A psychologist from California with less than two years of poker experience won the World Series of Poker, thanks to a combination of canny, aggressive play and timely hands. Jerry Yang entered the last hand with $107 million, a WSOP record, and personally eliminated seven of his final eight rivals to take home the $8.25-million prize.
A Hmong immigrant from Laos who grew up in rural poverty and came to the US at age 13, Yang defeated Vietnamese-born runner-up Tuan Lam, an Ontario native. Yang entered the final round of nine with the second-smallest stack of chips, which inspired his aggressive tactics. He will donate 10% to charity.