2005 World Series of Poker Main Event Winner
There are different paths that players take to become the World Series of Poker Main Event winner. Only one has gone down the Chiropractor route. Qualified in the medical profession, Joe Hachem would have to give up his chosen career due to a rare blood disorder that affected his hands. While taking time off to decide on his future career, the Australian would start to play poker.
After five years of success on the Melbourne poker circuit, Hachem thought he would try his luck in Las Vegas at the World Series of Poker. Two weeks before the Main Event, he finished 10th in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event and picked up a check for $25,850. This gave the relatively unknown poker player an opportunity to play in the Main Event, paying the $10,000 entry fee.
How the 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event Unfolded
5,619 players lined up at the Main Event in 2005. In what at the time was the biggest ever field for a land-based poker tournament. Defending champion Greg Raymer put up an incredible show. He finished in 25th place - but was unable to make the final table.
The final nine players in 2005 were Mike Matusow, Brad Kondracki, Daniel Bergsdorf, Scott Lazar, Andrew Black, Aaron Kanter, John Barch, Steve Dannenmann and Joe Hachem. Hachem was in mid position entering the final table with just under 10% of the total number of chips.
Longest Final Table in WSOP History
In the longest final table in the history of the Main Event, many hours would pass before the tournament went to the heads-up stage. At this point Hachem had a stack of 40 million chips, in comparison to the 16 million of Steve Dannenmann. While the whole of the final table was a gruelling marathon, the heads-up stage lasted just 15 minutes.
The final hand was one of the most interesting in the tournament’s history. The flop came 4-5-6 and the turn was an Ace. At this point Dannenmann would have been feeling confident with his A-3 holding. Little did he know that Hachem was holding 3-7 and had flopped a straight. Hachem was crowned World Champion and took home the $7,500,000 first prize.
Other Tournament Successes for Joe Hachem
After his multi-million dollar win at the World Series of Poker, it wasn’t long before Hachem picked up another major prize. This came the following December, when Hachem won the $15,000 Five Diamond Poker Classic, beating 582 other players to claim the $2.1 million first prize. The third biggest prize of Hachem’s career came at home when he finished third in the $100,000 challenge at the Aussie Millions in 2012.
Strategy: Joe Hachem’s Style of Play
Hachem’s style could be described as a combination of discipline and control. He is a player who rarely bluffs without outs and will only do so if he is confident that his opponent can make that lay down. He has been quoted as saying that he tries to maintain the same poker face for each hand, usually focusing on a particular point on the table, ensuring he gives nothing away. As well as tournament play, Hachem is known as one of the leading cash game players in Australia.
Before and After the WSOP Success
Joe Hachem was born in Lebanon in 1966 and his family emigrated to Australia when he was just six years old. He would qualify as a chiropractor and do that job for thirteen years, before moving into his poker career. In his early poker career, he would also run a small brokerage business.
In 1989, Hachem married his wife Jeanie, who he had known since they were both teenagers. They have four children. Alongside still playing poker, Hachem now also runs a mortgage company, as well as playing regular rounds of golf.
Joe Hachem: ‘"I hope to help with the journey that playing poker for a living can be respectable. My objective is to let the world know that an ordinary guy with a family can be a poker pro and not be considered a degenerate.”
Could You be the Next WSOP Champion?
In 2005, Joe Hachem went from relative obscurity in poker circles to becoming one of the most famous names in the game overnight. The good news is that anyone can take the same journey. Many online poker sites offer satellite qualifiers to the main event at the WSOP, sometimes allowing you to qualify for the cost of just a few dollars. That right combination of skill and fortune might be enough to take you all the way and follow in the footsteps of Hachem.
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