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Joe Bartholdi Jr after winning 2006 World Poker Tour Five Star tournament
|Hometown||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
|World Poker Tour|
Bartholdi was a hustler from an early age. Known as "Gambles", he used to sell cigarettes to his classmates at school and was eventually expelled for fighting. As the next nearest school involved much travel, he did not go and concentrated on obtaining a GED instead.
Bartholdi moved to Las Vegas at the age of 18 alongside his father, who worked as a poker dealer. He began playing despite being underage, first concentrating on stud poker and later on Texas hold 'em. He turned professional at the age of 21, but lost much of his profits due to poor bankroll management and playing blackjack. He ended up taking a job as a poker dealer to supplement his income.
Bartholdi met Dutch Boyd at the 2002 World Series of Poker (WSOP), who invited him to become a member of the poker playing group known as "The Crew". Later, Bartholdi felt he had let the group down when losing $4,000 while tilting in online poker and left the group. However, he maintains that they all remain friends.
In 2004, Bartholdi built a new bankroll from a $50 bonus up to $250,000, however lost it again due to his ongoing bankroll management issues. At the 2005 WSOP, "Sheriff" Joe Cassidy staked Bartholdi in numerous poker tournaments, including the $1,500 no limit hold'em event, where he finished 5th, earning $71,445, which was his largest tournament cash at the time. Bartholdi also won an event in the Ultimate Poker Challenge's second season.
Cassidy and Bartholdi swapped 50% with each other for the World Poker Tour (WPT) season 4 $25,000 no limit hold 'em championship event. Bartholdi outlasted 604 other players to win the event and claim the $3,760,165 first prize. He also made the final table of the WPT Battle of Champions IV event shortly after.
As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $4,000,000.