Tommy: Did you hear I graduated?Well, what can I say? As everybody should know by now, Australian Joe Hachem is the 2005 WSOP Main Event winner, pocketing just over $10 million Australian. To put this in perspective, that is more prize money than an Australian Rules Football team’s yearly salary cap, and more prize money than Roger Federer received for winning Wimbledon three times. As an Australian poker player, I am very proud (even though I have never met him) and very excited about the publicity this has already received here.
Richard Hayden: Yeah and just a shade under a decade too, all right.
Tommy: You know a lot of people go to college for seven years.
Richard Hayden: I know, they're called doctors.”Tommy Boy”
After I spent hours checking out how the WSOP was going online, and trying desperately to tell people about what was going on, now poker is all over the news and in the papers, they were even talking about it on the radio on my way into work today. While my North American friends may speak of when poker is “jumping the shark”, here in Australia the boom is just about to begin!
This is undoubtedly the greatest thing to happen to Australian poker ever. There is no doubt that the popularity of our game will rise from this, forcing the casinos to take notice and dedicate more resources to providing a decent place for us to play. And this just a few months after the South Australian Poker Championships got raided by police.
While I have never met Joe, from all accounts of the people who have he is a top bloke and should be a great ambassador for poker, much like Greg Raymer before him, and I see only good coming from this. What else was good to see was that a professional who bought his way into the tournament won, and it was his second cash at the WSOP this year.
I was thinking that perhaps the final table would be a bit of a let down when Ivey and Raymer failed to make it, but it goes to show that the main event is still special no matter who is playing. Guaranteed, when this comes out on ESPN I will have the tapes sent to me and the DVD in time.
But I can’t help feeling a little disappointed – in myself, not in the result of course. I always knew the poker boom would hit our shores eventually (and I have the archives to prove it), and I wish I was in a position to take better advantage of the situation. Perhaps I can, for when I switch into B&M play I will not only run into a lot of other people that are trying poker for the first time, but I may also have that stereotype placed on me when I sit at the table, and maybe that will get me a few hands paid off. Who knows? I do wish I had a spare million or two to set up a proper card room, as it would be like printing money at the moment. Alas, it is not to be so I will continue to peddle my trade at the micro limits.
Congratulations to Joe “Hash” Haschem, every Australian poker player is a winner because of you.