Mixed Max events are tough and they will test the best players in the game. It takes a full arsenal of skills to succeed and win these type of tournaments. To no surprise the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em Mixed Max event had two of the best in the game square off heads-up for the bracelet. Jared Jaffee and Mike Watson found themselves heads-up for the bracelet after three full days of playing different variations of No Limit Hold'em. After all was said and done, Jaffee was able to show that he had the unique and versatile skill set to win the biggest-field Mixed Max event the WSOP has ever hosted. He earned his first ever WSOP gold bracelet as well as the top prize money of $405,428.
"I felt like there were a bunch of spots in the past where I was right there and could have gotten [a bracelet] and I didn't. I kind of felt like I was in the zone all day yesterday and today. It just felt like I was going to win." said Jaffee about winning his first bracelet. "Today I thought it was my time."
The 33-year-old poker pro is from Brooklyn, New York and has been a regular at the WSOP for the past six years. This marks Jaffee's 11th WSOP cash and more than doubles his WSOP earnings. His previous top finish at the WSOP was a third place in the $2,500 No Limit Hold'em Four-Handed event last year.
Playing short-handed suits Jaffee's game well. It is, in large part, on why he was able to run over the field to take home the bracelet. Jaffee had set himself up for a deep run, finishing Day 1 fifth in chips. He had gotten through all of the full ring play and ahead was only short-handed play, where he could really excel. Day 2 played mostly six-handed and some four-handed. He finished the day with a big chip lead and, from there, never looked back.
"I prefer short-handed. I feel like normally I choose the right spots moreso than when I force the issue a little bit when it is a full ring. The shorter the better, I feel good with heads-up, I feel good with four-handed and six-handed," said Jaffee.
Each of our finalists have been close to bracelet glory before. Watson has made five WSOP final tables prior to this and also won the WSOPE High Roller side event back in 2012. Jaffee almost final tabled a Shootout event earlier this summer, but has made two other WSOP final tables in years prior.
This year was the first year for a $1,500 buy-in Mixed Max event. The format requires players to master every variation of No Limit Hold’em, as Day 1 plays nine-handed, Day 2 plays six-handed, the final 24 players played four-handed, and the final eight are seeded into a heads-up bracket that plays down to a winner.There were 1,475 players in the event, generating a $1,991,250 prize pool. The top 162 players finished in the money. Some of the notables who cashed include James Woods (149th), Marc-Andre Ladouceur (119th), Matt Waxman (110th), Jason Somerville (95th), Allen Cunningham (89th), Jim McManus (71st), Jason Koon (39th), Jeff Gross (7th), and Brandon Cantu (6th).The semifinals of this portion was the tale of two matches. In the pairing of Jared Jaffee vs Joseph Alban, Jaffee needed just two hands to advance, while the battle between Watson and Mark Herm drug on for a couple of hours.Here are the results from the heads-up portion of the $1,500 Mixed Max:1st: Jared Jaffee - $405,4282nd: Mike Watson - $246,0683rd: Mark Herm - $126,8824th: Joseph Alban - $126,882