WSOP Event #5: Joe Hachem makes final table

People do a lot of babbling about the luck factor in poker tournaments. In the smoke-filled corridors around poker tournaments, people lament their bad luck and how anybody can win a poker tournament. And, indeed, luck exists. And, indeed, it can knock you out of tournaments. In Event #5 of the World Series of Poker, Daniel Negreanu faced a series of cold-deck punches that took him from chip leader to rail bird in a matter of hours.

Photo copyright - IMDPI
Daniel Negreanu and Joe Hachem face off in Event #5

With those admissions made, there was something about this short-handed event that forced everyone in the room to recognize the role of skill in the game. From the time the event kicked off, the world's top players rose immediately to the top of the field. Among those players was none other than Team PokerStars' Joe Hachem, 2005 World Series of Poker champion.

From the moment Hachem won his bracelet in 2005, he seemed to be on a mission to futher prove himself to the world. He continued to go deep in tournament after tournament, including making a final table in a World Series of Poker Circuit Event.

Now, we're back in the Amazon Ballroom of the Rio in Las Vegas. The aura of Hachem's 2005 victory still hangs in the air and already Hachem is back at a WSOP final table. Not only that, he's back in arguably the toughest event yet in this year's WSOP (More information on how Hachem survived to the final table).

Hachem still seems as though he is on a mission. While I've never heard anyone call him a flash in the poker pan, Hachem seems determined to prove--if only to himself--that he is a deserving champion.

Photo copyright Rob Gracie - IMDPI

Now, he sits in the final six of Event #5, third in chips, and ready to take on his opponents. Here's how it will look at 2pm on Sunday when the players sit down in front of ESPN's cameras.

1. Russ 'Dutch' Boyd -- $909,000
2. Michael "anakinso" Goodman -- $573,000
3. Joe Hachem -- $297,000
4. Peter Hassett -- $150,000
5. David Soloman -- $93,000
6. Jeff Knight -- $62,000

Go get'em tomorrow, Joe.