’05 champ Hachem ousted from poker world series | TahoeDailyTribune.com

’05 champ Hachem ousted from poker world series

Oskar Garcia, The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – Joe Hachem was eliminated from the World Series of Poker main event on Monday, leaving last year’s winner Peter Eastgate as the only former champion left in the tournament.

The short-stacked champion from 2005 went all-in with a jack and nine of clubs and was called by an opponent holding a pocket pair of fours, and failed to improve with the community cards.

The flop left Hachem behind but with plenty of opportunities to make a better hand with a better pair or a flush, but none of his outs were dealt on the turn or river and Hachem was out.

Hachem won $40,288 for 103rd place. Top prize in the $10,000 buy-in tournament is $8.55 million, and 648 players from the starting field of 6,494 will win part of a $61 million prize pool.

Hachem, who earlier in the day expressed frustration with extremely aggressive players in the tournament, called their overall play “dumb.”

“They can all play their own game,” Hachem told The Associated Press. “I hope they keep playing the same way for the rest of their lives because that means I’ll get a chance at winning this another four or five times.”

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Hachem and Eastgate, who won $9.15 million for the title last year, sat next to each other to start the day.

“(Eastgate) did exactly what I did in ’06 and what Greg (Raymer) did in ’05 – the last remaining champion, which is great,” Hachem said. “I love the kid. Peter’s obviously still young but he’s got a good head on his shoulders and hopefully he’ll mature into a really great champion.”

Hachem said he’s lost all respect for the new brand of players who seem to simply want to gamble all their chips on every hand in the main event.

“I had quite a bit of respect but you know what? They know nothing about poker,” Hachem said. “These kids are just … idiots.”

A breakneck pace that has already led tournament officials to shorten two sessions of play continued on Monday as 84 players from a field of 185 were eliminated in six hours, despite starting with many chips relative to minimum bets.

Each of the players left on Monday were guaranteed at least $36,626. The top prize will be awarded at the final table in November at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

“We’re playing for one of the biggest prizes in history and they’re getting … five hundred million blinds in there with second pair,” Hachem said. “The reason I’m upset is because it’s disrespectful. We’re playing in the World Series, we’re not just having fun at a local home game.”

Chips have no monetary value, but show the relative position of players compared with one another on the felt. Players started on Monday with an average of just over 1 million chips each, while pots cost a minimum of an ante plus 30,000 chips to play if nobody raised.

Hachem and Eastgate were at the same table as Dennis Phillips, last year’s third-place finisher, and two-time gold bracelet winner J.C. Tran.

During one hand, Tran folded a strong hand of ace-king before any community cards were dealt when faced with the all-in bet of an opponent. Tran would have been well ahead if his opponent held two other unpaired cards, and have a 50-50 shot if the opponent held a pocket pair of queens or lower. If the opponent had kings or aces, Tran would have been a big underdog, and Tran didn’t want to risk his tournament on a single gamble without more information.

Tran was later eliminated in 108th place by Phillips when his ace high couldn’t beat Phillips’ pair of tens.

Hachem said playing against opponents who only know one move – no matter what they’re holding – is frustrating.

“You’re playing here, you got so much time, you got so much going for you and these guys just want to go to war every hand,” Hachem said. “That’s why a crazy Internet kid is very unlikely to win one of these things.”

The tournament was scheduled to play 10 hours even as the pace of eliminations seemed like it would leave tournament officials with fewer players than they want to start on Tuesday.

But tournament director Jack Effel said he thought play would slow, and players were likely in for 28 hours of poker between Monday and Wednesday.