Farha at the National Heads-Up Poker Championship
|Nickname(s)||Mister Cool, Sammy|
|Residence||Houston, Texas, U.S.|
|Born||1959 (age 57–58)
|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. He has won three bracelets at the WSOP in his career.
Farha moved to the United States after the Lebanese Civil War broke out when he was a teenager. 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 focus on playing 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 in the tournament by Greenstein. He lost the final hand to Moneymaker when he went all-in with a pair of jacks on the flop, only to be called by Moneymaker who had flopped bottom two pair, which held after the final river card was dealt.
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 played it again in 2010, after it was increased to a $10,000 buy-in event. He went on to win his third career bracelet in the tournament, 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 WSOP 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|
Other poker activities
- 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, a detailed guide on Omaha poker strategy. Farha intersperses basic strategies with his own personal strategies, so players can learn not only the game but also 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 2017, his total winnings exceed $2,800,000 in live tournament poker, although he tends to primarily play in high-stakes Omaha cash games. His eleven cashes at the WSOP account for $2,586,105 of those winnings.
- "The 2+2 Forums Older Archives: Moneymaker vs Farha Rematch, Sept 14". archives2.twoplustwo.com.
- "WSOP NEWS: MONEYMAKER SAYS PLAY IT AGAIN SAM". www.wsop.com.
- "Sam Farha's profile on The Hendon Mob". The Hendon Mob Poker Database.
- World Series of Poker Earnings, worldseriesofpoker.com