As the only amateur at the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, 28-year-old Las Vegas nightclub promoter Jay Farber will play the underdog role when November Nine convenes next week.
Unlike the rest of his final table opponents, Farber has very little tournament experience, especially in major live events. The $733,224 he’s guaranteed for making the November Nine marks his first-ever WSOP cash. In fact, going into July's Main Event he had accumulated only $2,155 in live tournament cashes. That's one-fifth of the WSOP Main Event buy-in.
But whatever edge Farber lacks in experience, he'll make up for in crowd support when the action kicks off at the Penn and Teller Theater on Monday.
Similar to the Vegas nightlife scene, achieving success in poker can be about who you know. And Farber seems to know just about everyone in Sin City, giving him a home-field advantage of sorts at the final table. He's prepared to turn the Penn and Teller Theater into his own Las Vegas nightclub.
"This is probably going to be the loudest and most crazy rail that there's ever been at the World Series," Farber told the PokerNews Podcast crew this week. "I know that half of my friends are planning on getting kicked out."
Farber also happens to be very close to several high-stakes poker pros who have helped guide him through his Main Event journey. Former November Niners Ben Lamb and Jesse Sylvia, as well as Vanessa Selbst and many others, have been in Farber's corner since the beginning of his own November Nine run. They've all provided invaluable knowledge that could help make Farber the game's next ambassador.
"I'm very, very fortunate to have some of the best poker players in the world as some of my very good friends," said Farber. "They've all pledged their support to me and offered me anything I need. So there will be a lot of research and practice going on for the final table. I'm excited."
Farber will enter the final table fourth in chips with 25,975,000 after enjoying one of the easier paths to the November Nine. He was the only finalist to finish his starting flight with a six-figure stack (104,400), and he told PokerNews that he was only in semi-danger of busting on Day 2 — and he wasn't even all in.
"I sort of cruised through every day of the tournament with well over 100 big blinds," Farber said.
While he could still be considered a tournament novice, Farber has been a regular at the mid-stakes cash games at the Bellagio and other Las Vegas poker rooms for years. He credits his cash-game background and the deep structure of the WSOP Main Event to his success so far.
"The Main Event, more than most tournaments, plays a lot like a deepstack cash game in that you have so many chips and so much room to work for so long," Farber said. "You don't necessarily find yourself in shove-or-fold situations or need to be at risk for your tournament life until a lot of later stages. It's a comfortable feeling for a lot of cash game players to have a ton of chips in front of them."
Farber will be in his comfort zone with 65 big blinds when play resumes on Monday. He says he won't be intimidated by the previous success of his opponents, so it's safe to say Farber is a stong contender to become the next world champion of poker. Whether or not he wins, he'll certainly bring some excitement to the final table.
For more on Farber, be sure to watch the interview he did with our very own Sarah Grant:
The 2013 WSOP Main Event final table will take place starting Monday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. Las Vegas time, and you can follow all of the live, hand-for-hand coverage right here at PokerNews.com.
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