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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | WSOP 2008 Tournaments

Thang Luu Wins Event 6 With Pure Aggression

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The first Omaha tournament of the 2008 World Series of Poker drew quite the crowd. A total of 833 players came to participate in the $1,500 Omaha hi-lo split 8-or-better event, and playing down to the final nine on Day 2 was quite the feat. The game isn’t a fast one by nature, and it took from 3pm until after 6am to determine the ones who would return on Day 3 to play for the WSOP title.

Those top nine came to the final table with the following chip stacks:

Thang Luu

Greg Jamison

Chris Falconer

Scott Clements

Spencer Lawrence

Mark Wilds

George Guzman

Craig Sabel

James Pritchard


Play began at the 21st level with 6,000/12,000 blinds. Action started a bit slow, but Scott Clements got aggressive before too long. He took the high half of a sizable pot that went to showdown, but then things took a turn. He lost a showdown against three other players and fell to 205,000. Another hit to his stack came shortly thereafter, and a hand against Wilds left him absolutely crippled with only 30K in chips.

Clements waited for a hand, and when he found one, he pushed his 12,000 into the pot. The blinds called and checked it down as the cards came {J-Clubs}-{9-Diamonds}-{J-Diamonds}-{2-Hearts}-{8-Hearts}. Pritchard showed {J-Spades}-{Q-Clubs}-{K-Hearts}-{2-Clubs} for a full house, which prompted Luu to fold, and Clements to show Aces before folding and shaking hands. Scott Clements, two-time WSOP champion, was eliminated in 9th place for $22,172.

Mark Wilds was the next player in trouble when a hand with Luu went horribly wrong, Wilds was rivered for the low and lost the high, putting Luu up to 800,000 and lowering Wilds to 100,000. A short while later, Wilds found himself with only 10,000 after distributing chips slowly but surely. He was all-in from the small blind for that 10K, Luu called, and Guzman checked his big blind option. Both players checked the {Q-Diamonds}-{7-Hearts}-{10-Spades} flop, and the turn of a {7-Clubs} prompted a bet from Guzman and fold from Luu. Wilds then showed {J-Clubs}-{9-Spades}-{4-Diamonds}-{2-Diamonds}, and Guzman produced {J-Spades}-{9-Diamonds}-{A-Clubs}-{7-Diamonds}. An {A-Hearts} on the river gave Guzman a full house, and Mark Wilds went home in 8th place with $30,700.

Craig Sabel hadn’t had much of a chance to get anything going chip-wise, and when he did become involved in a strong pot with Lawrence, he lost the pot and scarcely had enough left to take care of the blinds. He did scoop a hand after that to survive with 130K in chips, but it wouldn’t be long before he had to make a move.

And it happened. Sabel was all-in in the big blind with two callers. Lawrence and Guzman checked the {4-Spades}-{5-Hearts}-{K-Clubs} flop, but Lawrence bet on the {Q-Hearts} turn and Guzman folded. The cards were turned up: Lawrence with {Q-Clubs}-{Q-Diamonds}-{6-Hearts}-{4-Diamonds} and Sabel with {A-Diamonds}-{6-Spades}-{10-Spades}-{Q-Clubs}. The river was a {4-Hearts}, and Craig Sabel was gone in 7th place with $39,228.

The eliminations began to happen more quickly. Next would be Greg Jamison all-in in the big blind. Three callers came before the board showed {3-Clubs}-{A-Spades}-{6-Hearts}-{10-Spades}-{Q-Clubs}, and everyone checked it down. Guzman showed [4]-{8-Clubs}-{6-Diamonds}-{6-Clubs}, Lawrence showed {10-Clubs}-{10-Hearts}-{K-Diamonds}-{2-Diamonds}, and Jamison had {K-Spades}-{K-Clubs}-{9-Hearts}-{5-Diamonds} only to be shown the door and a check for $50,598.

Chris Falconer took the next step and raised for his low stack of 80K. Luu and Guzman called and checked down when the board came {9-Diamonds}-{10-Hearts}-{5-Hearts}-{A-Diamonds}-{5-Diamonds}. Luu revealed the winning hand with {2-Diamonds}-{7-Diamonds}-{J-Diamonds}-{6-Clubs}, Guzman lost the hand, and Falconer’s {A-Spades}-{2-Clubs}-{K-Spades}-{K-Clubs} lost to send him home in 5th place with $64,243.

James Pritchard tried to take a stand against Lawrence, and all of his chips were in the pot pre-flop. Pritchard showed {A-Hearts}-{2-Spades}-{K-Spades}-{8-Clubs}, and Lawrence turned over {2-Hearts}-{3-Clubs}-{Q-Diamonds}-{9-Diamonds}. The board came {8-Diamonds}-{8-Spades}-{4-Spades}-{4-Clubs}-{Q-Hearts}, and Pritchard doubled to 400K. And he was soon all-in again as the blinds rose quickly. Pritchard came in from the small blind with {6-Spades}-{4-Spades}-{5-Diamonds}-{10-Diamonds}, and Luu called from the big blind with {K-Hearts}-{Q-Hearts}-{2-Diamonds}-{9-Hearts}. The board came {J-Diamonds}-{4-Diamonds}-{J-Clubs}-{K-Spades}-{7-Clubs}, and Pritchard was gone in 4th place with $78,456.

George Guzman was next to go all-in, and he did so pre-flop against Lawrence. He showed {K-Diamonds}-{7-Hearts}-{Q-Clubs}-{9-Spades}, and Lawrence had {A-Diamonds}-{A-Clubs}-{Q-Diamonds}-{9-Diamonds}. The dealer gave them {3-Hearts}-{3-Diamonds}-{4-Spades}-{A-Hearts}-{6-Hearts}, and Guzman would not survive this hand. He left in 3rd place with $93,806.

Heads-up play got underway between the two remaining players:

Spencer Lawrence

Thang Luu


Luu kept his aggressive stance and pumped it up a notch. His determination was clear, and a short while in, he was up by more than a 2-1 chip lead. Lawrence came back to even it up in just one hand, even surpassing him a bit in subsequent hands, but Luu wasn’t giving up.

A key hand of heads-up action was on a board of {A-Hearts}-{9-Hearts}-{7-Diamonds}-{10-Hearts}-{K-Clubs}, and the pot had grown on each street. Numerous raises took place after the river, and when Luu showed {K-Hearts}-{Q-Hearts}-{10-Clubs}-{8-Spades}, it was the winning hand and he sent Lawrence into the lowlands with less than 600K.

Then came the hand! Luu raised pre-flop, and Lawrence called. After the flop of {7-Diamonds}-{K-Spades}-{8-Diamonds}, Luu bet, Lawrence check-raised, and Luu reraised. Eventually, as raises continued, Lawrence ended up all-in. Cards were shown as Lawrence with {6-Hearts}-{5-Diamonds}-{9-Diamonds}-{5-Clubs} and Luu with {4-Diamonds}-{K-Diamonds}-{3-Clubs}-{7-Hearts}. The turn and river were {8-Clubs} and {K-Clubs}, and Luu won with a full house.

Spencer Lawrence was eliminated in 2nd place for a prize of $156,343.

Thang Luu won the $1,500 Omaha hi-lo split 8-or-better tournament, $243,356, and a World Series of Poker bracelet. Congrats!

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