Winning Two Majors In One Sunday Has Josh Rothberg Thinking Big


Josh Rothberg won two Sunday Majors in the span of a few hours on April 9 and has his goals set even higher for the rest of 2017.

Winning a Sunday Major in New Jersey is usually the highlight of any player’s weekend. Given the week and online series taking place, anywhere from 5-10 majors with five-figure guarantees are up for grabs on New Jersey’s three websites with PokerStarsNJ offering some of the highest prize pools to fight over.

Sunday, April 9 started like an ordinary day for Josh ‘thejberg’ Rothberg as he opened a dozen or so windows to commence his weekend grind. The 24-year-old Rothberg crossed over the $100,000 mark in 2016 for online earnings and as had a few quality results to his name, including a major victory on partypokerNJ last September.

As the windows gradually started to close, Rothberg found himself deep in two majors on PokerStarsNJ, the $200 buy in $50,000 guaranteed Sunday Special and the $500 buy in $15,000 guaranteed Six Max High Roller. By the time his grind ended at 2:00 am, Rothberg was victorious in both MTTs for a combined haul of $18,849.

Rothberg says he didn’t fully register how much money he had won until a few days later but work the next day for the New York City tech sales rep was anything but normal.

“I was really tired going to work the next day. There was a lot of adrenaline from winning and making a deep run. I got three hours of sleep and was up at 7:00 am to head into the office.”

The wins are the product of hard work and diligence to the craft for Rothberg, who sought out Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano as a coach on a consistent basis about six months ago. The player-coach relationship for the two has been immensely positive for Rothberg as he calls Gagliano a “mentor” and notes how the many sessions they have shared together all clicked when it mattered most.

“We have gone over specific situations late in the game and realized I used to be too tight in opening. I had the chip lead at both final tables and needed to hammer away. I’ve been playing a lot more and am more comfortable doing it and taking initiative. It was way easier than it should have been. I was locked in and felt confident.”

It almost wasn’t meant to be for Rothberg as his computer stopped cooperating as he gained the chip lead in both events. As his computer charge waned, Rothberg was able to borrow one a laptop from one of his Hoboken roommates to continue his nighttime grind.

Even though both final tables were playing out simultaneously, Rothberg maintained firm concentration on each as he navigated through the highest equity spots of his online career. Rothberg says he felt prepared for this exact scenario due to Gagliano’s coaching, which taught him how to balance action on multiple tables; the exact mindset needed for grinding a New Jersey Sunday.

Rothberg’s poker goal coming into 2017 was to become a top-25 player in the United States and to make a live final table, and so far he’s achieved one of those by virtue of his current ranking of #24. The second part of that list might be on the horizon for Rothberg, who is currently in Atlantic City for the first weekend of the Spring Poker Open at the Borgata. Rothberg notched a top-100 finish in last year’s World Series of Poker Monster Stack and will be back in Las Vegas this summer for the Main Event.

The variance in winning Sunday Majors is volatile but for a magical couple of hours, Rothberg harnessed the magic needed to wrap up two wins and potentially propel him to the next level of success he is chasing.