Kassem Ibrahim “Freddy” Deeb
Kassem Ibrahim “Freddy” Deeb (born November 27, 1955 in Beirut, Lebanon) is a professional poker player who emigrated from Lebanon to the United States at the age of 19.
Deeb was attending Utah State University when civil war broke out in Lebanon in 1975. He lost contact with his parents (who had been sending him money to support his education) for two years. Deeb was unable to gain employment due to the restrictions of his student visa, so he began gambling. Deeb was forced to leave his education, just 12 credits away from graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
At the 1996 World Series of Poker (WSOP), he won the $5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw event, receiving $146,250 and besting a field that also contained Mickey Appleman, Gabe Kaplan, David Grey and Doyle Brunson. He also finished in the money of the World Series of Poker Main Event twice, placing 17th in the 1995 World Series of Poker and 13th in the 2003 World Series of Poker.
He won the fourth season World Poker Tour (WPT) Ultimate Poker Classic event, where he won $1,000,000.
Deeb has also appeared in the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament series and in the GSN series, High Stakes Poker.
Deeb is well-known for wearing patterned/multi-colored shirts, one of which became famous at the 2003 World Series of Poker. Holding pocket Kings, Deeb went all-in against Phil Ivey, who flopped three sevens; a third King appeared on the turn and Deeb won the pot. Afterwards, Ivey remarked, “Must be the shirt.” World Series of Poker tournament director Matt Savage referred to the same shirt as the “magic shirt” during a pot-limit Omaha tournament in the 2004 World Series of Poker, after Deeb eliminated two players (one of whom was Howard Lederer) on the same hand.
As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceed $6,100,000. His 28 cashes at the WSOP account for $3,453,659 of those winnings.
$50,000 World Championship H.O.R.S.E.
On June 29, 2007 Deeb won the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at the 2007 World Series of Poker winning $2,276,832. During five-handed play, Deeb was down to his last $365,000 in chips, but managed to recover and win the WSOP bracelet. Deeb said that he did not appreciate his first bracelet because he did not recognize what it meant. “But this one – it means everything to me. These are the toughest players in the world. It has the highest buy-in. Except for the $10,000 buy-in (Main Event), this is the bracelet that means the most of any of them.”