Joe Reddick, a man who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for dealing crack, is now a self-made millionaire. How? Well, when Joe was behind bars, he put his time to good use and learned how to play some serious poker. Since getting out of jail, he has been cleaning up at tournaments all over.
One of his biggest wins was at the Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City, where he won $217,792. Wins like this are possible for Joe from perfecting his card game by playing with his fellow cons, including Colombian drug lord “Pepe.”
Reddick stated, “At first, it was a time-killer. Then it became a passion. I would play all day and all night, even days a week.” He then continued, “I become infamous, and any prison I arrived at, they knew there would be a big poker game going on.”
How Did He Learn?
Joe Reddick, 47, told the post he first gained interest in poker when he watched inmates play seven-card stud for chocolate bars at County Jail, Guilford, NC.
“I asked a guy who was running the game if I could play,” Joe said. However, he didn’t know how to play. “I said, ‘but I don’t know how to play.’ He replied, ‘Oh, we’ll teach you as we go along.’ And from there, the poker passion started.
The ex-con lost roughly $7,000 worth of Snickers bars. “That’s how i learned.” By the time he got to Allenwood, PA, Reddick, Joe was running his own poker tables in his first federal lockup.
The stakes went from candy bars to clothing, food, shoes, whatever people had with value. “People were losing thousands and thousands of dollars.”
Started As An Ex-Con, Now A Millionaire With Dreams
Reddick saw the World Series of Poker one day on ESPN, and from there, knew he wanted to become a professional poker player. “Wow, they’re really playing this out in the world. I didn’t know until I saw it on TV,” Reddick stated.
The moment he was released from his 15 years in prison, Joe took a bus to Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal with $500 and later walked out with $2,500. “I never looked back,” Joe said.
Lucky he didn’t, because now his total take-home from casino cash games and tournaments is a whopping $1.5 million!
Joe sends the majority of his earnings to his five kids and puts the remainder back into poker. His goal – To become the very first African-American to win the World Series of Poker.
“That’s the dream. I won’t stop until I win it,” he said.