Joseph Hachem lives in Australia and is the winner of the 2005 WSOP Main Event.
He was originally born in Lebanon and immigrated to Australia in the early 1970s.
He was a chiropractor by trade, but a medical condition forced him away from that profession.
After much deliberation, he decided to take up one of his great passions, poker, as a way to try to support his wife and four children.
At first this was as a semi-pro, but his 2005 win was the event that finally turned him into an official poker pro.
For the better part of a decade, Joe became a fixture on the Australian Poker scene. His first significant poker achievement was during the 2000 Australian Poker Championship when he finished fourth in the $300 rebuy Pot Limit Omaha.
Over the next five years, his tournament game rounded into form during other competitions mostly at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, which became
his home base.
On a whim in 2005 (with his wife's blessing), Joe headed to Las Vegas for the 2005 World Series of Poker. He started well with a 10th place finish on July 4th in the $1000 No-Limit Holdem event, outlasting over 800 players including many big-name pros.
This gave him the confidence (and, more importantly, the bankroll) to take a shot at the $10,000 No Limit Holdem Championship Event, considered to the premier event on the poker calender.
Hachem battled through the 5,619 player field to be in the mix at the final table of this Main Event, but it took him some time to work his way through the final nine.
"I was very aggressive throughout the tournament and once I reached the Final Table, I tried to keep up that aggressive play,"
"Once I found myself short stacked, though, I had to make a big adjustment to my game and became a little more conservative. When I rebuilt my stack, then I could go on with the aggressive attack."
That controlled aggressive attack allowed him to outlast the table until, in one of the longest final tables in the history of the World Series, he was able to defeat Steve Dannenman and capture the massive $7.5 million first prize.
After winning the World Championship, Joseph has been quite active in the poker community. Later in 2005, he showed his WSOP victory wasn't a fluke by making the final table of a WSOP Circuit event in Las Vegas, only finishing fifth due to a devastating bad beat when his Kings failed to hold up against Kido Pham's J-10 (Kido flopped two Jacks to take the hand and virtually eliminate Hachem).
He has also done well on the European Poker Tour and, in 2006, returned to the World Series, where he final tabled twice in preliminary tournaments and finished a highly respectable 238th in defending his Championship Event title.
Perhaps Hachem's finest moment came at the end of 2006, however. At the Five Diamond $15,000 World Poker Tour event in December 2006, he was able to defeat one of Canada's finest players, Daniel Negreanu, and one of Denmark's best in Mads Andersen to capture his first WPT championship, joining a very elite group of players who have won both the WSOP Main Event and a WPT title (the other three men are legendary…Doyle Brunson, Scotty Nguyen and Carlos Mortensen).
With that win, Joseph said he had finally achieved "validation". Along with this he also became only the second tournament poker player to have cracked the $10 million markin career earnings with $10,274,627.
At the tables, Joseph is a consummate professional. He has been able to harness the aggressive style that is necessary in today's game to be a lethal force. He also is adept at changing his game style which, added in with his expressionless
concentration at the tables, makes reading him close to impossible.
Away from the tables, Joseph is a dedicated family man who looks to take care of his own before venturing to the tables. He partakes in no other gaming other than poker and, along with 2004 World Champion Greg Raymer, has been two of the greatest ambassadors that the game has seen in recent history.
As 2007 begins, we wish this great Aussie every success, and come the time of the 2007 WSOP in Vegas, many a poker fan will certainly have one eye on Hachem.