Joe Hachem of Sydney, Australia outlasted the largest field ever in the history of the World Series of Poker to win his first World Championship. He survived 5,618 other players and earned his first bracelet after a week of grueling poker against the best players in the world. After over fourteen hours of play at 6:40 A.M. local time, int he longest final table in the history of the WSOP, Joe Hachem won a record $7.5 million first place prize. Without a doubt he will become an instant international celebrity over night.
Today's 2005 WSOP Main Event Final Table players:
Seat 1: Joe Hachem (Melbourne, Australia) $5,420,000
Seat 2: Andrew Black (Dublin, Ireland) $8,140,000
Seat 3: Tex Barch (McKinney, TX) $9,330,000
Seat 4: Daniel Bergsdorf (Umea, Sweden) $5,270,000
Seat 5: Mike Matusow (Las Vegas NV) $7,410,000
Seat 6: Aaron Kanter (Lodi, CA) $10,700,000
Seat 7: Brad Kondracki (Kingston, PA) $1,180,000
Seat 8: Steve Dannenmann (Severn, MD) $5,460,000
Seat 9: Scott Lazur (Studio City, CA) $3,370,000
Here are some random facts about the players at the final table:
Joe "Back Cracker" Hachem was born in Lebanon and lives in Sydney, Australia. He's a chiropractor and has been playing poker for a decade. He's married with four kids. His railbirds are the loudest and will chant "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oy, oy, oy!" Whenever he wins a pot.
Andy "Monk" Black was born in Belfast and resides in Dublin. He has a law degree and took 14th place in a 2005 WSOP event. He's known as "The Monk" and has taken time out to live in a monastery. He's a student of Buddhism.
John "Tex" Barch is a beer garden owner from Texas. He has 3 WSOP career cashes and earned a business degree from Montana.
Daniel "Berka" Bergsdorf is a 27 year old from Sweden. He used to be a professional athlete and now drives a truck.
Mike "The Mouth" Matusow won 2 WSOP bracelets (2002 Omaha 8 and 1999 NL). The former poker dealer has 18 cashes at the WSOP.
Aaron "AK" Kanter is a 27 year old professional poker player from California. He's engaged and he begins the day as a chipleader.
Brad "BK" Kondraki is a 24 year old UPenn Law Student and graduated from Cornell. He turned down a chance to work for a prestigious firm to play in the WSOP.
Steve "Bloody Mary" Dannemann is a 38 year old CPA and mortgage banker from Maryland. He's married with one kid.
Scott "Magicman" Lazur is a production assistant from LA. He has one cash and is also a magician.
Mike Matusow was the first player eliminated. He lost a big hand early when he moved all in with K-K against Scott Lazur's A-A. Lazur reraised Steve Dannemann preflop and Mike pushed all in. The Flop was K-Q-6. The crowd went nuts when Matusow flopped a set. The turn was 2 hearts which brought three hearts on the board. Lazur had the Ace of hearts and the nut flush draw The river was the Jack of heart. On the second hand of the final table, Lazur doubled up.
Mike Matusow called an all in bet with 10-10 on a flop of 5s-3s-2c. Steven Dannemann had A-J and caught a Wheel on the turn when the 4 hit. The river was no help and Mike Matusow was busted in 9th place. He won $1M.
There was some insane action on the flop of 9s-6c-5c. Andy Black bet $1M and Steve Dannemann moved all in. Andy Black thought for a while and called with 10-9. Steve had A-6. The turn was a blank and the river was... an unlucky ace. Steve Dannemann rivered Andy Black and doubled up. Ouch. Steve Dannemann moved into the chip lead.
Andu Black was involved in a classic No Limit confrontation: A-K vs. 10-10. You have to win with AK and beat AK if you want to win a tournament. Andy Black pushed with 10-10 and Steve Dannemann called with A-K. The flop was all rags. The turn was a King and that killed Andy's chances. Andy looked so sad when he lost. He finished in 5th place and won $1,750,000. He looked like he was going to cry and Phil Hellmuth came over to give him some encouraging awards. The crowd gave him the loudest send off so far. "He deserved better than first. He played his heart out, " Irish poker writer Tom Murphy said.
Joe Hachem waited until after 2 AM to make his move. His stack sunk as low as $2 million and peaked at $20M for a while. Most of the night he had been short stacked. He ddin't play too many pots and patiently waited for good hands. Joe Hachem eventually came from behind to win the 2005 WSOP main event after he knocked out Steve "Bloody Mary" Dannemann. Hachem flopped a straight with 3-7o. Danneman moved all in with A-3 when an ace spied on the turn. Steve Dannemann won $4,500,000 for his stellar work. Joe Hachem won his first WSOP bracelet.
"It's all aout the bracelet, " Joe Hachem added. He also has $7.5 million to take back home to Australia with him.