Hometown: Muttontown, New York
Occupation: Professional Poker Player
Marital Status: Married
WSOP Earnings: $810,358
WSOP Cashes: 17
WSOP Final Tables: 4
Best Previous Main Event Finish: 386th in 2008
*All stats are prior to the 2016 Main Event
The chip leader when the final table begins is 50-year old Cliff Josephy. Josephy is the only previous bracelet winner among the 2016 November Nine. His first bracelet (also his first WSOP cash) came in 2005 in a $1,500 Seven Card Stud event. He won his second gold bracelet in 2013 by defeating a 477 player field in a $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout event. His second WSOP victory earned him $299,486, which stood as his largest WSOP cash up until this year’s Main Event final table.
Road to the Final Table:
Josephy stayed under the radar for the first five days of the event. He never bagged in the top 25% of remaining players for Days 1-5 and he bagged in the bottom 50% after both Day 1 and Day 3. He made his move to the top of the leaderboard on Day 6, and it all started when he was able to crack Dietrich Fast’s pocket aces with pocket kings. Josephy flopped a king and eliminated Fast in 55th place. He finished Day 6 third in chips with 27 players remaining. At that point, he only trailed Vojtech Ruzicka and Michael Ruane, who would also end up reaching the final table.
Josephy continued to collect chips at a rapid pace on Day 7. He traded the chip lead back and forth throughout the day with Ruane and Qui Nguyen. Nguyen held the lead when the unofficial final table began at 10 players remaining. Josephy overtook Nguyen for the lead on the fifth hand of the unofficial final table when he forced Griffin Benger to fold on the river in a 25 million chip pot. Josh Weiss was eliminated 13 hands later in 10th place, cementing the 2016 November Nine with Josephy still in the lead.
Final Table Position:
Josephy is headed to the final table with 74,600,000 chips (149 bb). Qui Nguyen is on his right with 67,925,000 in chips (135 bbs), the second largest stack. To Josephy’s left is Michael Ruane, who is fifth in chips with 31,600,000 (63 bbs).
WSOP: What has life been like for you since completing play in the summer?
Josephy: Although this answer isn’t interesting, my life is pretty much the exact same. The big exception is that I have really become the focal point in all conversations with friends, family, all kinds of acquaintances etc. While most people always found the poker life interesting as it is way different than what most people do for a living, it is now magnified exponentially. Thus, the Final Table is always on mind as a result. This is definitely keeping me from sleeping as much as I’d like to. Also, dealing with organizing what looks to be 100+ people heading to Vegas to root me on has been a little time consuming. These are obviously all good problems to have. I should add that my wife, who is always great, has been extraordinary with both helping me with the Vegas planning, and also taking on more of the routine stuff I usually do for the family as I prepare to play.
WSOP: Have you been watching the ESPN episodes? What are your feelings thus far?
Josephy: I have watched all the episodes since 2003 lol. I am a fan of poker, not a fan of certain people monopolizing their time in front of the cameras. I guess the producers have deemed that these are the people that the viewing audience wants to see, even though I find one in particular insufferable. Other than the time spent watching him, I always look forward to and love watching the ESPN WSOP coverage.
WSOP: Are you preparing in a particular way for when play resumes?
Josephy: I will be very prepared.
WSOP: What has been the most interesting thing that has happened to you since the stoppage in play that you are pretty sure would not have happened if you didn’t make the November Nine?
Josephy: Sorry, nothing really interesting or unusual has happened as a result. Maybe I just can’t remember because I’m so old?
WSOP: Have you had any notable purchases with the money you won yet or are you waiting until you win the whole thing?
Josephy: No, no notable purchases whatsoever. Well, I did pick up 6 tickets to all Met playoff games, which is 3 more than I got last year, so I guess that’s a slight splurge.