11 March 1966
2005 WSOP Champion
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Unlike Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer who entered the main event of the WSOP through satellites, Joseph Hachem paid the entry fee in full. Hachem's investment turned out to be extremely profitable as he received record millions for winning the main event of the 2005 WSOP. His last hand was pretty dreadful pre-flop, 37. However, fate was on his side as the flop came 4,5,6 giving him the straight and the tournament.
Born in Lebanon, Jos Hachem moved to Australia when he was a youngster. He now lives near Melbourne. A father of 4, Hachem did not want to enter the WSOP until his kids were older so this was his first try. The main event was no fluke for Hachem who also placed 10th in the 2005 WSOP $1,000 buy-in no-limit Hold'em event. Joe Hachem is the first Australian to win the WSOP Championship event.
SI.com ran a great story about Joseph Hachem's win. Here are some of the highlights:
Posted: Saturday July 16, 2005 8:03PM; Updated: Saturday July 16, 2005 8:03PM
Imagine playing for 14 hours straight and knowing that the slightest mistake could prevent you from collecting 7.5 million dollars. Under these extreme conditions Joseph Hachem was able to focus and settle in on the prize. Unlike the press who were half asleep, Hachem had to stay alert and ready in order to claim the prize.
LAS VEGAS -- This was the scene shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday inside Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel.
The floor was littered with empties and unconscious humans. A green mountain of cash -- bundles of Benjamins wrapped, 50 per stack, in rubber bands -- rested on an unused card table while at another three men -- Derrick "Tex" Barch of Dallas, Steve Dannenmann of Baltimore and Joseph Hachem of Melbourne, Australia -- played poker. Inside the room two men in suits toted rifles while in an adjacent room two feather-boa-clad dancers sat on chairs and waited patiently.
Just another night in Vegas, really. Except that the three men were into their 14th consecutive hour of playing Texas Hold 'Em and whoever knocked out the other two stood to win $7.5 million. The longest final table in the history of the World Series of Poker was locked in what seemed to be an interminable struggle for what would be the largest (known) prize in gambling history. Perspective? The grand prize in the main event would be worth more than the purse for the entire field ($7,154,642) at the British Open this weekend.
"That may be the gaudiest thing I've seen my entire life," said tournament director Johnny Grooms, staring at the cash cliff before him.
But by this ungodly hour, it was difficult to summon interest. The media members splayed out on the floor behind a curtain just a few yards away -- the Nap Pack, let's call them -- had already lost the battle with their own eyelids. The dancers, bless them, were killing time with two young journalists in a corner who for hours had been much more intent on sweating them than the final table. Consider them feather boa constrictors.
Why did Barch go all in with A-6? Hard to say. A-6 is a great hand heads up. Three way it is still a good hand but not as powerful as heads up. The fact that all 3 players had good cards on the same hand shows how interesting poker can be. Had it happened online I'm sure some folks would be saying that it was rigged (lol).
Then, perhaps because he was exhausted and just wanted to go to sleep, or perhaps because he sensed that this was his final opportunity to make a stand, Barch announced "All in." The time was 6:11 a.m. The blinds by this hour were $200,000 and $400,000. Tex placed his "paltry" chip stack of $2.5 million toward the middle of the table. Both Dannenmann and Hachem called.
The flop came Q-Q-6. Barch, who had done nothing but play poker at least 12 hours per day for the past seven days, stood up and began hoisting his knapsack over his shoulder. The two others checked.
The turn: Q.
The river: 9.
Hachem, who'd gone in with a pair of Jacks, beat Dannenmann, who'd gone in with 7-7, and Barch, who'd had an A-6.
And then there were two.
The USA Today had a nice article on Hachem's win:
As Dannenmann and Pachem continued their battle of attrition, Barch moved into another room and patiently answered our questions. "I think the longest I've ever played previously was 28 hours," Barch said, his wife, parents, brother and a few others by his side. "That's back when I played $20-$40 games for a living, but I wouldn't suggest that lifestyle to anyone."
Only minutes later, Dannenmann went all in to the vast relief of everyone still alive -- I mean, awake -- inside the cramped quarters on the second floor of Binion's (some onlookers waited more than four hours in line just to get in). It was the 232nd hand of the night.
Dannenmann had raised before the flop and Hachem, who had begun this session in sixth place (of nine remaining players) but now was the chip leader, called.
