The professional poker world has received a huge blow as the pro player Matt “ADZ” Marafioti has been found dead after what seemed to be a suicide. In his last few days, the 33-year-old poker expert had been struggling with a desperate battle for custody of his son and with extreme paranoia.
Marafioti’s Unfortunate Demise
Marafioti perished after a jump from the 28th floor. His body was discovered by two lifeguards at a nearby pool.
He was staying at a friend’s apartment in a building in New Jersey. Police officers found a bag with $24,000 in cash there. The professional poker player had been there since he broke up with Lauren Kling, another poker pro. At the time of his demise, Marafioti was engaged in a battle over the custody of his son. If the poker pro hadn’t perished, he would have defended his rights in a court hearing on Tuesday.
If the stress from the custody battle wasn’t enough, Marafioti had also developed mental issues that manifested as paranoia. According to his very own Instagram posts, the poker pro believed a shadow organization was after him. He believed that he was going to be abducted if he went out or labeled as crazy if he stayed in.
“Everything is a Catch-22, and they are setting me up for torture if I go missing or by saying I’m crazy,” Marafioti wrote.
In a sad display of both fear and love for his family, Marafioti concluded one of his posts by telling his son that he loves him and will always be with him. In another post, the poker pro shared a selfie with his son, where Marafioti said that their time together was the best of his life.
The Pro’s Friends Talk About Him
Marafioti’s friends have long been concerned about the elite player’s health. Previously they thought he might have passed away when he had disappeared for a month and a half five years ago. When Marafioti returned, he started sharing various conspiracy theories, which suggests he might have struggled with paranoia for quite some time.
Marafioti was somewhat of a controversial figure as some journalists considered him to be a rude upstart, but those who truly knew him always insisted that he was intelligent and kind.
Andrew Hanna tweeted that the two of them had met at Borg. According to Hanna, Marafioti was exceptionally generous.
Another poker player posted that back in the day, during the now discontinued PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, there was one very cold night. Without giving it much thought, Marafioti gave one of his sweaters to his freezing poker colleague.
When the first rumors of Marafioti’s death came, people in the poker community were sad and shaken. Doug Polk and many others prayed it to be a hoax.
Léah Hendriks, a lifelong friend of the now gone poker star, commented on Marafioti’s final Instagram post. He said that he will always remember his charisma, warmth, sensitivity, and intelligence.
Marafioti’s passing away is sad news for poker. The professional will be missed and remembered for all of his good qualities.