Joe Hachem discusses WSOP APAC

By: Jonno Pittock

With the WSOP APAC just a few short weeks away, Jonno Pittock sat down with the man who knows all about winning the big one - the man responsible for the poker boom in Australia, and 2005 World Champion, Joe Hachem.


Thanks for your time Joe.  Winning $10 million is obviously a life-changing amount of money. How is your life different now to what it was before your win in 2005?

Obviously the money has given us a nice safety cushion.  We have been able to travel a lot more and help many family and friends, but in essence my life with respect to money hasn’t changed that much. I still drink Johnny Black and smoke the same cigars and more importantly have the same group of friends with the addition of a few special people I have met along the way. You know things haven’t changed that much when Jeanie yells from the kitchen for me to take the rubbish out! ;-)

What advice would you give to the person who wins the WSOP APAC?

Ownership and humility. In my article in Grinder Magazine I spoke about chip ownership, well now I speak about money ownership. Don’t be another silly tool and go out and spend your money indiscriminately and start playing big cash games and all the big buy in tourneys. Take ownership of your money and make it work for you.  Take your time.  I’m not saying don’t have a good time but just be sensible because you don’t know when you will be able to visit the well again! Most of all just enjoy it, as it will be a historical moment. By the way I’m a lock to win it anyway and I already know all this stuff…

WSOP BraceletDo you ever wear your WSOP bracelet in public?  Have you had it valued?

Only at private functions where I am asked to bring it along.  It’s really priceless, but has about $80,000 worth of platinum and diamonds in it.

The Australian poker landscape has changed considerably since you won the WSOP Main Event in 2005.  What do you think the biggest difference is now?

For a start, everyone in Australia now has heard of, or played, poker and almost everyone knows what the WSOP is. The number of poker rooms around the country exploded, as did free to play pub poker. The biggest difference however is how many geniuses there are in the poker world now! Every man and his dog is a knowledgeable enthusiast who is just dying to impart his wisdom onto to you…whether you like it or not!

How does it make you feel when you see how far poker has come in the last eight years in the Asia-Pacific region?

Very proud! I love the game of poker and I love the fact that so many more people are enjoying my passion now as well.

How important do you think the WSOP APAC is for poker in this region?  Did you ever think it would happen?

WSOP APAC is a monumental achievement for us down under and kudos to the Crown Poker team who have worked tirelessly for the past three years to make it happen.

As a WSOP champion, what does it mean to you personally to have the WSOP brand come to Australia?

Again, I am ecstatic. The fact that I have another internationally recognised event at my doorstep to play along with the Aussie Millions makes my life so much easier. As a WSOP champion, having the WSOP APAC here in Melbourne is just the icing on my cake. I am so excited at the prospect of winning a bracelet in my home town.

Crown MelbourneNow that you have travelled to every corner of the globe and played in all the major poker destinations, how does the Crown Poker Room compare to the rest of the world?

We have a six-star poker room and there are not many of those around, maybe two others. The fact that the poker room here exists adjacent to Crown Towers is such a huge bonus because as poker players we are naturally lazy people! The fact that we have everything from restaurants and bars to gymnasiums and sauna, a few steps away from the poker table, makes Crown the #1 poker room in the world.

What is your preparation like for an event like the WSOP APAC?

Same as always. I am in a perpetual state of study and preparation.

Which event are you most looking forward to on the WSOP APAC schedule?

The Main Event for obvious reasons.

Will we see you in the commentary box for WSOP APAC as we did for the Aussie Millions?

Depends how unlucky you guys are! ;-)  No, not sure at this stage but it would fun.

Any last minute words of wisdom for all those budding potential WSOP APAC bracelet winners out there?

#1 rule of all time, enjoy the moment and don’t get too caught up in everything else.  Pass the sugar!

Thanks mate, good luck!


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