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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 forever cast him into the poker limelight.
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 in 2002 after 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 not playing online
or at the Crown Casino, he ran a small brokerage business in Pascoe Vale.
Joe's game greatly improved since he learned 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 steadier demeanor 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 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 and river 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
championship title holding 73 on the final hand. Hachem flopped a straight with a board of 654 and Steve Dannenmann held A3
giving him an open end straight draw. Dannenmann needed a seven to chop the pot, but it did not appear.
After winning, Joseph's supporters and fellow countrymen chanted their final "Aussie, 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 at the Rio 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.
Windows - Mac
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 it was opening up its 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 the
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 a WSOP champ.
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 for his victorious Main Event 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."
In December 2006, Hachem won the Season Five World Poker Tour
Doyle Brunson Classic at the Bellagio, earning over $2.1 million in the process.
Joe Hachem: English,
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Jason Mercier &