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Josephy wins second WSOP bracelet, $299,486

6 June 2013

On Thursday, Cliff Josephy won his second World Series of Poker bracelet, claiming the title in the $3,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Shootout for $299,486.

Josephy's victory came literally in the exact same spot where he won a WSOP title eight years ago in Seven-Card Stud, the first year the series was moved from old Binion's Horseshoe to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

"That first win was really strange, because I really did not know how to play the game," said Josephy. " I got lucky and then started beating on everybody, raising and raising. It was just pure aggression. This time I felt like I knew what I was doing. This was really enjoyable. I always wanted a No-Limit gold bracelet, but I never thought it would be in a shootout."

Josephy was nostalgic about this victory, especially given the long wait between wins.

"I didn't think I'd have to wait this long. I had a couple of close calls right after (the previous win)," Josephy said. "I was really on top of the world back in 2005 and 2006. I thought I'd get more. But, you know – they're tough to get."

In a shootout, players advance to the next round by winning a succession of tables which play out similar to single-table satellites.

Josephy had to pass three tests over three consecutive days, and getting past the first day almost took a miracle. At one point during the first stage of play, Josephy flopped top pair with top kicker and lost to a set. That left him with a paltry 250 in chips, barely enough to post and ante and a big blind. Josephy was down to a single chip and a single hand.

"My 7-3 offsuit wasn't a problem against ace-king and ace-queen, Josephy joked. "I doubled up a couple of more times. I kept amassing chips and then ended up winning it."

Day 2 proved to be even tougher. Later, Josephy called it one of the toughest tables he's ever played at, given five name pros were involved. However, the rush from the previous day carried over which put Josephy at his first WSOP final table in four years, when he finished third in a Pot Limit Omaha event.

The final table included four gold bracelet winners -- including Josephy, David "Bakes" Baker, Max Steinberg, and Ryan Hughes. Josephy's stack took an early hit, yet he managed to survive on a smaller stack for a while before completely taking over play when action became seven-handed. He took a 3-to-1 chip lead when play was five-handed and from that point forward was never in serious danger of elimination.

Josephy is a 47-year-old professional poker player from Syosset, N.Y. He previously worked as a stockbroker in New York City. Josephy is just as well known by his online screen name, which is “JohnnyBax.” Yet, changes to the online poker landscape in recent years have forced Josephy to re-evaluate his status as a poker pro, which has included a more selective approach to poker tournaments.

For instance, Josephy plans to depart Las Vegas the day following his victory to be with his wife and three children. He hopes to return in early July for a few more tournaments, including the Main Event Championship.

Evan Silverstein finished second to win $185,487, while Steven Silverman was third for $123,202. Tim West finished fourth, Alessandro Longobardi was fifth, David "Bakes" Baker was sixth, Max Steinberg finished seventh, Chris Klodnicki was eighth, Ryan Hughes was ninth and Simeon Naydenov was 10th.

Tournament summary modified from a report by WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla, reprinted by permission.

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Josephy wins second WSOP bracelet, $299,486 is republished from