Jonathan Jaffe Defends His LHPO High Roller Title; “Bigger Field, More Money”

2022 Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 28
$25,500 High Roller NLH (Re-Entry)
$1,000,000 Guarantee
Entries:  93
Prize Pool:  $2,297,100
January 24-25, 2022

Jonathan Jaffe
High Roller Champion Jonathan Jaffe

The last time there was a $25,500 High Roller during the Lucky Hearts Poker Open, a field of 41 entries created a prizepool worth $1,012,700. This year, the field was more than twice as large with 93 entries, and the prizepool more than doubled the $1 million guarantee to reach $2,297,100.

But one thing that remained constant is Jonathan Jaffe, who won both events, earning $340,285 in 2020 and $574,085 this year.

When asked to compare the two events, Jaffe said, “Bigger field, more money. I’m happy about that.”

“I definitely ran the best I can ever remember running in a high-roller,” said Jaffe after his victory Tuesday evening. “That’s kind of a peculiar feeling, when you keep winning all-ins from behind and your chips multiply, but you don’t feel like you did something particularly great.”

One of the key moments for Jaffe actually came the night before on the final table bubble, when he got it all in after the flop with 5s5c against Joseph Cheong’s QhQc. Jaffe was two cards away from elimination, but the 5d fell on the turn to save Jaffe’s tournament and catapult him into the chip lead.

As for Cheong, he bounced back from that bad beat and was chipleader for much of the final table. And then, with three players left, he played the biggest pot of the tournament against Jaffe.

Jaffe shoved the turn with a flush draw and a gutshot straight draw, and Cheong called with top pair. The perfect river card fell for Jaffe, completing both of his draws to give him the win and double him up to a comfortable 66 big blinds.

A few minutes after that, Jaffe won a preflop race against Tim Capretta to knock him out in third place, and that gave Jaffe the chip lead in what turned out to be the final hand of the tournament.

Jaffe and Cheong agreed to a heads-up deal, and as chipleader, Jaffe earned the title, the trophy, and the most money ($574,085). Cheong earned $540,000 as the runner-up.

Jaffe is a regular in the big events here at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, so what keeps him coming back?

“Proximity,” said Jaffe. “I live 15 minutes away, and I love it. I go home for dinner break, and you just can’t beat that. Right now, this is the place that is hosting so much of the volume of the World Poker Tour, and we get a $25K every time they come here. It’s amazing. It makes me not want to fly out anywhere else, because we have the best poker only 15 minutes away.”

1Jonathan Jaffe $574,085*
2Joseph Cheong $540,000*
3Tim Capretta $291,730
4Dan Colpoys $202,145
5Eli Berg $130,935
6Caleb Piderit $98,775
7Sameer Batra $80,400
8Vikenty Shegal $68,915
9Jerry Wong $66,615
10Darren Elias $64,320
11David Mock $62,025
12Chad Eveslage $59,725
13Rainer Kempe $57,430

* Indicates the results of a heads-up deal.