Josh Turner won his fifth World Series of Poker Circuit ring last week in Las Vegas, but he left Sin City with his focus on another ring. An engagement ring.
Last Monday, Turner won his fifth career Circuit ring in the $365 No Limit Hold’em Turbo event at Planet Hollywood to earn him the title of Casino Champion and give him his third consecutive at-large bid into what is now the Global Casino Championship.
The night before, however, Turner was down on one knee at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas proposing to his girlfriend. Lisa Rosenburg Fleishman said “Yes” and they came down from the tower officially engaged.
For Turner, this is just another milestone in what has been an amazing year for the St. Louis grinder, who has cemented himself as one of the best players on the Circuit. In 2016 alone, he’s won three rings, two Casino Champion titles, and finished third in the 2016 Global Casino Championship for $150,581.
With the first WSOP Circuit stop in Vegas coming up right after his deep runs in Cherokee, Turner made his way west to play some poker and make things official with Fleishman.
“We got engaged in the beginning of June,” said Turner. “But we’ve been keeping it under wraps. We told our families, but that was it. So she came out this weekend and we made it official.”
Their love story began a decade ago at a poker table, so it’s only fitting that they made everything official in the poker epicenter of the world. Turner met Fleishman playing a $10/$20 limit game in Reno and the proverbial sparks started flying.
“I’m not even a romantic, but it’s just like true love,” said Turner. “It was love at first sight. We were in a casino and there were like 200 people around when we were talking. Everybody else just faded away. We ended up getting up from the game and just sat at some slots and talked for like five hours.”
Turner made a final table at that stop and Fleishman spent the entire final table in the bleachers sweating the action. Unfortunately, when the series in Reno was over, Fleishman went back to Houston and Turner headed back to his home base, St. Louis.
They tried to make things work even with the distance, but the two were looking for different things in their lives at the time, and the relationship couldn’t survive the distance. He was just starting out as a professional poker player and was going to be traveling to different tournaments, while she was working as a teacher in Houston and was looking to start a family.
“We talked for maybe three months on the phone and through internet,” said Turner. “But then we just kind of let it go.”
Fleishman ended up getting married and starting the family she wanted, but ultimately the marriage didn’t survive. After everything got settled with her divorce, the two reconnected 10 years later on Facebook. It was like they never spent any time apart.
“The first conversation we had 10 years later, it was like we just kept seeing each other,” said Turner. “I ended up going down to Houston to see her in like April. We went to see a Rockets game and we were engaged in June.”
For Turner, rekindling their relationship has only helped him on the felt. The added support system helped Turner in his quest to become the best poker player he can be. It’s not a surprise that, outside of his ring in Tunica in January of this year, all of his success has come after they reconnected.
“It has made me play better,” said Turner. “You know, she’s going to travel around with me and she supports it. It’s just been great.”
Fleishman is no slouch, herself, at the poker table. The soon-to-be Mrs. Turner, a former University of Maryland tennis star, has been taking pointers from her fiancé and it’s shown in her recent results. During her time in Las Vegas, she finished 12th in the first $365 No Limit Hold’em Turbo event of the WSOP Circuit at Planet Hollywood.
According to Turner, she had her aces cracked by queen-jack offsuit or she would’ve had the chip lead with two tables remaining.
Turner left his St. Louis roots in June after they decided they were going to tie the knot, and moved down to Houston. They’ve gotten a house together and are planning on adding a baby to the family in the future.
With so much going on, they haven’t set a wedding date yet, but his new lifestyle gives Turner a brighter outlook on an already bright poker future.
“I’m definitely happier now,” said Turner. “Before, I was traveling around grinding without much purpose. My life has taken a 180 degree turn for the better.”