06/01/09 12:27:38 AM PDT
Congratulations to Thang Luu - Event #3 Champion ($263,135)
It's been a year of records so far at the 2009 WSOP and only fitting that Event #3, $1,500 Omaha 8-or-Better, concluded with another history-making performance. Last year's defending champion, Thang Luu, eclipsed a record-setting field of 918 entrants to capture his second gold bracelet! Not only is this Luu's second bracelet, it's his second in the same event in consectutive years.
Back in 2007, Luu took second place in this same event for $147,726. Last year, Luu topped that performance with a win in the same event for $243,342 in what was the largest Omaha tournament ever played. This year, Luu came out on top of a larger field than last year and earned himself $263,135. In total, Thang's earned over $650,000 for all three of those finishes! As Nolan Dalla mentioned, "This feat has only been equalled by Johnny Chan back in the 1980s."
Luu was the chip leader after Day 1 finished up and as of yesterday, claimed that he was feeling really good about this tournament. He was never really the big stack at the final table, but drove the action and picked his spots well. When play got down to three handed, Luu simply took over and began crushing the competition. From there, it was smooth sailing.
Congratulations to Thang Luu for his win and amazing back-to-back-to-back performances!
06/01/09 12:13:31 AM PDT
Ed Smith Eliminated in 2nd Place ($162,110)
Ed Smith limped in from the button and left himself with only a tiny bit more than one small bet left. Thang Luu opted to try and get his opponent all in and raised. Smith just called with a few thousand behind.
The flop came down and Luu stuck in the money to put Smith all in. Smith went with his hand, saying, "All right, let's go."
The turn brought the and the river the and that was it for Smith. He would be eliminated in second place, earning $162,110 for his efforts.
On the other hand, the winner, Thang Luu, completed an amazing feat by winning the event for the second year in a row! Don't forget, in 2007 he also placed second in this event!
06/01/09 12:06:48 AM PDT
Chop, Chop, Chop
Severely short stacked, Ed Smith has been getting his money all in preflop for the past few hands. Thang Luu was up to the challenge each time, but could only muster enough of a hand to score half of the pot. Smith has been taking the other half opposite Luu to stay alive.
06/01/09 12:04:58 AM PDT
Smith Doubles and Stays Alive
With his last 100,000 or so, Ed Smith stuck it in preflop and Thang Luu made the call.
The flop was big for Smith when it landed to give him a full house. Luu had outs to a low, but it wouldn't be after the turn and rive came the followed by the .
With that pot, Smith was able to double to a little over 200,000 chips.
06/01/09 12:01:43 AM PDT
Luu Cripples Smith
On a flop of , Thang Luu bet out and Ed Smith called. The turn brought the and Luu stayed on the gas petal with another bet. Smith called again.
After the river fell the , Luu backed down with a check. Smith checked behind.
Luu rolled over for the winning hand after Smith showed .
With that crippled blow, Smith is left with only slightly over 100,000 chips.
05/31/09 11:47:31 PM PDT
Another One For Luu
After Ed Smith limped his button, Thang Luu raised. Smith made the call.
The flop came down and Luu led with a bet. Smith came along.
The turn brought the and checks from both players. The river was the and Luu fired. Smith mucked his hand and Luu moved to three million chips.
05/31/09 11:44:37 PM PDT
Thang Luu is steadily applying pressure to his opponent Ed Smith, especially from the button. Luu is raising almost every button to attack from position. Smith has dropped to just 1.3 million chips. Luu has over double him with approximately 2.9 million.
Is Luu going to repeat? This is already his third top-two finish in three years... amazing!
05/31/09 11:39:18 PM PDT
Luu Storms Ahead
Thang Luu just scooped a pot worth a few hundred thousand chips when he made the nut low and a ten-high diamond flush. Ed Smith held the second-best low and mucked his other cards.
Luu - 2,600,000
Smith - 1,600,000
05/31/09 11:27:23 PM PDT
Ed Smith Takes a Pot
On a flop of , Luu led out and Smith called. Smith called again after the hit the turn, and led out at the after Luu checked.
When Luu called, Smith turned over for a set and Luu mucked.
05/31/09 11:22:49 PM PDT
As we mentioned earlier in the day, Thang Luu has an impressive history in this event. In 2007, he finished second and, last year, he improved his result, walking away with the bracelet.
To reach heads-up play again in 2009 is an incredible achievement in a modern WSOP and, if he wins, he will join an elite group of players who have won the same event in consecutive years.
05/31/09 11:15:55 PM PDT
Heads-Up Chip Counts
Thang Luu and Ed Smith are very closely stacked in heads-up play.
Thang Luu - 2,3000,000
Ed Smith - 1,800,000
05/31/09 11:15:00 PM PDT
Ming Reslock Eliminated 3rd ($106,373)
Ming Reslock's tournament ended at the hands of defending champion Thang Luu.
On a flop of , Reslock check-called Luu. When the came on the turn, she check-raised all in and turned over a gutshot straight draw. Luu showed for two pair when the river was a blank.
Reslock earned $106,373.
05/31/09 11:02:37 PM PDT
Players are back from the break. Blinds are 30,000/60,000.
05/31/09 10:44:27 PM PDT
We are on a 20-minute break. We'll be at 30,000/60,000 when we return.
05/31/09 10:35:10 PM PDT
With three players left, here are the updated chip counts.
Thang Luu - 2,150,000
Ed Smith - 1,500,000
Ming Reslock - 375,000
05/31/09 10:30:00 PM PDT
Set Over Set
Thang Luu won a nice sized pot from Ming Reslock when Reslock led out on a flop of and Luu raised.
Reslock check-called the on the turn and both players checked the on the river. When the hands were turned up, Reslock showed a set of fours while Luu showed a set of Queens, which were good enough to scoop.
05/31/09 10:11:18 PM PDT
No Money for New Designs
They've put the Champion's bracelet on the final table next to Thang Luu, last year's winner in this event.
Luu gave it a quick look and said, "It's the same as last year. They changed the 8 to a 9, but it's the same."
Still, we don't think he'll complain if he ends up with a matching pair.
05/31/09 10:06:15 PM PDT
Ming "Joy" Reslock raised from the button before Thang Luu made it three bets from the small blind. Reslock called after Ed Smith folded.
was the flop and Luu bet. Reslock called. The turn was the and Luu bet. Reslock raised and then Luu reraised. Reslock called.
The river fell the and Luu bet. Reslock made the call.
Luu showed for the nut low and the nut flush. Reslock won a quarter of the pot with .
05/31/09 09:37:26 PM PDT
Robert Price Eliminated in 4th Place ($73,405)
On a board of , Robert Price called a bet from Thang Luu to put himself all in. Luu had Price drawing dead with against Price's .
The river came the and that was it for Price. He went home in 4th place earning $73,405.
05/31/09 09:27:26 PM PDT
Pascal Leyo Eliminated 5th ($53,293)
Before his big blind, Pascal Leyo announced he would push all in with any ace. When he looked at his hand, he started begging Thang Luu to raise.
"Come on, put it in," Leyo implored.
Luu didn't bite, but Ming Reslock did. Pascal then announced he was playing blind. Reslock turned over while Leyo showed .
Reslock scooped with three 2s and an ace kicker, sending Leyo home in fifth place with $53,293.