Bax back in winner's circle

Editor's note: A replay of this final table can be found on demand at ESPN3.com.

Cliff Josephy has long been influential in the poker community. He's trained thousands of players through his efforts with PokerXFactor, helped players get their start with financial support and has often been relied upon for critical discussions in the online poker space. Oh, and he can play pretty well, too. Josephy captured his second WSOP bracelet on Wednesday in the $3,000 shootout event, topping a final table that featured some of the game's younger stars. "JohnnyBax" won three consecutive single-table tournaments to earn the title and $299,486. This was his second-largest live tournament cash.

Josephy's first victory on the WSOP felt came in a seven-card stud event in 2005, a tournament variation he stated he had never played before. This time around, the game was right in his wheelhouse.

"This is my biggest achievement as a poker player, right here," Josephy said to the WSOP. "I always wanted a no-limit hold 'em gold bracelet. It's my best game. Some people told me the game passed me by, that the young kids are all better. But obviously, they are not all better. We have a few tricks up our sleeve."

According to the WSOP, Josephy battled back from a mere 250 chips during his opening table, then topped a second table that featured Kyle Julius, Dan O'Brien and bracelet winners Brock Parker and Bryan Piccioli to make it to the finals. His competition didn't get any easier once there. Standing between Josephy and the bracelet was a collection of the talented youth in the game, including David Baker, Tim West, Max Steinberg, Ryan Hughes, Evan Silverstein, Chris Klodnicki and Alessandro Longobardi, who finished sixth in the same event last year.

Baker grabbed the lead early after a questionable move by Simeon Naydenov that allowed Baker to double with Q-Q>A-Q. Naydenov found A-Q again an orbit later and was eliminated by Silverstein's J-J to finish in 10th. Hughes, a two-time bracelet winner, finished in ninth at the hands of Baker.

Josephy doubled through Baker to take over the lead and extended it with his elimination of Klodnicki in eighth (A-Q>J-J). Klodnicki, who many call one of the best players without a bracelet, now owns 20 career WSOP cashes, four final tables and two runner-up finishes. With seven left, Josephy had nearly double the stack of his nearest opponent, the recent EPT Monte Carlo High Roller champion Steven Silverman. He continued the assault, as he knocked out Steinberg in seventh (6-6>A-J) and began to bully the competition.

Silverman knocked out Baker in a blind-versus-blind all-in (A-A>Q-9), then Josephy resumed his role as eliminator and took out Longobardi in fifth (10-8>A-K) and West in fourth (J-J>6-6). This was West's third WSOP final table and 18th cash.

Silverstein eliminated Silverman in third (A-10>A-Q), and heads-up began with Josephy holding a 3:2 edge. The blinds were low compared to the amount of chips in play and Josephy appeared to be content with grinding down his opponent. He continued to build his lead, and after 40 hands he was in dominating position. With 22 big blinds on the final hand, Silverstein three-bet all-in with Kh-10s and was called by Josephy holding As-2d. An all-heart flop gave Silverstein the statistical advantage, but with the 3d-5c on the turn and river, Josephy won the pot and celebrated with his massive rail. This was Silverstein's first WSOP cash.

"This time I felt like I knew what I was doing. This was really enjoyable," said Josephy. "I always wanted a no-limit gold bracelet, but I never thought it would be in a shootout. I took second three times on Day 1 in previous shootouts. I was not looking forward to this event. It's very frustrating to play seven hours and then come in second and get nothing for it. This is tough because you are only playing against winners. Everyone after the first day is a winner, I mean they have won their table. So, this wasn't an easy ride. It was a tough road."

Josephy, once ranked the No. 1 player in online poker, hasn't played a hand online since Black Friday, opting to spend more time with his family.

Notable players who advanced to the second round include bracelet winners Brandon Cantu, Brock Parker, James Mackey, Antonio Esfandiari, Nick Binger, Leo Wolpert, John Hennigan, Brian Piccioli and Adam Friedman.

Below are the complete results of Event 9 at the 2013 World Series of Poker:

Event 9: No-limit hold 'em Shootout
Buy-in: $3,000
Entries: 477
Prize pool: $1,302,210
Players in the money: 60

1. Cliff Josephy ($299,486)
2. Evan Silverstein ($185,487)
3. Steve Silverman ($123,202)
4. Tim West ($91,428)
5. Alessandro Longobardi ($68,613)
6. David Baker ($51,997)
7. Max Steinberg ($39,756)
8. Chris Klodnicki ($30,641)
9. Ryan Hughes ($23,791)
10. Simeon Naydenov ($18,609)
T-11. Ezra Udoff ($7,384)
T-11. Mandeep Narang ($7,384)
T-11. Dan O'Brien ($7,384)
T-11. Cherish Andrews ($7,384)
T-11. Dario Sammartino ($7,384)
T-11. Mark Darner ($7,384)
T-11. Jan Kasten ($7,384)
T-11. Brandon Cantu ($7,384)
T-11. Connor Drinan ($7,384)
T-11. Johannes Meyer ($7,384)
T-11. Matt Salsberg ($7,384)
T-11. Zachary Hall ($7,384)
T-11. Daniel Dipasquale ($7,384)
T-11. Richard Roeper ($7,384)
T-11. Nipun Java ($7,384)
T-11. Charles Nelson Robinson ($7,384)
T-11. Kyle Julius ($7,384)
T-11. Nicholas Petrangelo ($7,384)
T-11. Charles Coultas ($7,384)
T-11. Adam Friedman ($7,384)
T-11. Mark Scott ($7,384)
T-11. Salvatore Bianco ($7,384)
T-11. Dylan Wilkerson ($7,384)
T-11. Tom Koral ($7,384)
T-11. Brock Parker ($7,384)
T-11. Kevin Eyster ($7,384)
T-11. Gianluca Mattia ($7,384)
T-11. Michael Sabinash ($7,384)
T-11. Cylus Watson ($7,384)
T-11. Dario Minieri ($7,384)
T-11. James Mackey ($7,384)
T-11. Taveesak Kiatathikom ($7,384)
T-11. Derek Hanauer ($7,384)
T-11. Jim Willerson ($7,384)
T-11. Victor Ramdin ($7,384)
T-11. Andy Philachack ($7,384)
T-11. Jarred Solomon ($7,384)
T-11. Antonio Esfandiari ($7,384)
T-11. Timothy Nuter ($7,384)
T-11. Seung Rhee ($7,384)
T-11. Bryan Campanello ($7,384)
T-11. Jason Duval ($7,384)
T-11. Bryan Piccioli ($7,384)
T-11. Nick Binger ($7,384)
T-11. Sunil Aggarwal ($7,384)
T-11. Randy Dorfman ($7,384)
T-11. Roy Gibbs Jr. ($7,384)
T-11. Daniel Thomas ($7,384)
T-11. John Hennigan ($7,384)
T-11. Leo Wolpert ($7,384)