Beirut-born Ihsan (Sammy) is famous for his unpredictable poker style, expensive fashion sense and entertaining personality, but mostly for losing to Chris Moneymaker, the poker rookie who made poker an “everyman” game.
When Sam Farha was in his teens a civil war broke out in Lebanon, which drove him to migrate to Wichita, Kansas. Sam Farha attended the University of Kansas, graduating with a degree in Business Management, and later he moved to Houston, Texas to work with his brother. Fate called: it was in Houston where Farha first played poker and won several thousand of dollars. In 1990 he quit his job to play poker full time.
Sam Farha is famous for his bluffs – he often successfully represents to have a full house when actually he has nothing. With his gold chains, designer suits and an unlit cigarette in his mouth, Sammy is a star. He recently made a cameo appearance on the movie “Lucky You” also starring Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall, Debra Messing, Eric Bana and Robert Downey Jr.
Sam Farha is unstoppable in PL Omaha, and he has the hardware to prove it: one WSOP bracelet from the 1996 $2500 Pot Limit Omaha event and the other from the 2006 $5000 Limit Omaha, but he is better known for the one he didn’t win: the legendary 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event where he finished 2nd to Chris Moneymaker. In that Main Event he was famously left with a very short stack by Barry Greenstein, and he was on the verge of quitting, but Greenstein talked him into staying and he bounced all the way back to the heads-up with Moneymaker. A few months later PokerStars organized a rematch, where Farha beat Moneymaker fair and square.
Sammy has always been good at skill games – he once won a $5,000 cash prize on a single game of Pac-man, and he also excels on pinball. Farha is currently the spokesman of Harrah’s Casino in Las Vegas, and his total live tournaments winnings exceed $2,100,000.
Farha’s game analysis (by Barry Greenstein):
- Aggressiveness: 7
- Looseness: 8
- Short-handed: 8
- Limit: 4
- No-limit: 7
- Tournaments: 6
- Side games: 6
- Steam control: 5
- Against weak players: 7
- Against strong players: 7