Poker is an amazing opportunity to show off your skills and game knowledge — and to prove that sometimes having a chip and a chair can take you all the way to the top of the hill! So it was with Todd Bui when he began Day 3 of Event #16: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw with the second shortest stack and only five big bets.
When Bui was asked about how he felt about starting with a short stack and what he had to overcome to reach the #1 spot, his response was: "In this format, I wasn't too worried. You have to produce a hand. I wasn't trying to move up spots. I came in trying to win and had one goal. I achieved it."
Bui learned to play poker with JC Tran and said they both started playing low limits together in Sacramento, CA, until Bui moved to Los Angeles — mainly because of the poker scene. He also said he rarely plays tournaments and "This is my first tournament win of any kind."
"I said before I came here this year that I was going bracelet hunting," Bui said. "The very next event I played after saying that was this one."
Final Table Results
Bui had to get through a field of 348 players to take home the gold bracelet and the berry patch was filled with more than one thorn that was also looking to add gold to their poker resume: Josh Arieh, David Benefield, Ted Forrest, Daniel Negreanu, Justin Bonomo, Phil Galfond, Phil Ivey, Tom Schneider, and Scott Clements.
When Day 2 began Mike Leah had the chip lead, and the field still had a major wrecking crew in it that would bust the bracelet hunt if possible: like Jason Mercier, Stephen Chidwick, Todd Brunson, and Dan Smith.
When Day 2 came to an end, only eight players remained with "Captain" Tom Franklin holding the chip lead. Those making the money list were Dan Kelly (35th - $2,767), Brunson (31st - $2,767), Layne Flack (30th - $3,359), Daniel Idema (25th - $3,359), Chidwick (24th - $3,359), Smith (21st - $4,082), and Leah (11th - $6,586).
The final table had WSOP bracelet winner Aaron Steury (5th - $22,935), one-time $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. runner-up Vladimir Shchemelev (4th - $33,388), and David Bell (3rd - $49,944). If it sounds like a tough table, it was! Especially when you consider that Bui was the shortest stacks when play went to three-handed but he managed a run where he won six of seven hands and took over the chip lead and never gave it up.
Todd Bui started heads-up play with a 2:1 chip lead over Tom Franklin.
After a break, Franklin put the last of his chips in after the first draw. Franklin and Bui both drew one and Bui stood pat. Franklin drew one and Bui turned over his hand:
Franklin had and any card nine or lower that did not pair him up would give him the win. He squeezed his cards one at a time but his fifth card paired him — a .
Sarah Grant and Todd sit down for a moment to talk about his win: