Cliff Josephy Adding To His Legend

Sep 21, 2017

By Matt Clark

Cliff Josephy

Whenever a living legend in the game makes a deep run in a prestigious event, the whole poker world stops and takes notice. In the case of Cliff Josephy (pictured), those runs have been frequent over the last year.

Josephy started Day 4 of the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship as the chip leader and has been at or near the top for most of play on Thursday. Earlier this year, Josephy final tabled the PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event to follow up his 2016 WSOP Main Event third-place finish.

The artist also known as “JohnnyBax” is keeping the run good going this week and is on the verge of making his second career World Poker Tour final table after placing sixth in the Season XV Seminole Hard Rock Finale at the end of last season.

Josephy is as experienced deep in tournaments as any player who enters a WPT event and is basking in the glow of the chance to enter the prestigious WPT Champions Club. When it comes to the his play in these events, Josephy’s mindset has him focused on the moment and not the tournament itself.

“I try to approach it all the same,”Josephy told “I love every minute of it. I play rarely so the fact that I’m able to make a deep run, I’m thrilled about. They run a great tournament here at Borgata and I’m very happy with how things have progressed.”

The opponents that Josephy faces near the final table come from all different ends of the poker spectrum and Josephy doesn’t think the perceived pressure of the cameras is affecting them, but he also knows there are other variables that could affect their play.

“I think there’s a lot more pressure on people when you get to the final six,”Josephy said. “At this stage, I don’t think they’re feeling camera pressure. They might be feeling financial pressure or pressure to make the final table, I don’t think they care about the cameras.”

There was once a time when Josephy was an expert on all things ICM and stack depth late in a tournament, and as he plays less, he notes that he’s not the wizard he once was. Josephy feels that his instincts are still able to help him in tough spots even though the reps are not as frequent.

“It’s a lot harder now that they’ve taken online poker away from me,”Josephy said. “I don’t remember the numbers quite like I used to because I’m not playing three or four times a week. But I still feel very comfortable that I know the right spots innately. I know the numbers well enough, but I’m no expert. These guys who are playing super high rollers, they have the numbers down cold.”

Only a few players are left to be eliminated before Josephy locks up his place at Friday’s televised final table and regardless of where he finishes, Josephy has once again proved that he belongs in the same breath with the tournament greats of his generation.

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