JOE HACHEM: WSOP, APT Macau and much more

I arrived in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker much later than previous years. I played eight events without much success. I bubbled a couple of events including the 10k Six-handed but never really had any traction in any of the tournaments. It was probably my worst WSOP tournament-wise since 2005.

This was very disappointing as I was really well rested, my state of mind was right, I didn’t have a huge entourage but nothing went right. I guess you can chalk it up to poker variance.

I did well in the cash games so that kept me on even keel. The WSOP was amazing again as always, I love being there, but I would have loved to come home with some success but I didn’t get a sniff to be honest.

I’m hoping to make amends at the WSOP Europe. I’m really, excited about that because I haven’t played WSOPE for several years due to a clash with EPT London to which I was committed. Cannes is absolutely wonderful and I’m looking forward to going back there – hopefully I can make up for my bad form at the WSOP.

On the way home from the WSOP, I hosted a charity event for children with autism at the Grand Havana room in Beverly Hills. The line-up featured Jason Alexander, Don Cheadle, Aisha Tyler, Danny Masterson and Jaime Kennedy. of The Black Eyed Peas was also in attendance to show his support. It was a really successful event. I find LA to be a great place to unwind after the World Series before I headed home …


… for just 10 hours before I was back on a plane for APT Macau. I played two events – the HKD $1m high stakes event and the Main Event. Again I bubbled both tournaments!

I can’t recall making any mistakes. My bust out hand in the Main Event was interesting. We were about 10 away from the money and I was in the BB with about 60k in chips (about 30 BB). It was the second hand of day three.

I looked down to find A-K and an early position player raised. He had raised the hand before. It came back to me and I saw the K and thought I’m just going to ship it all here.

I had the sense that he was going to call me with A-Q, A-J, even A-10. And if he has a pair, I’ll be flipping. He snapped called with A-J and he had me barely covered. The flop came J-J-2!

So I ended up bubbling that event. I felt I played great, but again, I played a pretty sick cash game while I was there and did reasonably well on that, so no complaints. You can’t go broke making a profit!


Macau has really evolved since I first travelled there five years ago. It’s a much more welcoming destination for visitors, finding someone who speaks English isn’t so hard any more and the quality of food is improving. They’re also now building resorts that are more family-friendly.

On the poker side of things, a law was recently passed in Macau that has made it more attractive for casinos to offer poker so I think we’re going to see a many more poker rooms in Macau. Poker is going strong. We stayed at StarWorld and their poker room was full the whole time.

The only games you see are really small or really big. So there are 5/10HKD or 25/50HKD or you’re playing 2000/5000HKD, there are no 200/400 or middle range games. There are mainly Hold’em and usually one small game of Omaha, which was interesting to find.

I think the poker depth is growing and the Chinese have really caught up quickly with many playing good solid games. You still get the whales that splash around money but generally the games aren’t as easy as they were a few years ago.

In more exciting news from Macau, I’ll be playing in a Super High Roller event on August 31. The Macau High Stakes Challenge has a staggering HKD $2,000,000 (AUD $250,000) buy-in with an optional HKD $2,000,000 rebuy. They’re expecting about 40-50 players so hopefully I can come home with the sugar from that one.


We’ve also just closed a deal through my AsianLogic partnership regarding something in Australia, which we’ll announce in the next few weeks. It’s really exciting for me. The relationship with AsianLogic is going amazingly well, it’s great to be treated as a partner and not just as a dancing monkey or as an employee.

For a tour that offers tournaments without any real online backing, they do really well. I think a lot of the credit is due to the service they provide. They give people a great experience. They provide quality service, a good environment in which to play and you see people come from all over the world to play because of the APT brand.

The brand has become really strong, I didn’t realise how strong it was. Jeff Mann is doing a great job running it. I’m actually excited at the prospect of sooner rather than later that we have an APT in Australia, which I’m pushing towards.


I’m about to launch the new eCommerce section on my website This will include a range of merchandise including Pass The Sugar T-shirts and caps, copies of my book Pass the Sugar, and similar items. Eventually there will be Joe Hachem chip sets and cards and a range of other poker items.

I’m also about to start production of an educational poker series that hopefully will launch at the Aussie Millions 2013 at Crown, which is really exciting. It’s never been done like this before, I’m hoping people will love it.

It’s aimed at the beginner to intermediate players to try to give them a little bit sharper teeth and help them become better players. We’re just in the early stages of production with shooting scheduled in October for release in January. I’ll tell more about this as we progress.

Until next time, Pass the Sugar

Joe Hachem

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