.  Players returned for an unscheduled fourth day, during which the championship was ultimately decided. 
 
The final hand came when Jaffe was dealt A-2 offsuit.  He ended up making a full house -- deuces full of aces.
 
The runner up Campelo received a nice consolation prize in the amount of $309,429.  He is a 47-year-old engineer, who also operates "Liga Curitibana de Texas Holdem."  The club helps to promote the game of poker not just in his hometown of Curitiba, but throughout the country.

Had Campleo won, he would have been only the third WSOP gold bracelet winner in history from the nation of Brazil.  The first was Jacobo Fernandez, who won in 2008.  Coincidentally, he is also from Curitiba -- which is Campelo's hometown.  The second winner was Andre Akkari, from Sao Paolo.

As things turned out, Campelo gave it his best shot, but hit the post – while Jaffe achieved his gooooooooooaaaaaaaaal.
 
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-- by Nolan Dalla