Josh Arieh has remained a well-known figure in the poker world ever since he finished third in the 2004 WSOP Main Event and collected $2.5 million. He’s also managed to win two WSOP gold bracelets (1999 and 2005), which has furthered his reputation as a strong tournament player. However, it appears that Arieh has decided to retire from poker – save for playing in the WSOP Main Event.
The 37-year-old dropped this news by telling PokerListings, “I’m not thinking about it, I am (retiring from poker). This is my last tournament until the next WSOP. To me, poker is not what it used to be.” He expanded on the reasoning behind quitting as he said, “Poker is really tough. Kids got so good. Instead of poolroom hustlers and gamblers it turned into freaking geniuses. Kids that are making 1600 on the SATs.”
So how serious is he about retiring from poker? Well the Atlanta resident commented on this by saying, “I’m willing to take any bet from anyone. 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.”
About the only way that Josh Arieh would return to poker full-time is if the United States fully legalized the game. After all, this would bring a lot of fresh, unskilled players into the fold and give pros like Arieh a bigger edge. He echoed this sentiment by saying, “If poker gets legalized in the U.S. there will be another boom. It would be great again. That would make it worth what we go through.” You can read the rest of Arieh’s comments on the matter here.
Besides his aforementioned accomplishments and $6 million in tournament winnings, Arieh is also known for representing Bodog and Full Tilt Poker in his career. However, without a sponsorship deal now, it’s likely that this helped contribute to his decision to quit playing poker.