Another bracelet found its owner today. These are the words you’ll hear quite often these days as the World Series of Poker is moving full speed ahead. But what is special about the latest winner is the fact that this was his very first tournament win – ever, and it came in WSOP Event #16 – $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw.
Todd Bui is a Southern California cash game pro and he only plays a couple tournaments a year. So it is no wonder that he had no previous victories. But having your very first victory coincide with a WSOP bracelet event is certainly a very nice bonus.
To get there, he had to beat a seasoned tournament player and bracelet winner in Captain Tom Franklin. Franklin had experience on his side, but Bui had chips and support on the rail from his friend JC Tran. These two have been poker friends for a long time, although they have taken different paths career-wise. One has turned to cash games, while the other grinds the tournament circuit.
Starting with about a 2:1 chip advantage, Bui actually made short work of his opponent. First, he grinded him down some more before they took a short break and then finished off what he had started in the first couple hands after the break. On the last hand of the match, Bui’s Ten-Eight managed to stand up against Franklin’s 3x 6x 5x 8x as Tom drew another five on his last draw and it was all over.
Bui became the WSOP bracelet owner, earning $124,510 in the process. Captain Franklin had to be satisfied with a second place finish and the $76,943 prize attached to it.
Of course, the final table had six seats filled with bracelet contenders and they deserve a mention as well. David Bell fell in third place at the hands of Captain Franklin and secured $49,944. One-time $50k H.O.R.S.E runner-up Vladimir Shchemelev headed for the rail in fourth place after his Eighty-Seven was no match for Franklin’s absolute nuts (2x 3x 4x 5x 7x). For this finish, Shchemelev earned $33,388.
Fifth place went to yet another bracelet winner. Aaron Steury fell to Shchemelev, whose Eighty-Seven was good enough to send Steury out with $22,935. David Gee was the first victim of the final table today, as Bui’s “number three” (2x 3x 5x 6x 7x) sent him to the rail with $16,170 for his efforts.
Competition in this tournament was nothing to sneeze at, as many notables like Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Jason Mercier and Dan Smith all took part. This is even more reason for Bui to be proud of his first-ever tournament victory!