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World Series of Poker Main Event Chip Leader Cliff Josephy: 'My Goal Is To Take The Belt'

50-Year-Old Online Poker Legend Enters The Final Table As Oddsmaker's Favorite


50-year-old Cliff Josephy’s visage is not necessarily what one would first imagine when asked to picture a legend of online poker. The warm smile and free-flowing poker jargon do give him an air of youth, but at face value he still reads more as a businessman or lawyer than a poker professional who came to prominence on the internet behind the screen name “JohnnyBax.”

But appearances can be deceiving and Josephy is indeed one of the first superstars of the online poker age. The former Wall Street stockbroker from Syosset, New York became the top ranked online tournament player and set the record for the longest streak at number one with 17 months atop the leaderboards. He has also found plenty of success in live tournament poker, winning two WSOP gold bracelets and cashing for more than $2.6 million along the way.

Cliff JospehyWith a background in finance Josephy looked to diversify his poker portfolio in a number of ways, including founding an online poker training site called PokerXFactor with longtime friend and poker pro Eric “Sheets” Haber.

Josephy, along with Haber, is also widely known as one of the most successful and prolific backers in poker, although understandably that is not a subject that he’s discussed often publicly. It is widely accepted, however, that he was a major investor in 2009 WSOP main event champion Joe Cada.

Now Josephy finds himself at the main event final table himself. With 75 million in chips he is the chip leader among the nine remaining players, and with his lead and experience will have a great opportunity to emerge victorious with the championship bracelet and the $8,000,000 top prize this fall.

“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 Card Player minutes after making the final table. “A good part of the work is done but we have a little more work to do.”

In fact Josephy is already the odds-on favorite to become poker’s next world champion, with betting sites like Ladbrokes listing him as around 3.4-to-1 to win it all. Josephy knows that anything can still happen.

“Some favorites have won, some have lost and that is the nature of this sport,” said Josephy. “We will see. To me being the favorite doesn’t really matter. I mean I like my position right now, but anything can happen.”

Card Player TV’s interview with Josephy can be viewed in full below:



over 5 years ago

Cliff has always seemed to be one of the really good guys in poker. While not friends I have crossed paths with him several times and he is always cordial and congenial. I know I am pulling for him and wish him the best of luck to take it down.