Joey Weissman Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

24-Year-Old Poker Pro Collects $694,609

Weissman Wins Thrilling WSOP Victory With Help of a Special Friend.

"Every Dog Has Its Day"
This is the story about searching and finding.
This is a story of loyalty and love.
This is the story of a coach potato, a dog, and ultimately – a new poker champion.
This is the story of Joey Weissman -- the winner of the $2,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #46).  He collected the whopping sum of $694,609 in prize money, plus the most coveted prize the game can bestow – the WSOP gold bracelet.
When cards flew into the air at the most recent WSOP final table, most eyes in the packed gallery of spectators weren’t focused on the players.  Instead, many were centered on a two-year-old black speckled mutt named “Revis,” who would become the de facto gold bracelet guard dog for the entire day and night.
You see, Revis is special dog.  He’s a service animal, who helps assist humans with their basic tasks.  He’s a dog with unique talents, sometimes just providing something as simple as an emotional boost.  
But at least one set of adoring eyes in the crowd was focused on the final table -- and one player, in particular.  Revis’ charcoal black eyes were affixed to a certain player sitting in seat four.  That player was Weissman.
Revis didn't give a stale milkbone that Master Weissman was playing on the biggest stage of his poker life, for nearly $700,000 in prize money.  If Weissman would have blown off all his chips, walked over the Revis, and started dishing out a belly rub or a scratch behind the ears, that would have suited Revis just fine.
So, while Revis sat and waited patiently, while Revis slept on the ground floor of the ESPN stage, and while Revis wagged his tail at happy moments when his favorite poker buddy was dragging big pots some twenty feet away, Weissman endured a gambit of strategic challenges during what would ultimately become a grueling nine-hour ordeal.
The day had begun much, much earlier, when two full tables of poker players were whittled down to the final nine.  That process took nearly four hours.  When final table play began, Weissman appeared to be in a dominant chip position.  In fact, things seemed so easy for the 24-year-old poker pro, that by the time sundown came over the western mountains, his victory seemed like a foregone conclusion.
Then, a ferocious Frenchman named Jeremy Quehen stepped into the picture.  Revis’ patient wait for that belly rub and scratch behind the ears was about to be delayed by nearly four hours.  Indeed, times were about to get very ruff for Weissman.
The tenacious Long Islander (by origin) watched - almost helplessly as Quehen road blocked what had seemed so inevitable.  The Frenchman remained behind in chips during most of the duel.  But he wasn't going away.  Poor Revis must have looked upon the annoying challenger as a infestation of fleas -- as things were about to get quite uncomfortable.  At one point, Quehen doubled up and then re-doubled up and eventually seized the chip lead.  It seemed an appropriate time for Revis to start howling at the moon.
But anyone who thought Weissman was going to let things slowly slip away knows nothing about this fiercely-competitive poker player with extensive short-handed playing experience and a never-say-die attitude.
Weissman actually grew up in Syosset, New York, located on Long Island.  He moved to South Florida at age of 16.  Weissman enrolled in college.  But next, he followed a path that many young poker pros have taken, which no doubt is risky and (some say) alarming.  Weissman decided to drop out of college.  He has since been traveling around North America, often sleeping on the couches of friends and fellow poker players.  Weissman’s odd choice of a lifestyle was not so much imposed by any lack of funds.  To the contrary, he’s bankrolled and has the financial means to be on his own.
However, Weissman discovered that he enjoyed greater opportunities to play poker in more places by living in a slew of different places – including Florida, Las Vegas, Canada, and the Bahamas.  He’s clearly one of the many casualties of so-called “Black Friday,” but decided to adhere to change by adapting to it, which meant spending some time outside of the U.S. to play online poker.
But Weissman doesn’t like to spend too much time away.  He has at least one dependent who seriously counts on him.  Weissman’s brother shares custody of Revis, aptly described as “the best dog in the world.”   
For all of his devotion to the game, Weissman had never been on a stage this big playing for so much money.  This was a new experience.  When Weissman made it to the final table, all of his poker friends, housemates, and associated crammed into the gallery around the luminous final table.  Their loyalty was on full display.  Nine straight hours of cheering and chanting, mixed in with an unchoreographed bark or two.
Without warning, the final hand finally came at about 3 a.m.  Suddenly, there were loud cheers.  There was jubilant celebration.  There was even a wagging tail.  Revis got his belly rubbed and his ears scratched, after all.  And Weissman pocketed nearly 700 grand and his first WSOP gold bracelet.
On second thought, perhaps while Revis was loyally guarding the gold bracelet, he mistook it as a dog collar.
"Ruff, ruff, ruff....woof, woof, ruff, ruff," Revis was quoted as barking moments after the victory.  "Ruff, ruff....woof, woof, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff. Woof."

Unfortunately, no interpretation of Revis' thoughts was available at press time.  However, based on a sticky, wet, tongue bath given to Weissman following the lengthy wait, it appeared that Revis was satisfied with the final outcome.
Joey Weissman Wins $2,500 Buy-In No-Limit Hold’em (Event #46)
Las Vegas, NV (June 27, 2012) – Joey Weissman won the most recent championship-level event at the 2012 World Series of Poker.  The 24-year-old poker pro originally from Syosset, NY won the $2,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, classified as Event #46.  He earned this victory, big time.
Weissman not only received the game’s most coveted prize – the WSOP gold bracelet – but a whopping $694,609 in prize money, as well.  This was his biggest career score, by far.
The three-day competition held at the Rio in Las Vegas drew another sizable field.  The tournament began with 1,607 entrants on Monday, and concluded early on Thursday morning on the ESPN Main Stage, in front of a large crowd and a worldwide viewing audience following final table action on the WSOP.com live stream broadcast.
Weissman absolutely dominated the nine-hour long final table -- at least up until the next-to-last opponent.  He was never in serious danger of going bust during the first six hours, which were played during the afternoon.  Moreover, Weissman held more than half the chips in play during much of the duration.  It was as dominant a performance in the closing stages of the tournament as has been seen at this year’s WSOP.
However, Jeremy Quehen, from Nice, France wasn't about to let Weissman win too easily.  He got into the scene when heads-up began and played the match of his life.  Quehen put up a ferocious fight during the final three hours and came close to winning France's first gold bracelet of 2012.  But ultimately, the Frenchman was no match for Weissman, who was mobbed by a huge gallery of supporters, including his special friend - a dog named "Revis."
This was truly a dog-day afternoon.
Name:  Joey Weissman

