- 2005 WSOP main event champion
- Over 11.7 Million in tournament winnings
- The most recognisable Australian player
Joe was born on March 11, 1966 in Lebanon. In 1972, at age 6, his family moved to Melbourne, Australia. Prior to his career in poker, Joe worked as a chiropractor for 13 years, giving it up when he developed a rare disorder that affected the blood vessels in his hands. In 1995, while deciding what next to do with his time, Joe started playing poker more frequently. He also ran a small brokerage business in Melbourne. It wasn’t until around 2000 that Joe started playing regularly at Crown Casino. He spent 5 years playing the poker circuit in Melbourne before he set his sights on the WSOP in Vegas.
In 2005, when a friend won a trip and entry fee to the WSOP main event, Joe decided to come along and try his luck. After cashing in an earlier event for $25,850, he entered the WSOP main event as a relative unknown, along with 5618 other players. He would go on to win the event, and take home $7,500,000 which, at the time, was the largest pay-out in the history of poker. He is the only Australian to ever win the WSOP main event and very quickly developed a huge fan-base in Australia. His win at the 2005 WSOP main event is credited with starting the “Poker Boom” in Australia.
Not happy to sit back and take it easy after his huge win, Joe was determined to prove it was not just luck that got him to where he was. Later that same year, he finished 5th at a WSOP Circuit event, earning $88,172.
A year later at the 2006 WSOP, Joe finished 2nd in the $2500 short-handed no limit hold ‘em event. It drew 1068 players and Joe pocketed $256,800. Joe cashed 3 more times during the 2006 WSOP, including 4th place in the $2500 pot limit hold ‘em tournament worth $90,482.
The end of 2006 saw Joe win the WPT Five Diamonds Poker Classic, taking home $2,207,575, the second largest cash of his career, and cement himself as one of the greatest players of all time.
Since beginning his poker career in 2000, Joe has cashed over 50 times, for more than $11.7 million. He is the highest earning player in Australia and is currently 8th on the all-time money list.