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Jerry Yang (poker player)

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Jerry Yang
Nickname(s)The Shadow[1]
ResidenceTemecula, California, U.S.
BornXao Yang
1967 (age 54–55)
Vientiane, Laos
World Series of Poker
Money finish(es)6
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
Winner, 2007
Information accurate as of 16 June 2014.

Xao "Jerry" Yang (born 1967) is an ethnic Hmong poker player from Temecula, California and the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event champion.

Yang started playing poker in 2005.[2] An amateur player at the time, Yang entered the 2007 World Series of Poker after winning a $225 satellite at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula.[3] Prior to the World Series, he had four cashes in local California events.[4] At the final table, Yang went from starting eighth in chips to holding a big chip lead that he never relinquished. The process of accumulating this chip lead involved Yang knocking out seven of the eight other players at the final table.

Heads-up against Tuan Lam, he won the title with 8 8 against Lam's A Q when he hit a nine-high straight on the river after Lam had caught a queen on the flop on a board of 5 Q 9 7 6. After a 12-hour final table, Yang won $8,250,000 for the victory. As he did with other players at the final table, he proceeded to inform Lam that he had a "friend for life". As of 2014, the majority of his live tournament winnings, $8,437,435, resulted from his win at the 2007 Main Event.[5]

Yang summarized his tournament strategy: "I study my opponents very carefully, and when I sensed something, when I sensed some weakness, I took a chance. Even if I had nothing, I decided to raise, reraise, push all-in or make a call....The only way that I could win this tournament was by being aggressive from the very beginning and that’s exactly what I did. And thank God I was also able to pick up some good cards at the same time."[2] Once Yang was guaranteed a share of the prize money, he pledged to donate 10% of his winnings to three charities (the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Feed The Children, and the Ronald McDonald House),[2] as well as his alma mater, Loma Linda University.[6]

As of 2016, Yang's live tournament winnings exceed $8,400,000.

Personal life

Yang, an ethnic Hmong, was born in Laos. When the communists took over in the 1970s, his family escaped to Thailand where they spent four years in a refugee camp. While living in the camp, a brother and sister of his died.

Yang currently lives in Madera, California. Yang holds a master's degree in health psychology from Loma Linda University and worked as a psychotherapist and social worker.[7][8]

He is married and has six children.[3]


  1. ^ USA Today: Who's who at the World Series of Poker's main event final table
  2. ^ a b c Yang wins $8.25 million World Series of Poker, an Associated Press article via MSNBC
  3. ^ a b Jerry Yang profile Archived October 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Jerry Yang
  5. ^ "Jerry Yang – Stats". Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  6. ^ Sole survivor: Yang takes World Series of Poker, $8.25M Archived September 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine from CBS
  7. ^ PE News
  8. ^ "Jerry Yang's Player Info". World Series of Poker official website. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
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Jerry Yang (poker player)
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