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Jay Farber: “I Wanted to Prove Everybody Wrong”
Jay Farber had a huge stack heading into the 2013 November Nine but there were plenty of people who wanted to see him fail.
The brash amateur’s larger than life persona rubbed some people the wrong way and most thought he wasn’t a serious threat to long-time pros like JC Tran and David Benefield who were also playing for poker’s ultimate prize.
Farber went on to outlast everyone but Ryan Riess, scored a massive $5.1 million payday and then garnered the attention of mainstream media outlets like TMZ.
“Everybody deals with things differently,” said Farber.
“You can just ignore [detractors] or use it as motivation to get better. I sorta did a little bit of both. Coming into the final table everybody was saying I didn’t deserve to be there. I wanted to prove everybody wrong and show them that I could play some poker.”
Farber Scores $5m in 2013 Main Event
Farber did just fine at the final table and even made believers out of poker luminaries such as Doyle Brunson in the process.
“You look at any professional athlete or anybody in this game really… they all have doubters and haters,” he said. “You gotta take the good and the bad.
“I live a different lifestyle than most of America. People have perceptions of me based on what I do and my visible persona.
"I don’t think I’m hurting anybody and I’m just enjoying my life. I couldn’t care less what people who haven’t met me have to say.”
Behind the scenes Farber, who still works as a VIP host, actually shies away from the spotlight and is looking forward to a lower profile after a year of being featured in numerous interviews on the poker circuit.
“I don’t embrace the spotlight as much as some guys,” he said.
“I’m not Daniel Negreanu or Antonio [Esfandiari]. Those guys are fantastic ambassadors for the sport. It’s just not really who I am.”
Farber to Future November Niners: "Just Have Fun"
In reality Farber doesn’t even care that much for tournament poker (despite the fact he is playing Day 1a of the 2014 Main Event today).
“Every time I play tournament poker I realize how much I hate it,” he said.
“I love playing cash but tournament poker is not my thing. I like to be able to take a step back. If I don't feel like playing I want to be able to quit. It sucks feeling obligated to play for X amount of hours.”
As Farber moves away from the tournament scene he did have some advice for any potential November Niners this year.
“Just have fun,” he said.
“That’s what I did. It’s a once in a lifetime experience for most people so just enjoy it. You might not ever get there again.”
And if the haters should strike?
“I like trolling trolls,” Farber laughed. “It’s one of my favorite activities.”