In Jerry Yang’s life story, opening a sushi restaurant in Merced may be a footnote.
Consider this: His family was caught trying to escape war-torn Laos. Communist soldiers were a trigger-pull away from executing him. The family did escape and spent four-and-a-half years in a Thailand refugee camp before immigrating to the United States.
Jerry Yang was the 2007 world champion, and he won $8,250,000! Here he sets out how his life has changedsince starting poker playing.
I have six kids and had been working as a psychologist for a foster family agency. So my income, before winning the Main Event, was not too good. Eight million dollars in prize money changed our lives. My wife stopped working and is now able to spend a lot more time with our children. I contributed 10% to charity, and I’ve since opened a Japanese restaurant called Pocket 8’s Sushi and Grill in California, named after my winning hand.
Jerry Yang took a lot of flack at the poker tables when he won the 2007 World Series of Poker main event, partially for his faith and partially for his lack of “poker pro image.” In fact he seemed to disappear from the poker world for a while, not living up to the “face of poker” role that is expected of WSOP champs. But the one thing people can’t say about Jerry Yang is that he doesn’t have a big heart.