Say what you will about Joe Hachem's sauciness. Say what you will about Victor Ramdin's swingy-ness. Both men are fantastically nice guys, and both can play some poker. There was no greater evidence than what happened a few hours ago at The Big Event at The Bicycle Casino in California.
The two Team PokerStars Pros got heads-up for $5,000 Big Event main event title. After working through a field of more than 400 players, the two men found themselves across the table from each other, tipping a couple of beers, and battling for the half-million-dollar first prize.
Each man has had his share of successes, and $500,000 wasn't going to be either's biggest win, but there was some matter of pride on the line. It's not often you see two Team PokerStars Pros heads-up for a big title.
As they reach the final hand, Ramdin had a decent lead on Hachem, got it in behind with ace-jack to Hachem's ace-king, and managed to flop a hook for the win.
Hachem pocketed $300,000 for his runner-up finish.
Ramdin, meanwhile, picked up the $500,000 first prize. That money finally takes him over the $3 million mark in career live tournament winnings. It is also Ramdin's biggest live finish since 2006 when he won more than $1 million at the WPT Foxwoods event.
Congrats to both Hachem and Ramdin for representing Team PokerStars Pro so well. We'll plan on seeing you gentlemen down the road. You're buying the drinks.
Photographs © Joe Giron/Joe Giron Photography