WSOP Main Event Day 4: Joe Hachem updates
by Ali Lightman
Defending WSOP champion Joe Hachem has been knocked out of the Main Event.
He re-raised all in with pocket Aces, and was called in two places.
Joe only had $120 000 in front of him, having lost a huge pot earlier when his QQ didn't stand up against AK.
As the cameras descended around him, Joe was a 77% percent favorite to win.
He was facing pocket Jacks and AQ.
But the flop was horrible. It came 5 J 3, the turn another 3 and the river a 7, giving the Jacks a full house.
The floor erupted in applause as the announcement that Joe had been eliminated was made over the pa system. Players leapt to their feet to honour the softly spoken 40 year from Melbourne as he walked into the embrace of his brother Tony.
Joe went into his break with just over $300 000, achieving the average chip stack for the first time today.
"Really? I'm average? That's great!"
Joe told me he woke up this morning with a new attitude.
"Yesterday was stressful. I'm going to play relaxed now. I'm going to make the best decisions I can and whatever happens, happens."
He's finding cards this round. Joe busted out a second short-stacked player fifteen minutes before the break.
There was an early bet of $18 000, the small blind pushed all in for his last $25 000, and when it was Joe's turn to act he found red Kings.
A king fell on the flop giving him the set and the champion took the pot.
Joe Hacham has just busted another player.
"I love this table! You people are geat!" Joe laughed as he raked in a pot of some $80,000.
And "Aussie Aussie Aussie" came tentatively from the rail behind me.
Joe bet $12 000 from middle position and was re-raised by the small blind who pushed with his last $35 000.
Joe called and turned JJ seeing he was in a coin flip with his opponent on AK.
The flop was all hearts, 8 2 4.
Joe, holding the Jh, closed his eyes as the turn fell a 6, and the board paired on the river card, another 6.
He now has more than $260 000.
Meanwhile Australian PokerStars qualifer Russell Davies has just taken down two large pots to put him well over $500 000.
The 29 year old computer programmer, from Sydney, was enjoying a massage in front of his big stack when I caught up with him.
"Someone made a move on me" said Russell.
And the timing was perfect, for Russell, sitting on the button with JJ.
"I made a button raise and he mis-read me, thought I was stealing. He knew I could make a big laydown because we played together yesterday, so he pushed all in for
more than $100 000."
Russell called the bet and his opponent showed 9 10 suited.
Russell flopped a set with A K J, only worried about the Queens still in the deck.
But the turn and the river paired 6s, giving him a full house and sending another one home.
Defending WSOP Champion Joe Hachem doesn't have a chip goal in mind for the end of today.
"Someone said $400 000. That's a good number. But I don't really have a target for today. I just want to build up some chips."
Joe went into his first break with $180 000. Better than where he started, but not as good as where he has been in the past hour.
"I got up to $260 000 but I lost a couple of pots. It's okay. There's nothing really happening yet."
Sitting on top of his stack is the lump of quartz handed to him late last night as a good luck charm by a WSOP waiter, who wanted to wish him well.
Sitting opposite Joe with $130 000 is Andy Donovan, an expatriate Brit who now lives in Houma, Louisiana. Andy won a $160 double shoot-out on PokerStars to win his Main Event seat.
"I keep telling Joe an Englishman is going to win it this time."
But Joe's not the only Aussie intending to prove Andy wrong.
Russell Davies, 29, a PokerStars qualifer from Sydney, has a little over $200,000.
Sam Khouiss has around $180,000.
Some other PokerStars qualifers from Downunder made it into the money yesterday.
Josh Egan, 22 year old Film and Finance student from New Zealand, made $20,619, and Adrian Pitt made $22,226.
The World Champion has started a long fight back to contention in this year's Main Event by doubling up in the first hour.
He now has $240,000.
But his day didn't start well.
Tight reporting restrictions which are now in force meant I could watch action at his table for only fifteen minutes and in that time I saw him lose at least $40,000.
He made a pre-flop bet of $10,000 from middle position but had to fold when the big blind moved all in.
Minutes later it was Joe's big blind and as he put out his $4 000, plus $500 antes, he said "this is the hand, I can feel it".
Joe and three limpers all checked the flop of Qh 3d 3s.
The turn was 6s. Joe bet $5,000 and everyone folded except the button.
The turn was 7c. When Joe checked the button made it $15,000, and Joe called.
But he mucked his hard in disgust when his opponent showed 5 4o which gave him a straight.
"Nice river Sir" he said.
At that moment the head media wrangler gave me 30 seconds notice to leave the floor, and as I headed back to the press room Joe hit a hand in the small blind.
There was a bet of $15,000 pre-flop and Joe moved all in for $105,000.
PokerStars Qualifier Brian Hansen opponent called with pocket 5s.
Joe showed AsQs.
The flop came down Qh Qd 9s 2s 4s, giving the world champion a set and the nut flush for good measure.