Jerry Yang biography: 13 things about Hmong poker player born in Vientiane, Laos

Jerry Yang is a poker player of Hmong descent. He is nicknamed The Shadow.

Aside from playing poker, Yang also worked as a psychotherapist and a social worker. He earned his master’s degree in health psychology from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, United States.

A Christian, Yang previously worked as a missionary. He has donated portions of his poker winnings to several charities.

Yang and his wife have six children. Here are 13 more things about him:

  1. He was born Xao Yang in Vientiane, Laos. When the communists took over in Laos in the 1970s, he and his family escaped to Thailand. He has a brother and a sister who died in the refugee camp in Thailand where they lived for four years.
  2. In 1979, he and his family moved from Thailand to the US. He has lived in different parts of California including Temecula and Madera.
  3. In 2005, he started playing poker.
  4. As an amateur poker player, he entered the 2007 World Series of Poker after winning a $225 satellite at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula. On July 6, 2007, he became the champion of the 2007 WSOP main event at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He won $8.25 million and pledged 10 percent of the prize money to three children’s charities namely The Ronald McDonald House, The Make-A-Wish Foundation and Feed the Children.
  5. On October 23, 2008, he ranked fifth in No-Limit Hold’em-Event 17 at the 2008 Festa Al Lago Classic (WPT) at the Bellagio Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.
  6. On February 27, 2010, he ranked fifth in Event 2-No-Limit Hold’em at the 2010 Wynn Classic at Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas.
  7. On June 1, 2010, he ranked 23rd in Event 7-No-Limit Hold’em at the 2010 Mega Stack Series at the Caesars Palace Las Vegas in Las Vegas.
  8. On November 23, 2010, he ranked 21st in Event 27-No-Limit Hold’em Main Event at the 2010 Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza IV at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
  9. In 2011, his autobiography “All In, From Refugee Camp to Poker Champ” was published.
  10. On July 3, 2012, he ranked fourth in Event 77-No-Limit Hold’em Double Stack Turbo at the 2012 Caesars Palace Mega Stack Series at the Caesars Palace Las Vegas.
  11. On November 22, 2015, he ranked 13th in $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em at the 2015 MSPT-Wisconsin Dells at the Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells in Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA.
  12. On June 5, 2016, he ranked 26th in $400 No-Limit Hold’em $50K GTD at the 2016 Summer Classic at the Wynn Las Vegas.
  13. On January 31, 2019, he ranked 20th in $400 No-Limit Hold’em Double Stack at the 2018/2019 WSOP Circuit-Milwaukee at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was 52 years old when he ranked fourth in $400 No-Limit Hold’em BB Ante at the 2018/2019 WSOP Circuit-Milwaukee at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino on February 10, 2019.

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