WSOP Event #29: Hachem eying final table

Two hours ago, 2005 World Series of Poker champion Joe Hachem was frustrated. How did I know? It was pretty simple. Though I couldn't see his eyes behind his glasses, the fog on his lens gave away the steam coming from his eyes. His arms were crossed and he stood with such rigidity, I might have been able to knock him over if I caught him off guard. Oh, and he made it a little more obvious for me.

"It's so frustrating," he said.

Joe Hachem in Event #29

Yeah, he was frustrated. The cards just weren't going his way and his opponents were not cooperating either.

Over the year or so I've known Joe Hachem and watched him play, I've found one thing to be true: It is very rare to see him with a monster, towering, in danger of toppling over and injuring small children stack of chips. At the same time, it's rare to see him on the rail. That is, he goes deep more than your average Joe. What's more, despite occasionally falling below average in chips, he seems to find a way to nurse his chips until he finds the right opportunity.

Here's a bit of honesty. I didn't necessarily expect Hachem to make the dinner break in Day 2. It's not that I didn't have faith in his ability. However, the big stacks were running over the small stacks. PokerStars' W$ buy-in Alex Brenes flopped trip aces to John Gale's KQ. Gale ended up rivering broadway and knocking Brenes out short of the final table.

"John," I said, "you're going to have to stop taking everybody's chips."

"Somebody has to," he said.

And so I suspected Hachem would get his shorter stack in good, but come out bad. As usual, I was wrong. This time, before the dinner break, Hachem got kings in against queens and doubled through to 76,000 in chips (around average). Now he sits in sixth place in chips with 16 players remaining.

As he bounded down the hall to dinner, he had only two words for me. It was as if he knew I had my doubts. It was as if he sensed I thought that he would fall unlucky.

"Still in," he said through his Aussie accent, and took out for dinner.

Now, he returns to the Amazon Ballroom. If he can survive seven more eliminations, he will make his second final table of the 2006 WSOP.

This time, I'm reserving any predictions.

Today's reading:
Being Barry Greenstein
WSOP Event #30: $5,000 NL Hold'em Short-Handed (Mercier crippled by Fossilman)
What a Long, Strange Poketrip It's Been (Jon Friedberg)
David Sklansky to speak in PokerStars suite
WSOP Event #29: PokerStars stars make day 2

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker