Joseph Hachem, a 39-year old Lebanon-born professional poker player who lives in Australia, is the new World Champion of Poker. This was his first ever World Series of Poker event, though he has been playing poker for 10 years. He bought in 'the old fashion way,' by paying the $10,000 entrance fee in cash.
He struggled with a short stack for most of the final table until he caught a lucky break against Aaron Kanter. Hachem limped-in on the button and so did 'Tex' Barch in the small blind. Kanter, in the big blind, raised to $1 million and Hachem then moved all-in with the Q♦ 7♦. Kanter called with the 9♦ 9♠. At this time, Kanter had Hachem covered and had he lost this hand he would have been out in fourth place. But this was Joseph's night. The flop came Q♥ 2♥ 8♣, giving Joseph a pair of queens. The turn was the A♥, and the river was the 2♣. After this double up there was no stopping Joseph Hachem. He slowly but methodically built his stack up, and became chip leader in time for heads-up play against Steven Dannenmann. It only took six hands for Hachem to beat Dannenmann for all of his remaining chips.
On the final hand with the blinds at $150,000-$300,000 with a $50,000 ante, Steve Dannenmann made it $700,000 to go. Hachem called and the flop came 4♦ 5♦ 6♥. Hachem checked to Dannenmann who fired $700,000 into the pot. Hachem then raised to $1,700,000 and Dannenmann called. The turn was the A♠. Now it was Hachem's turn to fire and he bet $2,000,000 into Dannenmann, who quickly raised it to $5,000,000. Hachem thought for a while and then declared that he was going all-in, Dannenmann instantly called. Dannenmann held the A♦ 3♣ for the top pair (aces) but Hachem had the 7♣ 3♠ (one of the worst starting hands in Texas Hold'em) and had flopped a straight. The only card that could save Dannenmann on the river was one of the three remaining sevens in the deck for a split pot. On the river the 4♣ fell and with that Hachem became what all poker players dream of, the World Champion of Poker.