Farha at the National Heads-Up Poker Championship
|Nickname(s)||Mister Cool, Sammy|
|Residence||Houston, Texas, U.S.|
|Born||1959 (age 55–56)
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
|World Poker Tour|
Ihsan "Sam" Farha (born 1959 in Beirut, Lebanon) is a professional poker player. He is best known for finishing as runner up in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event in 2003 and has won three bracelets at the WSOP.
Farha moved to the United States after the Lebanese Civil War broke out when he was in his teens. After settling in Wichita, Kansas in 1977, he attended the University of Kansas. He graduated with a degree in business administration and moved to Houston, Texas to work with his brother. Farha first played a game of poker a year after moving to Houston, and won several thousand dollars. He quit his job in 1990 to play poker full-time.
World Series of Poker
Farha's biggest tournament finish was in the 2003 World Series of Poker main event, where he finished second to Chris Moneymaker for $1,300,000. On the second day of play Farha lost a major pot to Barry Greenstein leaving him with only 10% of the average stack. He was considering leaving at this point and was talked into staying by Greenstein. He lost the final hand to Moneymaker after going all in with a pair of jacks on the flop, only to be called by Moneymaker who had flopped bottom two pair.
In a rematch between Farha and Moneymaker a few months later, organized by PokerStars, Farha won. They played against each other again in a special "grudge match" during 2011 World Series of Poker, which was won by Moneymaker in best-of-three format.
Farha, after winning the $5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo (8 or better) event in 2006, skipped playing the event the next three years. He then played it again in 2010, after it was increased to a $10,000 buy-in event. He went on to win it, so while not winning the event consecutively, Farha did win the bracelet both times he played in the event.
In 2012, Farha finished 11th in the 2012 World Series of Poker $10,000 Omaha event, for $43,076.
World Series of Poker bracelets
All of Farha's bracelets have come in Omaha events.
|1996||$2,500 Pot Limit Omaha w/Rebuys||$145,000|
|2006||$5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo (8 or better)||$398,560|
|2010||$10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship||$488,241|
Farha has also finished in the money in the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, once for $75,000 and the other time for $125,000. He also has three cashes in World Poker Tour events, for a little over $100,000.
Farha co-authored a book "Farha on Omaha", which is a detailed guide on Omaha poker strategy. Farha intersperses basic strategies with his own personal strategies, so players can not only learn the game, but learn the style of Farha himself.
Farha is working on a book, tentatively titled Luck is Not Enough, a reality TV poker series, and a video game. He is a spokesman for Harrah's casino in Las Vegas. He has appeared on the GSN series High Stakes Poker, in seasons 1-4. Farha also made a cameo appearance in the 2007 film, Lucky You.
As of 2010, his total winnings exceed $2,800,000 in live tournament poker, although he tends to primarily play in high stakes Omaha cash games. His nine cashes at the WSOP account for $2,540,043 of those winnings.
- Pokerstars.com: Chris Moneymaker vs. Sam Farha, Round 2
- Hendon Mob tournament results
- World Series of Poker Earnings, worldseriesofpoker.com