Best Poker Moments: Joe Hachem Wins WSOP, Sparks Aussie Poker Boom

Published on 10 July 2015 by Pokerlistings 410
In 2005 Joe Hachem won the World Series of Poker Main Event and in doing so lit the fuse on a poker explosion in Australia. Now, ten years later, Hachem looks back on the win that changed his life forever in the latest episode of Best Poker Moments. It was just two years after Chris Moneymaker's historic win and the Main Event field was the biggest it had ever been. Hachem took home $7.5 million and exposed an entire country to poker for the first time. Hachem says the reaction at home was insane. The Crown Poker Room quintupled in size and poker rooms started popping up all over the country. Since then we've seen huge poker tournaments Down Under including the Aussie Millions and the WSOP Asia-Pacific but all of it may not have been possible at all without Joe Hachem becoming world champion in 2005. Check out the Best Poker Moments video to hear Joe Hachem tell the story, including one gem that didn't make the final TV broadcast.
I've had people come up to me randomly saying, “Thanks man. I love you. You know why? My wife let's me play poker now.”
Things got to go your way a lot to win the Main Event. I actually get goose bumps every time I think about it. It's incredible. I actually started out on Day 1 and had 70 per cent of my stack in the middle on the turn. I won the pot and finished Day 1 really strong with like 90k. We started with 10k back then so it was a pretty big day for me.
But after Day 1, every day was just a grind. Then on the end of Day 5 I went on a rush. I went from being shortstacked to being top 10 in chips. That was my big rush that helped catapult me through the next day and a half to the final table.
So let me set the scene, the final hand. I'm the predominant chip leader. I've got almost two-to-one chips. And I know that if I can find the right spot I can get Steve to commit all his chips. When the final hand comes down, I flopped a straight. The only thing going through my head now is how am I going to get him to commit all his chips.
We had a lot of chips. We could have played for like 10 hours. I decided to raise him on the flop. Just small, just enough to keep him in there. And then that ace binked on the turn and that was like a gin card to me because I thought he had like two overcards with an ace, and I thought, “Wow, this could be it right now.” So now I lead small into him and he raises. They cut this part out from ESPN. When he raised me the five million, I asked for a chip count and I asked him if we were still having fun. He said, “Yeah we're still having fun.”
Then I asked him for a chip count and in the middle of the chip count I said, “Stop, I'm all in.” Announcer: Hachem is going to put Dannenmann all-in. Hachem with the straight. And Dannenman bites. Joseph Hachem has a straight and a title in the waiting.
The support I got from family and friends back home. The Crown Poker Room basically erupted. People were in tears they were telling me. I had played with them for a long time and they knew me and to think that one of their own went out there and took on everybody and brought home the sugar.
It's been an amazing ride. I have absolutely zero regrets and I feel so privileged and so grateful that I've been able to experience it.