Juggling fatherhood and playing poker seems like it would be a tough gig.
Prominent Aussie pro Tony Hachem, however, has so far done a good job as he has made the final table of the $1,650 Terminator at WSOP APAC just 11 days after becoming a father.
Hachem has come a long way since he first walked into the Crown Poker Room two days ago with that tired look on his face that only a new parent could have.
He certainly didn’t look ready to sit at the poker tables all day.
“I haven’t left the house for four days!” Hachem quipped as he made his way into the Day 1 field of the tournament in which he would eventually find himself at the final table.
Juggling Poker, Fatherhood
Hachem is currently in the process of working out how best to balance his life between his new great love Eliana Lulu Hachem and his first great love – poker.
“One of the small things I’ve already noticed is that every five minutes I’ve been looking at pictures and videos of Eliana on my phone at the poker table,” Hachem reflects.
“I actually got a little teary at the table, and on some of the breaks, just missing her so much.”
This is the first poker Hachem has played since his daughter was born, which isn’t suprising considering it was less than two weeks ago.
If it wasn’t the WSOP APAC it’s likely he would have just skipped it all together.
But poker is what Hachem loves and does best, so he couldn’t miss it.
Hachem: Support at Home is Crucial
“I’m pretty blessed that my wife is very cool,” Hachem said. “She knew before we got married what I loved. She knew my passion was poker. She supports everything I do and it goes both ways.
“We have the understanding in the relationship and we really have great family support as well. That helps a lot and that enables me to do what I need to.”
Being here at WSOP APAC in Hachem’s hometown means that his wife and new daughter are never too far away. It won’t be the same if Hachem has to travel for poker.
“I just haven’t experienced being away on a poker trip yet, but I know It will be tough,” Hachem said. “I know that I love poker, so it’s just something I need to live with and balance.
“Thank god for Skype!"
Missing his daughter at the tables and being away from his family isn’t the only thing that being a new father has Hachem thinking about. He also has a new perspective on life, money and the future.
“My kid and my family come first,” Hachem said. “So I’m working hard and smart to have the security for them, financially and everything else.”
“Thank god I have achieved quite a bit outside of poker as well, now with my new business, I’m pretty confident everything will work out.”
“But it will be hard.”
The Perfect Time to be a Father
Hachem is 41 years old and says that being busy with poker isn’t the reason he became a father so late in life.
“Everything is about perfect timing,” Hachem said. “Joe winning the WSOP was all timing. The poker boom was timing. Meeting my beautiful wife was timing.”
“When something’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Whether that’s the poker gods saying it’s going to happen in poker, or the fact that my mother passed away a year ago and now a year later we have this new life with this beautiful little girl.”
“It’s just all about timing.”
Hachem will be looking for another first tomorrow as he attempts to win his first WSOP gold bracelet at the final table of the $1.6k Terminator Event. First place pays out $61,245.
Not a bad start for a new family.