New Jersey Firefighter Greg Weber Nears WPT Glory

Sep 21, 2017

By Matt Clark

Gregory Weber

Today’s play-down day at the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open features an eclectic group of players at the top of the leaderboard. Cliff Josephy and Matt Parry led the remaining 24 to start the day and in fourth place with 2.651 million was a wolf in sheep’s clothing disguised as Greg Weber.

Weber is an outlier among the players left in the field in that he works a full-time job as a firefighter in central New Jersey, but he is also a regular on the East Coast tournament scene. The 27-year-old Weber has nearly $400,000 in tournament earnings with his largest score coming from a final table finish in the 2015 Borgata Summer Poker Open Championship.

Since he turned 21, Weber has played in tournaments primarily in Pennsylvania and New Jersey when his work schedule permits. That schedule almost prevented Weber from making it this far in the tournament as he struggled to find coverage before the start of Day 3.

“I was supposed to work today, but found coverage last-minute around midnight,” Weber said. “I try to schedule better, but lately, my work has been falling on Day 3 of a tournament so sometimes I make it that far and try to find coverage. It’s happened a few times recently.”

Weber was almost absolved of having to call in as he started Day 2 with only 21,500 (22 big blinds) and then spun his stack up from there to 333,500 (61 big blinds) for the start of Day 3. Weber hit a surge late on Day 3 when he doubled through Matt Parry and then eliminated Stephen Deutsch to hit the 2 million mark.

According to Weber, his firehouse schedule is set for him to work a 24-hour shift and then have three days off. Weber has had situations before where it’s been a close call for him to be able to play an event, but it the end, it always works out.

“I almost didn’t find one on Day 2 of the [Borgata Poker Open Event 1] and I was close to calling out sick and found someone last minute,” Weber said. “Worst case scenario, I would have to break the rules a little bit and call out sick and answer a phone call to tell somebody that I’m actually not feeling well.”

Weber acknowledges that there have been times where a text to a fellow fireman has gone unanswered, but there’s enough flexibility where he manages to find coverage. Sometimes, Weber will work a 24-hour shift and then return a day later to work another 24, if need be.

Although he has the chance to win his first World Poker Tour event and etch his name on the prestigious WPT Champions Cup, Weber has zero illusions about leaving his job to pursue poker full-time. For him, the game is strictly a hobby that he loves doing and has had plenty of success in.

“Firefighting is something that I love to do, I love my job and helping people,” Weber told “The schedule is awesome. I can still play poker and work, which is great.”

The pressure of a WPT Day 4 can be overwhelming and Weber admits there are some nerves that factor in. Although he has never been in a spot quite like this, Weber’s tournament experience gives him the ability to eliminate the butterflies once cards get in the air.

“Coming into the day, I’m definitely nervous, but once I sit down, I feel like I belong,” he said.

After what started with 24 players on Day 4 is now 15, and Weber is among the favorites to reach Friday’s final table and move one step closer to claiming the $789,058 first-place prize. He’s currently second in chips behind only Josephy and in a real position to make a run at the title.

October will mark Weber’s fourth year working as a firefighter and regardless of how he finishes in this event, he will return to work on Saturday for another 24 hours until the next tournament begins.

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