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Hachem lucks out again

12/21/2005

Who is ready to move to Australia?

World Series of Poker champion Joe Hachem's lucky streak still hasn't ended, as he pulled a miracle card out on the river against the Australian Taxation Office.

He can take home all of his WSOP winnings tax free.

Under Australian law, Hachem won't have to pay income tax on the $7.5 million he won because he was pursuing a hobby, not a career.

The Melbourne father of four defeated over 5,600 poker players en route to the main event victory in July.

Hachem's lawyers said the Australian Taxation Office had found their client was not in the business of playing poker at the time of his win. Hachem has since become a professional poker player.

"As a result of this finding, the poker winnings were classified as income derived from a hobby, and thus not subject to Australian tax," his lawyer, Peter Donovan, said in a statement.

"The distinction between the conduct of a business and the mere pursuit of a hobby is often a difficult distinction to draw.

"However, the fact that you excel at a particular hobby should not be fatal for tax purposes."