Birthplace:  Syosset, NY  

Age:  24

Current Residence:  Boca Raton, FL (however, also staying in Las Vegas and elsewhere)

Marital Status:  Single

Children:  No

Profession:  Professional Poker Player

Previous Occupation:  College Student

Number of WSOP Cashes:  3

Number of WSOP gold bracelet victories (with this tournament):  1

Best Previous WSOP finish:  44th (2011)
First-Place Prize Money:  $694,609

Note:  Weissman will be classified as a professional poker player in WSOP records, since he playa full-time exclusively and has no other occupation.


Question:  This is obviously a great moment.  You were dominating for several hours and then you ran into Quehen.  Did you feel it slipping away when playing heads up?
Weissman:  Obviously when I was down to about 3 million chips (out of about 11 million), I was losing a little bit of hope.  I knew if I stayed positive and stayed on my grind, I was going to get it in good eventually and all I had to do was win something like a flip and get my stack back.  And I knew once I evened out with him, it was over.  Because I felt I was outplaying him the entire time and I was just getting a little bit unlucky, but other than that though it feels great to win a bracelet.

Question:  It was a fun one to watch – largely because of your rail.  There’s some controversy about that.  Is poker a sport where you should have this kind of cheering?  What is your position on that?  And do you think that helped you tonight?
Weissman:  I think the positive energy of all my friends out here supporting me helped me one-hundred percent.  I don’t think I ever could have ever done it without them.  I think poker is a game of emotion and if you’re not emotional yourself, I tend to be more laid back, but my friends had the emotion for me.  So, that’s really what I appreciate the most.

Question:  Is it true you are staying on somebody’s couch?  
Weissman:  I’m going to stick on the couch for the rest of the summer.  I’m having fun there.  It’s all about the people you’re with - it’s not about where you’re staying.

Question:  When you got to the final table, did you feel that you were going to win at that time?  That’s the moment you knocked out Vanessa Selbst.
Weissman:  I kind of felt I was going to win before going into this day.  But yes -- I knew going in that it was going to be a difficult table with Vanessa and some other good players on my left.  But I knew that she was out to get me, and I knew that if I just remained aggressive that there was a good chance that if I picked up her hand that she would give it away.  And she did.  So I was just very fortunate and it was like a cool situation for her, but she’s a great player and I respect her.

Question:  Does this change how you are going to go out the rest of the WSOP?  Does it change what you are going to be playing in the future?  How is this going to affect your plans?
Weissman:  There’s no way to know really.  Honestly, I think that I’m looking for something more than poker in my life.  But poker is still going to be lucrative and I’m always going to use it as a vehicle to just use money to gain experience and do things that I enjoy.  Not for materialistic purposes, but I think it’s better than working 9-5 or answering to some boss.  It definitely has its positives, but also I don’t feel like I’m benefitting humanity by playing poker, and that’s kind of been on my mind lately.  But this might change a lot of things.  I’ve been running really bad for the past six months.  It’s funny how kind of just erases six months of running bad.

Question:  You have an address up in New York State and also in Florida.  Is that right?
Weissman:  Well, I lived up in New York and I moved to Florida after my parents got divorced when I was sixteen years old and I remained in Florida through high school, attempted college down there, dropped out.  And ever since then I’ve been living everywhere, from Las Vegas to other parts of Florida, to Canada to Costa Rica.  So, when asked where I’m from, I never really know what to say.  I always say where I was born and raised, and that’s New York.

Question:  Is Revis (the dog) is going to be at all your final tables from now on?
Weissman:  Oh yeah.  I can’t win one without him now, right?  It’s just bad luck if you don’t bring your dog.  Yeah, I actually had no idea that he was going to come, but then Trevor, who’s my roommate goes ‘Yeah we’re going to bring Revis to this thing.’  And I just said that’s amazing.  That gave me a little spark, a little bit of inspiration.


This is the 1,003rd gold bracelet to be awarded in WSOP history.  It is also the 997th WSOP event in history.

This was classified as WSOP schedule Event #46, since it’s the 46th gold bracelet of 61 to be awarded this summer in Las Vegas.  The tournament was played over three consecutive days and nights, starting on Monday at noon and concluding on Thursday morning.

The total duration of the final table was about nine hours.  Play began at 5 p.m. and ended at 3 a.m. (there was a one-hour dinner break).

The final table included only one former gold bracelet winner – Konstantin Puchkov.  He finished ninth.

The runner-up was Jeremy Quehen, from Nice, France.  He played against Weissman for nearly four hours heads up.

The top 171 finishers collected prize money.

The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s victory (or some hours later when the tournament end very late).  The ceremony takes place inside Brasilia.  The ceremony begins at the conclusion of the first break of the noon tournament.  The ceremony usually starts around 2:20 p.m.  The national anthem of the winner’s nation is played.  The entire presentation is open to public and media.  Video and photography is permitted by both public and members of the media.