WCOOP Profile: From Longmeadow to WCOOP
Longmeadow, Massachusetts is a nearly 400 year old town with which Puritan settlers fell in love. The soil was rich, the grazing land was good, and there were enough beavers to kill and skin that everybody was going to line their pockets with cash. Three hundred something years later, Jonathan "Iftarii" Jaffee joined the Longmeadow Poker Tour.
Oh, sure, at that time it wasn't the biggest poker tour around. In fact, it was usually a couple of tournaments per weekend in a town of 20,000 people. But, anywhere between 15 and 45 kids would show up every time. The hosts of the tourney didn't charge any juice.
"It was a real good time and a rare situation where high schoolers ages 14-18 were all peers at the poker table," Jaffe said.
That was how that young man honed his game. Unlike others on the LPT, however, Jaffee started making a name for himself. Within a few years of his high school graduation, Jaffe had made a final table on the World Poker Tour and placed fourth in the $10,000 WSOP Heads-Up event.
Now, Jaffe is a World Championship of Online Poker champion and he's done it in spectacular fashion. He won the WCOOP $25,000 Heads Up championship.
"It was a fun experience," he said. "Going deep in any tournament is fun, but being that heads up is my specialty and this tournament included many of the biggest names in heads up poker, I was excited to go far."
At the age of 22, Jaffe has been playing poker professionally since he graduated from high school. He has already amassed more than a million dollars in winnings. With his most recent cash, he intends to buy a condo for his brother. That's worth a lot of beaver pelts in today's dollars.
Beyond that, Jaffe eschews the idea of self-promotion. He doesn't like talking about himself and prefers to let his play do the talking.
With big finishes on the WPT, WSOP, and WCOOP, whatever he's saying, he's saying it pretty loudly for a kid from Longmeadow.