|Joseph Hachem, a native of
Australia, defeated 5618
players to win the main event
at the 2005 World Series of
Poker. His victory earned him
a record breaking $7.5 million
dollars and also cast him
forever into the poker limelight.
Joseph Hachem defeated 5618 players to win the main event at the 2005
World Series of Poker. His victory earned him a record breaking $7.5 million
dollars and also cast him forever into the poker limelight. For one year, he will
travel the world and be the ambassador to poker.
Hachem is a native of Lebanon, but in 1972, he and his family moved to
Melbourne, Australia. He is married with four children. A chiropractor by trade,
he gave that up a few years ago after a developing a rare blood disorder in
his hands. While taking time off to consider his future, he began to play
poker. He said, "I started in casinos, but in the past two years, I've been
playing online a lot." When he isn't playing online or at the Crown Casino, he
runs a small broking business in Pascoe Vale.
Joe's game has improved since he learned how to control his temper. He
stated, "I used to be a lot more excitable. I'm of Lebanese origin so my blood
is at boiling temperature at rest. I'm very emotional."
His improved demeanor at the table probably helped him have the patience
to know when to strike at the final table. He was one of the short stacks at
the table when there were five players left and then finally took a stand
against Aaron Kanter who had been re-raising him non-stop. Hachem held Q7
against Kanter's pocket nines and the flop was Q82. The turn brought no
help to Kanter and Hachem never looked back after that hand. In one of his
post-tournament interviews, he said that once he had chips, he knew that he
wasn't going to give any of them back and that the title was going to be his.
He earned the title holding 73 on the final hand. Hachem flopped a straight
with a board of 654 and Dannenmann held A3 giving him an open end
straight draw. Dannenmann needed a seven to chop the pot, but it did not
After winning, Joseph's supporters and fellow countrymen chanted their final
"Aussie, Aussie, Oi!, Oi!, Oi!", as they had been doing throughout the final
table. Joe wrapped himself in an Australian flag and shouted, "Thank you,
America." The Australians observing the final table were not the only people
going crazy. Hachem said, "From what I've been told by my friends, Australia
has gone mad." Non-Americans have won the World Series of Poker Main
Event before, but Hachem is the first Australian.
After winning the main event, I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Hachem. The
Bicycle Casino threw a party for the new champion at the same time as they
were opening up their new high limit section. Before the party began, Joe did
the honors of cutting the grand opening ribbon. He told us a story about a
trip he took to The Bike. He said that before he went to the WSOP, he
stopped in at the Bicycle to play in one of their No Limit games. One of the
players said something about Joe making the stop before he was crowned
the new Australian Champion. I know he got pleasure from the thought of it,
but I would imagine he didn't know it was actually going to come true. He
was a nice guy, with a great smile and I am happy that he is the new WSOP
While Hachem was unknown to most of the poker world prior to his WSOP
victory, he did have a track record in Australian tournaments, as well as a
tenth place finish in the $1000/with rebuys No Limit Hold'em event two
weeks earlier during the World Series of Poker.
Like Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, Hachem acts as a spokesperson for
the PokerStars online poker room where he plays often. However, unlike the
other two, Joe did not qualify on the Internet, but instead paid the full
$10,000 buy-in. He definitely got a good return on his investment. "A million
dollars changes my life, let alone $7.5 million," he said. "It changes
everything. I can look after my family, my mum, my kids."
Congratulations Joe Hachem, 2005 World Series of Poker Champion.