Sam Farha

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Sam Farha
  • Mister Cool
  • Sammy Farha
ResidenceHouston, Texas, U.S.
Born (1959-02-23) 23 February 1959 (age 65)
Beirut, Lebanon
World Series of Poker
Final table(s)6
Money finish(es)9
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
2nd, 2003
World Poker Tour
Final table(s)None
Money finish(es)3
Information accurate as of 15 July 2009.

Ihsan "Sam" Farha (Arabic: إحسان فرحة; born 23 February 1959 in Beirut, Lebanon) is a Lebanese 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.

Private life[edit]

When the civil war erupted in Lebanon in 1975, the Farha family moved to the United States in search of a better life.

The young Ihsan “Sammy” Farha went on to earn a degree in business administration from the University of Kansas. While completing his studies, he also learned to play pool, ping ball, and the video game Pac Man so well that he earned substantial money by playing these games against others for cash.

After graduating from college, he moved to Houston, Texas. That is where he had his first encounter with poker, in the eighties. Shortly after, he made a trip to Las Vegas. His winnings at the poker tables made him realize he could make a living playing cards. Farha then decided to quit his job and moved to Vegas.[1]

World Series of Poker[edit]

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.[2] On TV, Farha was identified as an "investor", a job Farha said he never actually held but was rather an identity he held to convince people to start a game with him. 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.[3]

In a rematch between Farha and Moneymaker a few months later, organized by PokerStars, Farha won.[4] 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.[5]

World Series of Poker bracelets[edit]

All of Farha's WSOP bracelets have come in Omaha events.[6][7][8]

Year Event Prize Money
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[edit]

  • 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.[9][10] He also has three cashes in World Poker Tour events, for a little over $100,000.[11][12][13]
  • 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 Far More Than Enough, a reality TV poker series, and a video game.[citation needed]
  • Farha is a spokesman for Harrah's casino in Las Vegas.
  • Farha has appeared on the GSN series High Stakes Poker, in seasons 1-4.[14] 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,[6] 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.[15]


  1. ^ "Sammy Farha's Life: Biggest Profits, Losses, Private Life & Net Worth".
  2. ^ Luo, Michael (24 August 2003). "From 'dead money' to big bucks". New Bedford Standard-Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  3. ^ Raskin, Eric (22 May 2013). "When We Held Kings: The oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker, in which an amateur named Moneymaker turned $39 into $2.5 million and the poker boom was born". Grantland.
  4. ^ "The 2+2 Forums Older Archives: Moneymaker vs Farha Rematch, Sept 14".
  5. ^ Dalla, Nolan (2 June 2011). "MONEYMAKER SAYS, 'PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM'". Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  6. ^ a b "Sam Farha's profile on The Hendon Mob". The Hendon Mob Poker Database. Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  7. ^ "37th World Series of Poker - WSOP 2006, Omaha Hi/Lo". The Hendon Mob. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  8. ^ "41st World Series of Poker - WSOP 2010, Omaha Hi/Lo 8 - Championship". The Hendon Mob. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  9. ^ "2006 National Heads-Up Poker Championship, Heads Up No Limit Hold'em". The Hendon Mob. Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  10. ^ "NBC National Heads-Up Championship 2009, No Limit Hold'em". The Hendon Mob. Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  11. ^ "Rendez Vous a Paris, Grand Prix de Paris / WPT - No Limit Hold'em". The Hendon Mob. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  12. ^ "2004 Festa al Lago III Poker Tournament, The Doyle Brunson North American No Limit Hold'em Poker Championship". The Hendon Mob. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  13. ^ "Fifth Annual Five Star World Poker Classic, WPT - No Limit Hold'em Championship". The Hendon Mob. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  14. ^ "High Stakes Poker Reviewed: Sam Farha and Daniel Negreanu Clash". 7 January 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  15. ^ "Sam Farha". Retrieved 3 December 2023.

External links[edit]