Apr 01, 2013
WSOP Champion Jerry Yang discusses Tax Troubles
By RTR Dennis
When Jerry Yang won the 2007 WSOP Main Event along with $8.25 million, it literally seemed like his prayers had been answered. After all, Yang is notorious for pleading with God to help him out with every big hand during the 2007 ME. But perhaps the poker champ has missed a few too many days of church lately since the Internal Revenue Service is coming after him for hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes.
The IRS has already seized his Main Event gold bracelet along with a number of expensive watches, gold necklaces and a piece of property. Due to his recent tax troubles, rumors have been swirling about Yang – including whisperings that he may be broke.
Wanting to set the record straight about this matter, Jerry Yang recently went on Fifth Street Radio, which discusses popular stories around the poker industry. Yang said that he made a big mistake in not paying taxes before donating 10% of his WSOP windfall to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Ronald McDonald House. Additionally, he gave money to his church, helped out relatives and started a restaurant with the money. Yang also said:
"I did pay my state taxes, over $900,000. Unfortunately, I’m not going to blame anybody but myself, but I encountered people that I thought I could trust and would give me good advice, but unfortunately some of the people that I hired or got on my team were advising me in the wrong way, if you will."
One more problem that Yang ran into was having his money in Bank of America during the US banking crisis of 2008. Because of the crisis, he wasn’t able to withdraw his money and pay off the taxes.
Despite all of his tax problems, Jerry Yang still finds time to play poker these days. The California native has cashed in 18 tournaments since the 2007 Main Event victory. His biggest tourney score aside from the huge ME payout was the $75,000 he earned for taking fifth place in the 2010 NBC Heads-Up Championship. Yang has $8,441,758 in career tournament winnings.