19Jun
Joe Hachem

Joe Hachem, a professional poker player from Australia, became the first from his country to win a World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event when he took home that title. This brought him $7.5 million in prize money, an amount that was the highest of all time to be won then. He also has a World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship title to his name. These wins have made him one of five poker players in the world to have earned both titles. Hachem’s tournament earnings of $10,850,000 place him fifth in the rank of players with the highest earnings in a tournament career. Nearly $8 million in this amount came from his winnings at WSOP events.hachem

Hachem is known to be a disciplined player who makes decisions after much deliberation. He attributes his win at the WSOP main event to the difficult laydown decisions he took in the tournament. Hachem believes in not bluffing frequently, especially when he doesn’t have any outs.

From Playing Manila Poker to Texas Hold’em in Casinos

In his teens, Hachem played Manila poker, a variant of Texas Hold’em. In the 1990s, he learned the game-play for Texas Hold’em and played it at Melbourne’s Crown Casino. When he was forced to quit his career in 2000 due to a disorder of the blood vessels in his hands, he started playing poker semi-professionally. He played live games regularly in his home town’s casinos. Hachem also devoted his time to playing poker at PokerStars, a leading online poker room of which he is now a part.

Winning the First WSOP Bracelet in First Year as Professional Poker Player

In 2005, Hachem took up poker as a profession and went on to play at the WSOP that year. He was prepared to spend the $10,000 he carried with him, on his first attempt at the tournament. Hachem’s first event at the 2005 WSOP was Event 37 for No-Limit Hold’em with a $1,000 buy-in. The re-buys tournament for this was conducted a few days later, and from this he took back $25,850 and secured the 10th place.

Two weeks later, Hachem entered the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em World Championship. He made it to the final table after playing in an unbelievably big field of 5,600 players. Holding one of the worst poker starting hands with a 7-3 off-suit, Hachem won the championship. This made him the first Australian to have won the title. Hachem took back an impressive $7,500,000 from this championship. Following this, he became a sponsored player with PokerStars, and started traveling the world to play at some of the best poker tournaments.

Close Wins and Misses at the WSOP

2006 saw Hachem reach the final tables of two events in the WSOP. One was a Shorthanded Hold’em with a $2,500 buy-in, in which he placed 2nd and earned $256,800. The other too was a $2,500 buy-in event of Pot Limit Hold’em. In this, he placed 4th and took back $90,482. In the short-hand event, he played against 1,068 poker players.

In this game, he went all-in, holding an ace of spades and queen of clubs against an ace of diamonds and five of hearts in Dutch Boyd’s hand. When Boyd caught an ace of spades at the flop and a five of diamonds at the river to make a two of a kind, Hachem’s hand lost and he just missed the title at the 2006 WSOP.

In the 2006 WPT, Hachem earned his first title at the Five Diamond Poker Classic tournament held at the Bellagio Casino. With this win, he became one of the five poker players to have won both WSOP and WPT titles. The other players who can boast of this accomplishment are – Carlos Mortensen, Dan Harrington, Doyle Brunson and Scotty Nguyen.

Playing Poker on Game Shows

On the program Poker After Dark, aired on NBC, Hachem placed first in the World Series of Poker Champions II tournament. In this, he played against some of poker’s top players like Johnny Chan, Greg Raymer, Doyle Brunson, Huck Seed and Jamie Gold. He defeated them heads-up and took back $120,000 from the tournament. Hachem has also featured in the Poker SuperStars III, an event in which he missed making it to the Super Sixteen table by a point.

In the following year, Hachem entered the Poker Stars, Asia Pacific Poker Tour Tournament of Champions, in which he played in a field comprising of Chris Moneymaker, Isabelle Mercier and Raymer. The next year, Hachem missed the final table at the Monte Carlo Grand Final by PokerStars. He finished 11th in the event, and won over $150,000. In 2009, Hachem went on to participate in High Stakes Poker’s season 5 and host The Poker Star, a reality show.

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