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Poker Player Profile: Sammy Farha

Personal Life

Ihsan Farha otherwise known as Sam Farha was born in 1959 in Beirut, Lebanon. He lived in Lebanon, up until his teens when he had to move to the United States due to Civil War that broke out in his native Lebanon. He settled in Wichita, Kansas in 1977, after which he enrolled to the University of Kansas. This is where he graduated from with a degree in Business Administration. Following his graduation, Farha went ahead to work with his brother in Houston, Texas. It was after his move to Houston that he became enthusiastic about poker.

Poker Beginnings

Sam Farha first gained his interest in gambling while a teenager. He would gamble on games that had high stakes and was competitive in pin-ball, pool and Pac-Man. He would thus bet on pool and Pac-man, gaining rewards as high as $5,000. His father was however displeased that Sam has chosen to make money through gambling, and so he insisted that Farha pursue higher education. Sam thus pursued a degree from the University of Kansas.

Around a year after graduating and moving to Kansas, Farha once again began to play. At first, gambling did not seem to have odds on beings a source of living. However, while playing nickel-and-dime with his pals, he recalled how much he loved gambling when he was younger and became more interested in the game. As the stakes increased and his skills greatly improved, he was bound to make great money. He went to Las Vegas and tripled his money playing poker. This motivated him to take a step many wouldn’t dare take. In 1990, Farha decided to quit his job and take on playing poker full time.

Poker Success

Sam played, for years, big cash games in Omaha and No Limit Hold’em while he was in Texas. His first major tournament cashing was at the 1996 World Series of Poker where he won $2,500 from a Pot Limit Omaha event. This was his first WSOP bracelet. In 2002, he made another attempt at Pot Limit Omaha at the WSOP, where he played against pros such as Barny Boatman, Humberto Brenes and Steve Zolotow; Sam finished 3rd place.

One of his most memorable poker tournaments is the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event. He was played a great game until the finals, where he went head to head against Chris Moneymaker who was an amateur. Everyone expected Farha to win, given that he was more experienced in the game. Be that as it may, Farha came in 2nd place after Moneymaker successfully made impressive plays.

In his lifetime, Farha has had 18 cashes all of which amount to a total of $2,882,223. His has finished at first place three times and thus has three WSOP bracelets.

Poker Fame

Sam Farha is one of the world’s best cash game players in what is considered a gambler’s game, Pot Limit Omaha. His aggressiveness and enthusiasm to gamble is all too well-known by many. He is known for his ability to take big risks. He is also known for co-authoring “Farha on Omaha”, a book he published about Omaha poker strategy. In the book, he basically outlines the basic strategies and reveals his own personal strategies. He is also a spokesman for popular Las Vegas casino, Harrah’s casino. He also appeared in “High Stakes Poker”, a GSN television series.

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