Sunday, October 30, 2016

I Met the Homeless Millionaire, Faraz Jaka!

One of the most interesting players I talked to while I was covering the Punta Cana Poker Classic for Americas Cardroom was Faraz Jaka. Maybe you've heard of him?! He's a professional poker player with over $8 million in career earnings -- and he's homeless!  He’s travelling the world from tournament to tournament so much that he gave up his home entirely years ago. Now he lives from a suitcase with just the essentials: a few pieces of clothing and a laptop.

I dunno... The nomadic lifestyle sounds kind of appealing. At first. But I'm thinking there has to be a catch.. I'd miss my stuff, wouldn't you?!

“I’ve just been playing all week. There’s a high roller event here today too so I haven’t even got to the beach, haven’t been in the pool.  I’m on tour hardcore for the rest of the season – I’m going to Macau, I’m going to Prague… where else… oh ya, I’m going to Florida…  I’ve got a lot of poker in front of me so I need a beach day. I might make that a priority today!”

“I obviously love being on the road. That’s why I do it, but there’s definitely some things that you wish you had. It can get frustrating sometimes."

“Even just, you know, I do a lot of my shopping on Amazon, just everyday shaving needs, all the right organic products I need, and sometimes it’s really hard to do that when you’re abroad and don’t have an address for them to deliver too!”

“On my way to Macau I have eighteen hours in Chicago. So I’m, like, messaging my Chicago friends – hey, want to meet for dinner? And can I send like five Amazon deliveries to your place? And can you bring them to dinner!?”

I asked Faraz what advice he’d give a some he said to just be careful about getting caught up in the jet set poker lifestyle. First class flights… fancy restaurants… five star hotels… If you want to last, better to stay grounded.

Apparently Twitch poker guru Doug Polk hadn’t heard that advice! After indulging in the lifestyle the night before he slept through the first three levels of Day 2!

Neither of these pros made it to the Final Table, but they’ll be there to cheer them on and  to see who walks away with nearly $150 grand.

Our video features highlights of our interview with Faraz Jaka.  The full version is on the Americas Cardroom poker news blog: Faraz Yaka on the Downside of the Poker Lifestyle.