Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Yang’

Jonathan Duhamel responds to Hachem’s Comments on WSOP Ambassadorship

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

One subject that’s frequently come up this year is the level of responsibility that WSOP Main Event champions bear in regard to making poker fun/inviting. Joe Hachem is the one who kicked this discussion off when he said that Main Event champs need to be ambassadors for the game. He specifically called out Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang for “destroying the legacy of the world champion.”

He didn’t elaborate, but we can only assume that Hachem thinks both players have done a poor job of promoting poker after winning the Main Event. The Aussie may also think that Gold’s ME bracelet being auctioned off and Yang’s tax troubles have further tarnished what it means to be a champ.

In any case, 2010 WSOP Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel recently gave his take on ME champs and young players in general. Writing from his PokerStars blog, Duhamel doesn’t totally agree with Hachem, but he does point out that everybody bears some kind of responsibility in making poker fun and keeping recreational players around. He wrote the following two excerpts in his post:

Joe mentioned Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang in his comments (who won in 2006 and 2007) and how those two kind of disappeared from the poker scene after winning their titles, but to me that’s not necessarily good or bad. Sometimes a career in poker is not for everyone, especially for guys who have other jobs or families as can be the case for players who are a little older. Not everyone who wins the WSOP Main Event wants to tour all of the time or continue playing tournaments, and that is absolutely their choice.

(cont’d later) So Joe’s making a call to everyone — Main Event champions, young players, and those with more experience, too — to keep in mind when playing live to be friendly and do what we can to make sure everyone is having fun. Obviously the recreational players aren’t going to come back if they don’t have fun, and that hurts not just them but everyone.

Duhamel also cited posts that he liked from Daniel Negreanu and Phil Galfond, two more guys who present broader visions for what can keep poker entertaining.

The overall takeaway from Duhamel’s post is that all successful pros need to work at keeping both profits and fun in mind. After all, if the recreational players don’t keep coming back, the dead money drives up in poker and you’ll have less available profits, smaller game selection and a poker world that looks more like 2001.

Joe Hachem thinks “Poker is Dying” – Is He Right?

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Earlier this week, 2005 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Hachem discussed the current state of poker during the Aussie Millions. And what he had to say about poker wasn’t exactly glowing.

After reflecting on past WSOP Main Event winners, which included ripping on Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang for ruining the champions’ legacy, he expressed his opinion that “poker is dying.” The reason why he believes this? Because Hachem thinks that the game is no longer fun for amateurs, with “young geniuses” bumhunting all of the fish and not offering up any interesting conversation.

The Aussie also mentioned how there are less Antonio Esfandiari’s out there, or rather guys whom the fish love to play with, even when they’re losing money. He added that watching poker on television is “like watching paint dry” because of the lack of personalities today. Furthermore, poker TV shows no longer focus on a pro’s style, personality or what they’re like away from the table. He closed by saying that some of the young ME champs like Ryan Riess and Greg Merson need to think about all of this since they’re ambassadors to the game.

So is Hachem right about everything that he said? You can’t argue with the point that poker is full of bumhunters these days, who play seek and destroy with the fish. The game also features less dynamic grinders who make poker more enjoyable to watch on TV.

But on the other hand, nothing Hachem said is an original idea. He’s just another person to jump on the fact that poker has transitioned into a more strategy-focused, mathematical game, where you either pour hours into becoming great, or you lose your bankroll and dignity.

As for if poker is dying, well, global online numbers suggest that plenty of people are still interested in playing. And this should continue as new markets open up across the world. But the live realm is still a big part of poker, and if famous pros don’t start developing some personality and social skills at the table, it will eventually hamper online poker too.

Greg Raymer wins third HPT Title, proves Longevity

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Winning the WSOP Main Event is by no means a recipe for long-term success. Jerry Yang, Jamie Gold and Robert Varkonyi are all prime examples of this point. However, there are also plenty of ME champions who have made a nice career out of poker including Greg Raymer.

The Raleigh, North Carolina native added yet another big accolade to his career by recently winning his third Heartland Poker Tour title. Raymer beat out a 185-player field to win HTP Altoona along with a $72,089 payout. He defeated Chad Lawson heads-up to secure the title, and you can see the complete final table results below:

1. Greg Raymer – $72,089
2. Chad Lawson – $41,771
3. Craig Casino – $26,275
4. Ben Stroh – $22,233
5. Ed Sinnett – $16,978
6. Josh Birkenbuel – $14,526

What’s truly impressive about Raymer’s HTP titles is that they’ve all come within the past few months. Before we continue discussing how great this accomplishment is, take a closer look at the three Heartland wins:

2012 HPT Route 66 – 1st place, $71,875
2012 HPT St. Louis – 1st place, $121,973
2012 HPT Altoona – 1st place, $72,089

After winning three HPT tournaments in a single year, Raymer becomes the only player to do so. In addition to this, he’s also the only person other than Jeremy Dresch to win three HPT events overall.

These wins are just the tip of the iceberg because Greg Raymer has truly proven the test of time by winning $7,285,094 in live poker tournaments. Some of the most notable tourney finishes in Raymer’s career include a third place effort in the 2009 40th Anniversary event ($775k), 25th place in the 2005 WSOP Main Event ($305k), and of course his 2004 WSOP Main Event victory ($5 million).

Besides his playing career, Raymer has gained considerable respect for his involvement with the Poker Players Alliance. Going further, he’s done a lot of fighting for players’ rights and is an adamant supporter of legal online poker. Hopefully all of his hard work in this department will pay off someday!