Sam Farha

He established himself as a talented gamer as a youth, playing Pac-man, pinball and pool at a high level.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1959, Farha was forced to relocate to the United States as a teen after the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War.

He established himself as a talented gamer as a youth, playing Pac-man, pinball and pool at a high level, so much so that he once won $5,000 in a single game of Pac-man. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in business administration, he moved to Houston in 1986 to be closer to his family. It was here that he was introduced to poker playing in home games, and four years later he turned professional.

Known as one of the world’s premier cash game players, specialising in Omaha and Texas Hold Em, Farha appeared on the first four seasons of poker television program High Stakes Poker. On season four of the show Farha showed his gambler’s spirit when he and Patrik Antonius created a $998,800 pot on the flop with Farha holding just a king-high flush draw against Antonius’ pair of nines. They agreed to run the turn and river four times, with Antonius winning three of the four times.

Farha has also shown himself to be a more than capable tournament player in addition to his cash-game success. He has managed to win three World Series of Poker bracelets, all of them in Omaha events. Farha also finished as runner up to Chris Moneymaker in the 2003 WSOP Main Event, losing to Moneymaker’s flopped bottom two pair. Farha, however almost didn’t make it to the final table: on day two of the event he lost a large pot to Barry Greenstein leaving him with just 10% of the average stack. Farha was going to leave the tournament, but was convinced to stay by Greenstein himself.

Despite losing heads-up, Farha still banked $1,300,000 for his second place finish. Farha is one of the most recognisable players at any poker table, usually found wearing expensive clothes and jewellery, fondling an unlit cigarette.

Crazy Fact: Farha knocked actor Oliver Hudson out of the 2004 Main Event in the first hand of play, with a better full-house.

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