On Friday, Dec. 16, PokerStars announced that it had parted ways with 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Joe Hachem. The announcement came after the expiration of Hachem’s PokerStars Team Pro contract, which saw him serve as a member of Team Australia since his win in 2005.
“It’s been a great run with PokerStars and I’m proud of my association with the people and the company,” Hachem said in a PokerStars press release. “But it’s time for me to pursue other career opportunities and it will be fun to have some down time to spend with my family. I look forward to the future with much excitement and anticipation and will always have fond memories of my time at PokerStars.”
The split seemed to be an amicable one as each side had nothing but good things to say about the other:
“Joe has been a terrific endorser for PokerStars over the years, and while we are sad to see him leave the Team we are looking forward to continuing to watch him play,” said Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communications for PokerStars. “We thank him for all he’s done for our brand and for poker and we wish him all the best at the poker table and in life.”
As a former Main Event champ, Hachem is one of the most recognizable names in the game. Aside from winning $7.5 million in his 2005 victory, Hachem has shown that he is the real deal, winning the World Poker Tour 2006 Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $2.2 million, coming close to capturing a second bracelet, and finishing second to Victor Ramdin earlier this year at The Big Event at the Bike. All told, Hachem has over $11 million in lifetime earnings.