Jay Farber: Taking 2nd in Main Event is “Greatest and Worst” Feeling

Jay Farber 6
Jay Farber

Despite coming in second place in the 2013 WSOP Main Event, Jay Farber seems to be the one getting all the media attention.

It probably helps that Farber could have become the first “amateur” since Jerry Yang to win the Main Event.

Thanks to his Vegas lifestyle and penchant for luxury cars, Farber has already been featured by celebrity gossip site TMZ in one of its segments.

Friend of Instagram Star Dan Bilzerian

He’s also friends with Dan Bilzerian, who’s turned into a bona fide star on Instagram since the Main Event. We caught up with Farber to see just how things have been going since coming second in the Main Event and winning $5.2 million.

PokerListings: How has life changed for you since the Main Event?

Jay Farber 2
Jay Farber at the 2013 Main Event final table.

Jay Farber: It’s kind of funny. Everyone wants to know that and not all that much has changed. I lived a pretty extravagant lifestyle before.

I still continue to do that. I just have a little more financial freedom I suppose.

My day-to-day life hasn’t changed that much. I’m still going out in Vegas and taking care of people. I’m just travelling a little bit more.

PL: Have you come to terms with coming in second or do you still have regrets about it?

I definitely wanted to win more than anything. Finishing second in the Main Event is a great accomplishment for anybody.

I was talking to David Williams and Jesse Sylvia about it. It’s the greatest feeling in the world and the worst. You know you accomplished something that’s once in a lifetime but you’re so close to getting the championship and that’s what you really, really want.

PL: So was it more about the title than the money at that point…

It was never really about the money. The money is nice and everything but it was always about being world champion.

PL: Was it weird that an organization like TMZ interviewed you?

Yeah. That was probably the strangest thing since the Main Event. I was going to a club in LA, we pulled up and they were waiting there for me. I had no clue. It was pretty overwhelming.

The random people that recognize me and want to take my picture… it’s odd to me. I really appreciate it. I think it’s awesome that people look up to me for playing poker but I also think it’s just a game. I don’t think it makes me better than anybody else.

It’s just weird because normally – despite all the partying – I’m pretty low key.

PL: Do you like getting that kind of attention?

Jay Farber on TMZ

Not really. It’s not my favorite thing in the world but at the same time it comes with the territory. You have to take the good with the bad.

It’s not a bad thing that people recognize me and want to talk to me. There are people that say things to me and I just can’t respond the way I normally would, just because of the position I’m in.

PL: How much poker are you playing these days?

Not a lot. I played a couple nightly Aria tournaments just messing around. Played a little cash. I played a couple big private games. Tournament poker was never really my thing. I skipped PCA and Aussie Millions just because I wanted to get my house together.

PL: Any big tournaments on the agenda?

Between now and the WSOP I have a few. Bay 101 Shooting Stars and maybe Borgata. LAPC. I’m getting a puppy in a couple weeks so that’s going to take up the majority of my time. I don’t want to be a bad dad.

PL: Can you talk about the house robbery? Was that a scary incident for you?

It wasn’t scary, just frustrating and annoying. Everything they got was replaceable but there was some sentimental stuff and some money. It wasn’t the end of the world.

PL: Does it make you think about what you put out there on social media?

Jay Farber Dan Bilzerian
Dan Bilzerian and Jay Farber

No. Honestly I couldn’t care less. I’m going to continue to live my life and do what I do. I’m not concerned about what people know about me.

The fact my house was broken into such a short period of time after I moved in, it couldn’t be anybody that got my information from social media. It had to be someone casing the neighborhood or knew me personally.

If someone wants to try and break into my house again they better hope they are gone before I get there.

PL: Do you think poker players are a bit lax when it comes to security?

Yes and no. I’m sure some of us take it pretty seriously and others don’t. It just depends. A lot of people don’t realize they could be a target.

You see it happen to a lot of poker players. I’m not concerned about my person being robbed, it’s just my house because I’m not there a lot. I’ve taken preventative measures.

PL: Your friend Dan Bilzerian has really blown up on the Internet since the Main Event. Are you surprised?

No. Not really. Dan has been a marketing machine on his own for a long time. I’m sure the extra exposure has helped him a lot. Everybody loves to love, or hate, Dan. It’s either one or the other. It’s great. People love to talk about him.

He’s just been on a really heavy push to get himself out there, which is great. I’m happy for Dan that he’s able to do what he enjoys.

PL: Do you have a favorite Bilzerian story?

There are so many.

I think my favorite activity that Dan and I have ever done is when we bought a car off Craigslist for $500 or something. We took Dan, some of my guns, some girls, took it into the desert and drove it until the airbags went off. Then we shot it. And then we blew it up.

It sounds a bit anticlimactic when I tell it now but it was so much fun.

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