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Poker champion Hachem seeks splendid comeback in Seoul

2.5 from 2 votes
Sunday, June 01, 2008

But you would also be relieved when the retiree finally overcomes the disease and reaches the top of the profession he has so eagerly pursued.

Well that movie doesn`t exist, but Joe Hachem, champion of the 2005 World Series of Poker, could have been the subject for such a plot.

Hachem will travel to Seoul end of this month to compete in the first professional poker tour in the Asian Pacific region, the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT).

The APPT will be held from Sept. 28 to 30 at the Paradise Seoul Casino in the Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul.

Hachem served as a chiropractor for 12 years before he developed a rare condition that prevented him from using his hands to continue his career.

Ironically, the disease became a factor helping him later win the World Series of Poker.

By giving up his work, Hachem had more time to practice.

``I have always loved the game and loved the way it brings out the competitor in me,`` said Hachem in an e-mail interview with The Korea Times.

Poker has changed his life in many ways.

``The most significant change to my life since becoming world champion has been how I have been treated by everyone,`` he said. ``People now come up to me and want to meet me, to talk and share a drink. This is something I never sought in the past; I just wanted to play poker and win the tournaments.``

He shocked the poker world by beating a record-breaking 5,618 player field in the 2005 World Series Main Event and pocketing $7.5 million for his championship win.

He hopes his new life will afford him more time with his family and provide more opportunities to play in the biggest tournaments in the world.

``I practice five times a week with each of those sessions lasting about four hours,`` the poker champion said.

Focusing more on preparation rather than luck or external factors to win, the 41-year-old said that in every tournament he plays, his goal is to win the event and the Seoul event is no exception.

The APPT tournament is an annual international poker competition, sponsored by an online poker site

The pan-Asia poker tour kicked off last month in Manila, the Philippines, with 255 players coming from 35 countries. Seoul is the second destination of the tour. The winners of the Seoul and Manila tournaments will compete in the APPT Grand Final at the Star City Casino in Sydney, Australia, in December.

For more information on the APPT Seoul tournament, please visit

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Author: By Park Si-soo
Source: The Korea Times
2.5 from 2 votes
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