Saturday, July 16, 2005

Australian crowned new king of poker

"Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oy! Oy! Oy!"

That was the cry that rang out early this morning as Melbourne, Australia's Joseph Hachem elminated his final opponent, Steve Dannenmann of Severn, Maryland, to win the Main Event of the 2005 World Series of Poker.

Hachem, a former chiropractor who now plays poker professionally, won in his first-ever appearance at the WSOP.

Here's how the final table shook out, with placements and prize payouts:
  1. Joseph Hachem, Melbourne, Australia ($7,500,000)
  2. Steve Dannenmann, Severn, Maryland ($4,250,000)
  3. John "Tex" Barch, McKinney, Texas ($2,500,000)
  4. Aaron Kanter, Elk Grove, California ($2,000,000)
  5. Andrew Black, Dublin, Ireland ($1,750,000)
  6. Scott Lazar, Studio City, California ($1,500,000)
  7. Daniel Bergsdorf, Umea, Sweden ($1,300,000)
  8. Brad Kondracki, Kingston, Pennsylvania ($1,150,000)
  9. Mike "the Mouth" Matusow, Las Vegas, Nevada ($1,000,000)
Congratulations to Mr. Hachem, and to the rest of the players who made the million-dollar cut. This was an interesting championship round, with only one "big name" player seated at the final table, and that player (Mike Matusow) being the first one eliminated from the nine.

I have to admit that I was rooting for Dubliner Andrew Black to win, if only to give me an excuse for quoting Jimmy Rabbitte's classic speech from The Commitments:
The Irish are the blacks of Europe. Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it loud — I'm black and I'm proud.
But since Black finished fifth, I guess I don't get to use that. Or the great headline I wrote: "Poker: It's a Black thing." I'm sure there's some equally cool way to tie together "Hachem" and "Melbourne," but I don't know what it is.

I hate it when the facts get in the way of a really clever blog post.

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