Poker Heading For A Major Downswing According To Joe HachemFebruary 11, 2014 12:25 pm
Last week, the 2005 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem surprised the poker community after blaming several of his fellow Main Event winners for “destroying the legacy of the world champ.”
According to the 47 year-old Aussie poker pro, Jamie Gold (2006) and Jerry Yang (2007) are chief culprits in harming the image of the Main Event, although other subsequent winners are also apportioned blame, with the exception of Jonathan Duhamel (2010). Joe Hachem said he believes that recent past ME winners take themselves too seriously and rather than embracing their ambassadorial duties to further the poker industry, seem to be solely in it for the money.
Emphasizing his point, Hachem drew attention to the fact that the last five champions have all been under the age of 25, fall into the quiet and reserved category, and seem eager to shun the limelight. Nevertheless, although Hachem’s comments may seem a bit harsh, he does have several high profile supporters in his corner, not least Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, who reacting to the Aussie’s view, said:
“I said for years that poker never really grew because the vast majority of past World Champions – just never gave back or promoted the game. They took the money and preferred to stay quiet – which was their right – but it didn’t help promote the game.”
Aside from his dig at past WSOP ME winners, Joe Hachem also took the opportunity to outline his discontent with younger players in general, which, he said, are taking the fun out of the game for both recreational players and TV audiences, alike. As well as not being sociable and entertaining enough, Hachem draws attention to some of their dubious online practices, such as “bum-hunting”.
“As soon as the fish walks away from the table, the game breaks online or live now and I witnessed both,” explained Hachem.
Finally, Hachem held Antonio Esfandiari up as a shinning example of how to be an ambassador to the game, and said his jovial and affable approach means he is regularly invited to participate in some of the biggest games in the world against rich business man.