As the second day of the World Poker Tour's (WPT) Bay 101 Shooting Star moved forward in San Jose on March 10th, 2010, a hometown hero managed to be one of the chip leaders, further strengthening his status as the hottest poker player in the circuit this year.
Faraz "The-Toilet" Jaka learned poker in the dorms of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign while studying for a degree in business management and economics. He soon started playing poker at the Bay 101 when he was at home and online while he is in the University of Illinois, quickly winning prize packages to participate in the biggest high-stakes poker events in the world.
But a year and a half of following the PokerStars EPT (European Poker Tour) and his attempts at World Poker Tour glory did not even result in a single cash-in. Then things begin to turn around for Faraz Jaka a year ago right in the Bay 101. He achieved his first World Poker Tour (WPT) cash-in at the 2009 Bay 101 Shooting Star before moving on to place third at the highly contested 2009 WSOP (World Series of Poker) $5,000 Six-Max event.
When Jaka finished in 2nd place at the Bellagio Cup this past summer and 3rd at December's Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, he grabbed the lead in the WPT's Player of the Year race and has not given it up yet.
Add a final appearance at the first ever PokerStars North American Poker Tour's (NAPT) $25,000 High-Roller Bounty Shootout and Jaka has cash-in for almost $2 million in live poker tournament over the past twelve months.
Jaka said that despite his rocky start, having participated in thousands of poker tournaments and earning more than $1 million in online tournaments before he ever participated on the high-stakes live poker tournament stage in the circuit, his confidence never changed.
Now in the middle of successful run that would turn even the most successful poker player green with envy, he is still missing one important thing: a victory in a major poker tournament.
Jaka said that he is definitely hungry for a victory since it is frustrating to always finish in 2nd or 3rd place. But Jaka added that he is just hoping that he will play well especially he is in his hometown tournament.