Swan Song for Poker Pro Josh Arieh?

Josh Arieh
Josh Arieh

WSOP bracelet winner Josh Arieh once again has a big stack in the Main Event but his career as a poker pro is coming to an end.

Arieh, during a break on the early stages of Day 2c, said it’s time to move on. When asked if he was thinking of retiring, Arieh was brutally honest.

“I’m not thinking about it, I am [retiring from poker],” he said. “This is my last tournament until the next WSOP. To me, poker is not what it used to be.”

The 37-year-old was front and center during the poker boom in the early 2000s.

Already a bracelet winner, Arieh finished third in the 2004 WSOP Main Event for $2.5 million. The following year he won his second bracelet in the $2,000 PLO event, which cemented his status as an elite player.

Arieh made his run at the best possible time as poker was still surging from Chris Moneymaker winning the year before and online sites were rushing to establish their brands.

He represented both Bodog Poker and Full Tilt Poker over the years. Arieh admitted the games have changed considerably over the last few years.

“Poker is really tough,” he said. “Kids got so good. Instead of poolroom hustlers and gamblers it turned into freaking geniuses. Kids that are making 1600 on the SATs.”

Josh Arieh
Josh Arieh

Arieh Willing to Bet He's Finished as a Poker Pro

Always the gambler, Arieh even went so far as to offer action on his returning to the poker tables.

“I’m willing to take any bet from anyone,” he said.

“I’m the action junkie, everyone knows that I love being in action and I’m a complete degenerate. I’m willing to take any bet that I don’t play another tournament after this until the $10k PLO at the WSOP next year.”

Arieh did have one major stipulation: if online poker returns to the U.S., all bets are off.

“If poker gets legalized in the U.S. there will be another boom,” he said. “It would be great again. That would make it worth what we go through.”

Despite his somewhat cynical view of poker’s future, Arieh is still thrilled to be playing in the Main Event.

“I’ll always play the Main Event,” he said.

“This is what poker’s about. This is last thing that represents how great the game of poker is. You get in a big pot and your blood starts flowing and your hands start shaking. This is the only event that does that for me.”

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