Pro-poker player Cliff Josephy is no stranger to the tournament table: he has over $2.5 million in live tournament earnings; his jewelry box boasts two World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets; and he works as a poker instructor for other aspiring professionals. Despite his tremendous career success, Josephy will find himself at the final table of the WSOP Main Event for the first time this year, hoping to claim the coveted tournament title and hefty $8 million top prize.
Josephy is the chip leader going into the final table with 75 million and will sit in seat five.
“It was my goal. Not just to get there but to take the belt. It looks more like a belt than a bracelet this year,” Josephy told CardPlayer.com. “A good part of the work is done but we have a little more work to do.”
As one of the first superstars in the online poker age, Josephy (“JohnnyBax”) made a name for himself by being ranked no. 1 multiple times on PocketFives.com. He currently holds the record for longest tenure at no. 1, a stunning 17 months.
Josephy has been a professional poker player since 2004, when he left his job as a Wall Street stockbroker to pursue his hobby full time.
“I had been bored in the stock market, and I had worked hard for a long time and was getting burned out,” Josephy told PokerNews in 2005. “I just like this so much more, it’s certainly more enjoyable.”
His first bracelet came in 2005 with a $192,150 payday when he won a $1,500 seven card stud event – the first live stud tournament he ever entered. As his career has progressed, Josephy stuck to No Limit Hold‘Em as his game of choice, and in 2013 he won the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout for his second bracelet and almost $300K.
He is the hands-down favorite to win it all at the Main Event this year, but the 51-year-old isn’t letting that go to his head.
“Some favorites have won, some have lost and that is the nature of this sport,” Josephy told Card Player. “We will see. To me, being the favorite doesn’t really matter. I mean, I like my position right now, but anything can happen.”
If he does manage to pull out a win, Josephy will be the first player over 50 years old to win the WSOP Main Event since 1999.
The final table will begin on Oct. 30.
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Featured photo credit: Cliff Josephy, Twitter.
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