Josh Beckley is a professional poker player and runner up at the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event.
Josh Beckley was born in 1990 and discovered poker in middle school when he started playing with friends. By the time he was in high school he had begun playing online in the post-Black Friday poker landscape, although he is the first to say the he wasn’t very good at the time, although he thought he was better than everyone.
After playing in high school and winning and losing with reckless abandon, he decided to take the game seriously while attending Burlington County College in New Jersey. Rather than studying, he spent his time improving his game, leading to taking four years to earn a two year associate degree. To Beckley, taking time away from poker was the biggest problem at the time, rather than worrying about falling grades. When he decided to pursue poker as a serious ambition, he took up various jobs in order to keep his bankroll safe while playing an aggressive style that often got him into trouble.
While working those jobs, however, he learned that making $200 a week and losing it all in a night showed a lack of respect for the value of money. This lesson led to better bankroll management, although he still wasn’t sure if poker had a future for him. After three semesters at Drexel University, he again wanted to spend more time on poker and luckily won an event at Parx Casino for $98,348, enough to give him the bankroll to go pro.
As a new professional player, he played $25/$50 at Commerce Casino, although he proceeded to lose most of the $100k bankroll he had earned. Losing so much in cash games led him to take tournaments more seriously. After spending his time studying tournament play, he again made deep runs in two tournaments at Parx Casino and took home $90k. With his bankroll renewed, he traveled to his first World Series of Poker in 2015 after less than one year of live tournament play. During the lead up to the Main Event, he earned four cashes before joining the select group of players to have made the Main Event’s final table.
Going into the final table, Beckley was in seventh place with 11,800,000 chips, far behind chip leader Joe McKeehen and his monster stack of 63 million chips. Although he managed to outlast Neil Blumenfield at the final table, he was no match for the incredible lead that McKeehen had accumulated. After a rivered Jack on the final hand of the night, Beckley settled for a score of $4.47 million. Although visibly upset, he says that his love of poker has only increased with this massive score.
Before the Main Event his live cashes totaled just $219,526, not bad for a player relatively new to tournaments, but after taking second in the event his live winnings are now $4.7 million.
Josh Beckley can be found on NJ poker sites as asdf26.