Jerry Yang (poker player)

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Jerry Yang
Jerry Yang 2008.jpg
Nickname(s)The Shadow[1]
ResidenceTemecula, California, U.S.
BornXao Yang
1967 (age 51–52)
World Series of Poker
Money finish(es)6
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
Winner, 2007
Information accurate as of 16 June 2014.

Xao "Jerry" Yang (simplified Chinese: 杨係; traditional Chinese: 楊係; pinyin: Yáng Xì; born 1967) is an ethnic Hmong poker player from Temecula, California and the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event champion.

Yang started playing poker in 2005.[2] An amateur player at the time, Yang entered the 2007 World Series of Poker after winning a $225 satellite at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula.[3] Prior to the World Series, he had four cashes in local California events.[4] At the final table, Yang went from starting eighth in chips to holding a big chip lead that he never relinquished. The process of accumulating this chip lead involved Yang knocking out seven of the eight other players at the final table.

Heads-up against Tuan Lam, he won the title with 8 8 against Lam's A Q when he hit a nine-high straight on the river after Lam had caught a queen on the flop on a board of 5 Q 9 7 6. After a 12-hour final table, Yang won $8,250,000 for the victory. As he did with other players at the final table, he proceeded to inform Lam that he had a "friend for life". As of 2014, the majority of his live tournament winnings, $8,437,435, resulted from his win at the 2007 Main Event.[5]

Yang summarized his tournament strategy: "I study my opponents very carefully, and when I sensed something, when I sensed some weakness, I took a chance. Even if I had nothing, I decided to raise, reraise, push all-in or make a call....The only way that I could win this tournament was by being aggressive from the very beginning and that’s exactly what I did. And thank God I was also able to pick up some good cards at the same time."[2] Once Yang was guaranteed a share of the prize money, he pledged to donate 10% of his winnings to three charities (the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Feed The Children, and the Ronald McDonald House),[2] as well as his alma mater, Loma Linda University.[6]

As of 2016, Yang's live tournament winnings exceed $8,400,000.

Personal life[edit]

Yang, an ethnic Hmong, was born in Laos. When the communists took over in the 1970s, his family escaped to Thailand where they spent four years in a refugee camp. While living in the camp, a brother and sister of his died.

Yang currently lives in Madera, California. Yang holds a master's degree in health psychology from Loma Linda University and worked as a psychotherapist and social worker.[7][8]

He is married and has six children.[3]


  1. ^ USA Today: Who's who at the World Series of Poker's main event final table
  2. ^ a b c Yang wins $8.25 million World Series of Poker, an Associated Press article via MSNBC
  3. ^ a b Jerry Yang profile Archived October 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Jerry Yang
  5. ^ "Jerry Yang – Stats". Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  6. ^ Sole survivor: Yang takes World Series of Poker, $8.25M Archived September 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine from CBS
  7. ^ PE News
  8. ^ "Jerry Yang's Player Info". World Series of Poker official website. Retrieved October 26, 2011.

External links[edit]