Event #51
Limit S.H.O.E.
Buy-In: $1,000
Number of Entries: 730
Total Prize Money: $664,300
Date of Tournament: July 1-3, 2007


  • The winner of the $1,000 buy-in Limit S.H.O.E. championship was Dao Bac, from Garden Grove, CA. He is a 51-year-old professional poker player. This was his first victory ever at the World Series of Poker.
  • Bac was born in Vietnam. He arrived in the United States in 1989. He is married and has two children.
  • During much of the tournament, Bac read from a leather-bound book when he was not involved in a hand. Bac is a practicing Buddhist. He read from a book on prayer and meditation, he said “to keep him calm during the tournament.” Whatever was written in the book must have worked, as Bac remained cool throughout the three-day event and eventually collected $157,975 in prize money.
  • Bac is the first Vietnamese poker player to win a gold bracelet at this year’s World Series. Vietnamese-born poker players have enjoyed perhaps the highest per capita WSOP wins and earnings of any nationality. However, this year has been a relative drought for the nation that produced the likes of Men Nguyen, David Pham, Tony Ma, and others.
  • This was Bac’s ninth tournament entry this year. He had yet to cash until this moment. Bac did manage to cash twice last year, with winnings totaling just $5,000. Since 1990, Bac has been playing mostly cash games at casinos around San Diego and Los Angeles. He played $3-6 hold’em for many years and gradually became good enough to move up to middle-limit games. Bac has won major tournaments elsewhere and has multiple cashes.
  • Bac was cheered on by a large entourage, which included family and friends. When asked about his plans to celebrate, he said he will go out to a nice dinner later in the evening. He will give the gold bracelet to his wife, Hanh Nguyen.
  • The tournament attracted 730 entries. S.H.O.E. is a rotation of poker which includes four games – Seven-Card Stud, Limit Hold’em, Omaha High-Low, and Stud Eight-or-Better. It has been part of the WSOP menu intermittently for the last decade. It was originally a marketing-driven initiative when the WSOP was played at what was formally Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. In fact, a H.O.R.S.E. event routinely preceded the S.H.O.E. tournament, thus making for the duo of events which spelled out “Horseshoe.”