Jerry Yang’s rise to fame and fortune is truly one that belongs in a fairy tale. Born in Laos, in 1968, an ethnic Hmong, Yang and his family were forced to flee the communist onslaught of the 70s. They spent four years in a refugee camp in Thailand during which a brother and a sister of his died.
To say that Jerry Yang has emerged a winner against all the odds in life, would probably be a huge understatement. Many people consider themselves poor or under-privileged, even though they’re a thousand times better off than Yang and his family used to be in the 70s.
Moving to the U.S. in 1979 proved to be the decision that would change his family’s fate forever. Once in the States, the young Jerry Yang set out to establish a home, a career and a family: all luxuries that had seemed quite unattainable at a certain point in his life.
Having graduated from the Loma Linda University with a Master’s degree in health psychology, Yang began working as a social worker. Father of six, he could already call himself a successful man, especially so considering the odds he had had to deal with in life up to that moment. Apparently though, life had a much bigger debt to pay out to the 39 year old psychologist from Temecula, California and it had indeed saved the best for last.
He began playing poker in 2005, in local casinos, and soon he found poker might be something that could turn into much more than a mere hobby for him.
He got his first break in WPT’s 2006 LA Poker Classic in which he finished 18th and earned $2,871. Still a small timer, he took 8th place in WSOP’s 2006 tournament circuit NL Holdem event in Harrah’s in San Diego. While that feat only landed him $805, it later proved to be a prelude of much bigger achievements to come.
He finished in the money twice more in 2006, in the National Championship of Poker (3rd place, and $6,985), and the Holiday Bonus tournament where he finished 12th and won $1,408.
Why do some poker networks absolutely loathe rakeback? The reason is simple: different poker rooms within their network use better and better rakeback deals to entice players to join. Often, these players come from within the same network. This way, rake rebate leads to a huge number of new sign-ups which is misleading as they come from other network member sites. The network as a whole ends up giving more and more of its players’ rake back, and at the end of the day, the whole rakeback scheme backfires.
His real break as a poker player would come in 2007 though. Having earned his WSOP main event seat in a $225 buy-in satellite at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Yang knew he had to adopt an "all or nothing” stance in the event itself, if he ever wanted to reach a paying position. According to him, he constantly stalked his opponents for signs of weakness which he would then systematically exploit by acting aggressively. He kept up his aggressiveness all through the tournament which eventually proved to be the right choice as he reached final table in 8th spot on the chip-count. Soon however, he found himself the chip leader, a position which he never let slip out of his grasp from there on.
The last hand that he played (and which brought him the victory) was an 8c, 8d, which he threw up against Tuan Lam’s Ad, Qd. The flop brought another Q which prompted early celebrations in Lam’s camp, complete with flag-waving and cheers, but Lady Luck would not leave Jerry side that day.
He eventually made a 9-high straight beating Tuan Lam’s QQ, and after 12 hours of play, he was declared the winner of the 2007 WSOP main event, and the proud possessor of a Championship bracelet and $8,250,000 in prize money, 10% of which went to charity as Yang had promised as soon as he had found out he’d be finishing in the money.
Are you better off playing in a poker room which offers dealt rake contribution or one which offers contributed poker rake calculus? That depends on what sort of player you are. If you’re a tight aggressive player, contributed rake contribution will give you more rakeback. If you are a tight rock though, you’ll get more rake back via the dealt method.
Make sure you choose the rakeback deal best suited for your style of play.
After his extraordinary 2007 win, Yang pretty much went back to being a recreational type of small-timer. In 2007, he won $1,324 more in Binion’s Poker Open, in a NL Holdem event.
After his main event win, Jerry Yang quit his job and set about to make another dream of his – to own his own business - come true.