Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Former Nashville refugee wins $8.25 million at World Series of Poker

From the Los Angeles Times:
[Jerry Yang,] [t]he ethnic Hmong immigrant from Laos, a relative rookie, is getting used to being the world's poker king. He's already bought his wife a new Cadillac Escalade, set aside college funds for their six children and pledged 10% of his windfall to children's charities.


Nicknamed "The Shadow" for his tendency to surge from the back of the pack to win, Yang was eighth out of nine players when the final round began at noon July 17.

After 14 hours, Yang beat Tuan Lam of Ontario, Canada, to win it all — besting 6,358 players in the tournament.


Raised poor in the Laos countryside, Yang and his family fled the Communist takeover in the mid-1970s and spent five years in a Thai refugee camp, where Yang suffered malnutrition. At age 13, Yang went to Nashville, Tenn., then moved to California in 1982.

"I grew up with nothing. I understand what poor kids are going through," Yang said. "I wanted to be a doctor because of all the suffering I've been through."
Photo credit: Kevin Labianco

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