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Jerry Yang


Poker Player Profile – Jerry Yang Poker Player

Poker player, Jerry Yang is known for his win at the WSOP 2007 Main Event, for which he qualified through an online poker tournament.

Entry To Poker

Jerry Yang’s real name is Xao Yang. He came to the United States from Laos in 1979 at the age of 13. He said, “The day the American government called my father’s name and said, ‘Hey, you can come to America,’ that was the happiest day of my life.”. In America Yang fulfilled his father’s dream by obtaining a Masters Degree in health psychology with honors.

Yang started playing poker very late in life unlike most poker professionals. He began to play poker in local casinos in 2005 almost at the age of 40. In 2007 in a $225 satellite poker tournament at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula he won a seat to the WSOP Main Event. Yang was an amateur at that time working as a therapist and social worker. He turned professional only after his Main Event win.

Live Poker Tournaments

Yang converted his investment of $225 into $8.2 million in the WSOP 2007 Main Event. Following an aggressive style of play Yang knocked out all but one of the poker players at the final table, winning 50% of the hands that he entered. He beat Canadian poker professional Tuan Lam in the heads up. After Yang had won he did a victory lap around the poker table and hugged the dealer as well. Though his over exuberant behavior was straight from the heart, the WSOP authorities have issued rules restraining celebrations for future poker tournaments.

Yang summarized his poker strategy as studying his opponents very carefully to find theur weaknesses and being aggressive from the very beginning. He added, “And thank God I was also able to pick up some good cards at the same time.” It was seen that Yang would often pray at critical moments in the poker tournament.

Yang has not achieved anything noteworthy since this win in live poker tournaments. He did enter the WSOP 2008 Main Event but was knocked out early. Yang’s total live tournament earnings are about $8.3 million. He has had 1 first place finish and 2 cashes.

Online Poker

Jerry Yang joined Full Tilt Poker after his WSOP 2007 Main Event win. He plays at the online poker room as Friends of Full Tilt. Though he is a regular at the poker room he is not in the news for his online poker play.

Other Poker Achievements

Yang has not forgotten his humble beginings. When asked whether the bracelet meant more to him or the prize money, Yang chose the money. He said that with the money one could help others. True to this philosophy Yang donated 10% of his winnings to three charities - the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Feed the Children and the Ronald McDonald House. He also contributed to the Loma Linda University, from where he had graduated.

Yang continues to live in Temecula, California with his wife and six children. Every time he went all in during the WSOP poker tournament he would kiss a photograph of his children. After winning, Yang averred that his wife would no longer have to work and that his children would receive the best possible education.

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