The flop: 6-5-4.
How Hachemem, who after seeing that flop knew that he was most likely $7.5 million richer, did not scream at the sight of those three cards I'll never know. Dannenmann bet $700,000 and Hachem raised to $1.7 million. Dannenmann called.
The turn: an ace.
A raise and re-raise resulted in Hachem going all in. That's when he turned over his 7-3 to Dannenmann's A-3. Hachem had flopped the straight.
When a 4 came on the river -- Dannenmann had needed a 7 to chop the pot -- it was all over. The Aussie ruled.
"Jeannie! He won it! He won it!" an Aussie on a cell phone screamed. Then, to the crowd, "That's his [Hachem's] wife."
Hachem grabbed the phone and spoke quietly to his wife for a few moments. Then he held it up and looked at the crowd. "I think she fainted," he said.
Everyone inside the room could empathize. It was a long, long, looooooong night. And now, just after 6:54 in the morning, it was time to step outside and face the light of day.
Posted 7/16/2005 12:07 PM Updated 7/16/2005 3:59 PM
This must have been very interesting for the folks who saw the event in person. Imagine seeing 3 folks battle it out for what seems like an eternity only to have 2 players drop within 7 hands of each other.
Hachem bests World Series of Poker field to win $7.5 million
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Australian Joseph Hachem prevailed in a colossal duel Saturday at the World Series of Poker's main event, winning $7.5 million and snatching the game's greatest crown in the longest final table in the tournament's history.
Joseph Hachem outlasted a field of 5,619 players to win the World Series of Poker.
By Joe Cavaretta, AP
Only six hands into the two-man battle at the end, Hachem eliminated Steven Dannenmann of Severn, Md., when he flopped a seven-high straight.
When it was clear Hachem had won, his fans in the room erupted into "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!" Hachem immediately embraced Dannenmann, wrapped himself in an Australian flag and shouted: "Thank you, America."
It is said that Vegas never sleeps and it proved to be true here. Ever wonder why you can't find a clock inside casinos? It is because they want you to gamble all day an all night. It is only fitting that the main event for the WSOP was decided an hour after sunrise.
Hachem's victory was astonishing because he had been nursing a short stack for 11 1/2 hours, saving his chips for the right moment and avoiding confrontations that could cost him a chance at the 36th annual no-limit Texas Hold 'em title. (Related items: America grabs a chair at poker's biggest table | Graphic: Learn how to play)
"I never gave up," he said.
The 39-year-old Australian moved with his family from his native Lebanon in 1972 and gave up a 13-year chiropractic career three years ago to play poker for a living.
Nearly 14 hours into the round of plodding and seemingly interminable poker, Hachem pounced, bringing the battle to a decisive end about an hour after sunrise.
The final play unfolded slowly as Dannenmann raised before the flop with Hachem calling. The dealer revealed a six-five-four flop and Hachem checked. Dannenmann bet another $700,000 and then Hachem raised to $1.7 million.
The say that patience is the key to MTTs. Eventually everybody makes mistakes so you need to play solid poker and be patient. No one can blame Dannenmann for making moves an hour after sunrise. Sometimes we forget that these players are human after all.
The turn card was an ace and Hachem threw another $2 million into the pot. Dannenmann took his time raising to $5 million and Hachem went all-in with more than $30 million, moving into a high-stakes gear that can either save or break a gambler.
Dannenmann called instantly and then Hachem produced a seven and three against Dannenmann's ace-three. Dannenmann couldn't catch a seven on the river to tie the pot.
Dannenmann said his top priority was to have a good time. He even carried around a small sheet of paper with a list of things he should remember. Two of them were "have fun" and "nothing to lose."
Toward the end of the round, Dannenmann, a 38-year-old accountant and mortgage banker, said he just wanted to finish the match.
"I got tired," he said. "I was bored of it. I was trying to make moves."
With the bundles of cash, Hachem also won the coveted white gold and diamond bracelet. It's the last time the event will be held at Binion's Gambling Hall & Hotel, where cowboy Benny Binion started the World Series in 1970.
It is amazing how the WSOP keeps growing. The number of entries and the prize pool are at astonishing levels each year.
Congratulations to Joseph Hachem for beating out a record number of players
and collecting an enormous cash prize
Like Chris Moneymaker in 2003 and Greg Raymer last year, Hachem won in his first World Series, likely changing his life forever.
"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."
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