Josh Reichard Finally Gets ‘Major League Title’ With WPT SHRPS Win

After a multitude of smaller victories and a few close calls in big spots, Josh Reichard broke through with his first major title and doubled his career-best result Wednesday by winning the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in front of a large gathering of family and friends.

Tim Fiorvanti
May 30, 2024
Josh Reichard celebrated his $839,000 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown victory with all of his friends and family who were in attendance.

Just over a month ago, Josh Reichard secured himself a place at the final table of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. It was familiar territory, in the sense that Reichard had already racked up more than $3 million in lifetime tournament earnings at dozens of different final tables over a 12-year career. He’d previously been tied for No. 1 on the all-time list of WSOP Circuit winners, and he has 15 WSOPC victories to his name.

But Reichard was searching for something more – a defining victory that could leave no doubt as to where he stood among the great tournament poker players on tour right now.

On Wednesday, when the final table of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown resumed at HyperX Arena at Luxor in Las Vegas, Reichard found exactly what he was looking for – a WPT title, and a $839,000 first-place prize.

“It’s more than double my career high score,” said Reichard. “All my titles [to this point] are minor league titles. This is a major league title. It feels great to finally break through and have a win of this magnitude.”

Along his path to victory, Reichard took advantage of having a monthlong layoff as he was fueled by what may well have been the largest and most spirited crowd of supporters ever assembled at a WPT final table on his rail.

“The friends and family definitely are what makes me rich, it’s not even close,” Reichard said following his victory. “And it was great. I mean, couldn’t have done it without them.”

The 33-year-old from Janesville, Wisconsin has shown a formidable ability to draw a crowd for his biggest career moments. When he finished second in the Mini Main Event at the 2023 World Series of Poker, for example, Reichard’s supporters stressed the stanchions set up at the edge of the room to capacity due to the size of the crowd and their collective enthusiasm.

Even in that context, the assembled supporters inside HyperX Arena on Wednesday reached an apex in time with Reichard to a degree he’d never experienced – and they even brought props.

“That was my first poker rail cowbell experience,” said Reichard. “I kept telling them at every break, ‘Get louder, get louder,’ because, I mean, if there’s a chance that it does [give me an advantage], why not?”

In the moments after his victory, all of his friends and family in attendance joined Reichard for his interview with Tony Dunst and Vince Van Patten, followed by a big group photo. In reflecting upon his path to victory, Reichard was quick to credit the strength of the cards he was dealt, especially heads up. But in zooming out, he also recognized that there were many contributing factors along his road to a WPT title.

The support of family and friends, the victories in smaller buy-in events and, yes, even the close calls like his WSOP runner-up finish last summer were part of the equation.

“Every time you have a run like that, it’s like just incredible. It feels great,” said Reichard. “People were asking me when I got second, like, ‘Are you disappointed?’ Absolutely not. Obviously this is better, winning, but you know, all of them feel good. All of them build your confidence and just help you move through to the next one.”

Reichard couldn’t have picked a much tougher final table to overcome on his way to winning the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, too. On his way to victory, Reichard bested a group of opponents that included the Global Poker Index’s current No. 1 player in the world, Jesse Lonis, as well as a heads-up victory over emerging star Landon Tice.

“It shows that you’re not out of class,” Reichard said of overcoming tough competition in this win. “It’s a small sample as one poker tournament, but it at least shows you belong, so that’s nice.”

Now that he’s cleared $4 million in lifetime earnings, and permanently added his name to the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup, Reichard has set himself up well heading into the busiest window of the poker calendar. When he thought ahead to what comes next in his career, Reichard was hopeful that there would be more big wins in his near future.

“This is a very tough challenge in itself,” said Reichard. “I don’t know. I’ll just hopefully try to do this again.”

As he wrapped up the last few responsibilities that come in the aftermath of winning a WPT title, Reichard prepared himself for what was next – the celebration. With such a large gathering of family members and the friends he’s made along the way in his poker career, it’s fair to imagine that the bar tab on a night out in Las Vegas could get a little pricey.

But after all of the love and support they’d all shown him on the biggest night in his poker career, Reichard was all too happy to return the favor and reflect the feelings they’d all delivered his way throughout the night.

“It’s unbelievable just to know this many people care and love me,” said Reichard, “They want to see me do well, and are willing to spend money and time to come do this and support me. It makes this so fun.”