If you were to evaluate Jay Farber's poker skills purely by his rail, you would probably assume he was a high stakes cash pro. As the 28 year-old played his way to a seat at the final table, he was cheered on by an array of bracelet winners including Chance Kornuth, Vanessa Selbst, and Ben Lamb. He is no poker pro, but Farber is a Vegas regular. Sin City is known bet for two things--gambling and nightlife. Farber is a major player in the latter, working as a VIP host for nightclubs like Hakkasan. His job has led him to establish friendships with a ton of poker pros who will be on hand to cheer and advise in November. So, while it is Farber's first WSOP cash and first final table, the Farber supporters can certainly help him make up for any lack of experience compared to his competitors.
Hometown/Current place of residence: Las Vegas, NV
Occupation: VIP Host
Education: BA in Business from UC Santa Barbara
Marital Status: Single
Children (names and ages): 0
Years playing poker:
Years entered Main Event: 2
WSOP Earnings: 0
WSOP Cashes: 0
WSOP Final Tables: 0
Best Main Event Finish: None
We caught up with Farber shortly after the final table was set to find out a little more about him:
You are one of the non-professional players at the table. What is it you do for
Farber: My technical profession is VIP Host, so basically
I just take people out and make sure they have a good time. Set them up with tables and stuff like that.
WSOP: How many times have you played the Main Event?
Farber: It’s like my third or fourth, I don’t know, I
played a long time ago, but I played last year. I made Day 3 and this is
obviously the farthest I have ever gotten, farther than I had hoped to get.
WSOP: When did you learn to play?
Farber: I started playing poker probably 15 years ago
with my friends, just screwing around in home games. I played casually on and off, played a lot of
cash semi-professionally when I moved out here and before that.
WSOP: What was your most memorable moment in this year’s
Farber: I think Day 6 when I got Aces against Noah
[Schwartz] on the second hand of day was pretty much the highlight. It’s brutal because he is a friend of mine
and I don’t want to take all of his chips, but everything else has just been
like a big blur and now making the final table is amazing.
WSOP: You had a big rail.
Who were some of the people on there?
Farber: A lot of nightlife people and a lot of my friends
from poker. Shaun Deeb, Ben Lamb, Chance
Cornuth, Keith Ferrer, Brent Roberts.
Everybody that I have gotten to know over the years living here and
playing poker came out here to sweat me today, which was awesome. I am so happy I could make it for them more
than for me.
WSOP: Has Ben prepared you at all for what the November
Nine is all about?
Farber: Not at all.
WSOP: Are you going to lean on him a little bit?
Farber: Yeah, I thankfully have a pretty good support
network to help me out with everything I need to prepare.
WSOP: Do you know all of those guys from playing cash
Farber: I know them from cash and from a lot mutual
friends and through partying and stuff like that.
WSOP: How did you get into the nightlife industry?
Farber: Back home I was working in bars, bartending and
doing security. When I moved out here, I
kind of didn’t have a gig. I didn’t have
a job lined up and all of my friends were promoters and hosts and I asked if
there were any jobs and I kind of fell into it.
WSOP: During ten handed play it seemed like you really
took advantage and picked up some big pots.
What was going on there? Were you
just picking up cards or were you thinking this is a chance for me to get up in
the chip counts?
Farber: I picked up a couple good hands and I have been
playing with JC a lot, so I kind of know how he plays and we had an interesting
dynamic. I was to his left pretty much
all day at the other table and he was to my left earlier in the day. I just felt like it was a good spot for me to
call him, but that KQ hand if he shoves the river it’s like the toughest call for
me ever, I don’t know what I would even do about it. I was just playing my style of poker and it’s
been working out really well for me.
WSOP: Were you always planning to play the Main Event this year?
Farber: Yeah, I was playing 100 percent, I played a
couple satellites just to play them, but I was buying-in no matter what. There was no chance I wasn’t playing.
WSOP: You have played the Main Event three times, but you
do not have any previous WSOP cashes. Have things just not gone right for you
here? Has it been disappointing?
Farber: A little bit disappointing just because I am really
not a tournament player. It is just
frustrating coming from being a cash player to be putting in 12 to 14 hours a
day and take a bad beat and just be done.
If it’s just cash, I just re-buy. This, the Main Event though, I really
enjoy playing the Main Event just because it’s more like playing a deep stack
cash game which is right up my alley.
For the first few days I was lucky enough to have a decent amount of
chips in front of me, so I just got to play my style of poker and it worked out
really well, I exploited my image and went from there.
WSOP: What’s the plan for the next four months?
Farber: I don’t really have one. I am going to Hawaii in two weeks and this
really all that is on my mind.
WSOP: Any plans
Farber: We are all going to the Rhino!