Jonathan Jaffe came into the day second in chips and, after playing a nearly three-hour money bubble, navigated the field and eventually defeated Stephen Chidwick heads up to claim the title of Event #10 $50,000 No Limit Hold'em.
"Mostly, I wanted to come out for the (Super High Roller Bowl). This led in nicely to that, and I didn't want to spend two weeks in Vegas, but this is a great event," Jaffe said of why he didn't play more events in the race for the Purple Jacket.
Jaffe quickly wrestled the chip lead away from Chino Rheem early in the day and never looked back, but the Massachusetts-born pro still had to navigate some chop waters as the short stacks continued to find doubles as the money bubble loomed.
Ren Lin was the first casualty of the day as his ace-ten ran into the ace-king of Nick Petrangelo. Lin flopped a pair of tens as the double appeared looming, but a king on the river sent him out the door in eighth place, just short of the Purple Jacket.
After Lin's elimination, the short stack doubled four straight times before Cary Katz's pocket tens fell to the ace jack of Alex Foxen. An ace on the flop gave Foxen the better pair, and Katz headed home empty-handed as the remaining six players all secured a cash of at least $105,000.
Petrangelo would be the first to fall in the money when his ace-ten couldn't run down the pocket sixes of Chidwick in a blind vs. blind battle. A six on the turn gave Chidwick a full house, and Petrangelo was headed to the payout desk.
Next up on the chopping block was start-of-day chip leader Rheem. The California-born pro saw his chips fly around the table as he moved up and down the leaderboard before heading out the door in 5th place for $168,000 after running his ace-jack into the pocket aces of Jaffe.
Chidwick would score his second elimination of the final table as his pocket tens bested Brian Kim's ace-king in a just over 3,000,000 chip pot, which sent Chidwick into three-handed play just over 100,000 behind Jaffe for the chip lead. Kim would have to settle for his 15th career six-figure cash as he took home $231,000 for the fourth-place finish.
Three-handed play was all Jaffe as he quickly built a sizeable chip advantage and would eventually take a five-to-one chip lead into heads-up play after eliminating Foxen in third place. Foxen was whittled down over several hands against Jaffe and would find himself all in from the big blind before the cards were even dealt.
Jaffe picked up ten-nine of diamonds and would be up against the ace-duece of Foxen. An ace on the flop seemed to give Foxen the double, but Jaffe caught runner-runner to make a queen-high straight, and Foxen had to settle for the $336,000 third-place prize.
Foxen's elimination, not alone, gave Chidwick a $168,000 pay jump. It also secured Britain's all-time money leader enough PGT points to overtake Lithuania's Vladas Tamasauskas for the 2023 Purple Jacket and the added $50,000 prize money.
"I love playing these events. I like playing with the small player pools," Chidwick said during an interview on air after play. "I think I do a pretty good job of bringing a high level of play for an extended stretch of time, and that's what helps me do well in these longer series."
Despite starting heads-up play with the five-to-one chip disadvantage, Chidwick managed to string together pot after pot as heads-up play began, but despite the rocky start, Jaffe managed to right the ship when it mattered most.
After limping the small blind, Jaffe saw Chidwick raise to 270,000 from the big blind. Jaffe responded by moving all in for 1,960,000 effective, and Chidwick snap-called.
Jaffe was in rough shape when he tabled his ace-three and was dominated by the ace-nine of Chidwick. The flop and turn were largely eventful, but a three on the river gave Jaffe a pair, and Chidwick would have to settle for the $504,000 second-place prize and the purple jacket.
|1||Jonathan Jaffe||United States||$756,000||454|
|2||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||$504,000||302|
|3||Alex Foxen||United States||$336,000||202|
|4||Brian Kim||United States||$231,000||139|
|5||Chino Rheem||United States||$168,000||101|
|6||Nick Petrangelo||United States||$105,000||63|