Just two days after being awarded a Platinum Pass, Will Jaffe is battling in the Bahamas. Here, he tells us about his whirlwind weekend
Some winners have had more than three years to prepare for the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) since receiving their Platinum Passes.
Others–like Will Jaffe–have had less than three days.
“It was a little stressful,” Jaffe tells us, referring to his rush to arrive at the biggest $25,000 buy-in tournament of the year. “But it’s super cool and obviously worth it for this.”
But how did this happen?
A TOUGH CONVERSATION
It all started on Twitter.
A few days ago, Will Jaffe was playing cash games in Maryland, away from his wife and child for the weekend. A self-confessed grinder, such work trips are a regular occurrence for the 35-year-old, who often documents the warts-and-all lifestyle of a poker pro on the road.
The grind never stops pic.twitter.com/8yC2GcUAlT
— WIll jaffe (@dankness3) January 26, 2023
He went onto the PokerStars Twitter account–perhaps, and this is pure speculation, to read the latest PokerStars Blog coverage from the PCA/PSPC–only to discover that PokerStars had accidentally blocked him.
Then it was time for a tough conversation.
It’s time @PokerStars pic.twitter.com/Lv4xpFeV4V
— WIll jaffe (@dankness3) January 23, 2023
We should probably have mentioned those. Jaffe’s florid and inspired monologues known as “tough conversations” have built him quite the fanbase on Twitter, and after getting blocked by PokerStars, he felt it was time for another one.
To smooth things over, he had a simple request: how about a Platinum Pass?
“I didn’t think it would actually work,” he says, chuckling. “Honestly, the reason I asked for so much was that I thought I wasn’t going to get it anyway, so I might as well fire big.”
But work it did, and he’s now in the Bahamas playing this epic event.
Turns out his tweet caught the attention of Benj “Spraggy” Spragg, a big fan of Jaffe’s tough conversations, and the Team Pro escalated the situation within the PokerStars HQ.
Is this real?? Let’s fucking goooo!!!!! https://t.co/q8r7Bk9GxB
— WIll jaffe (@dankness3) January 27, 2023
The next thing Jaffe knew, he was offered a free trip to the Caribbean and a free buy-in to the biggest poker tournament of the year.
“I rang my wife and told her we’ve got ourselves a Bahamas vacation,” he says. “She said, let’s do it.”
Based on his tough conversations, you might believe Jaffe to be something of a dyspeptic misanthrope. You’d be wrong. He’s actually very nice. But maybe he doesn’t want out there. Sorry, Will.
Back to the Bahamas, a decade on
Jaffe has been playing poker professionally since 2008, after getting his first taste of the game during his sophomore year of college when he was studying in New York. For someone who doesn’t play many tournaments, he’s amassed an impressive $889K in live cashes throughout his career, the lion’s share of which came from his World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet win in a $1K event in 2012, good for a $500K score.
“It’s super cool to be here because I came to the Bahamas in 2013 for the PCA and it’s bringing back a lot of memories,” Jaffe says. “This is the kind of environment I used to play in. It’s all kind of unreal. Since it happened I don’t think I’ve really digested it.
“I’m trying to calm my nerves because I don’t really play big tournaments,” he says. “It’s a crazy feeling to play such a big buy-in with so many people. It has a Main Event feel, but it’s even bigger. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking for sure.”
One player who’s responsible for the wracking of many a nerve in the poker world is David Peters, himself a former Platinum Pass recipient, who currently sits to Jaffe’s right.
“Not great, but you’re always going to have good players and amateurs, you never know,” he says. “You’ve just got to play.
“I didn’t have time to prepare, but that’s good in a way. I’ve just been in the moment. My family’s here, my wife and my kid are at the beach right now. It’s awesome.”