He may be known as a Southern California cash game pro, but now Todd Bui will be known by another title--gold bracelet winner.
Bui, who only plays a handful of tournaments a year, defeated a seasoned veteran and bracelet winner in his own right, Captain Tom Franklin, to take the title and the $124,510 first place payday in the $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw event. Remarkably, this was Bui's first-ever tournament win.
"It means a lot," Bui said of the bracelet. "This is actually my very first tournament that I've ever won, period, and it just happened to be a World Series of Poker event. It meant a lot because I always thought, 'When would I win my first one?' but it is hard when you only play two, three, four a year, you know?"
Bui's best friend in poker, bracelet winner JC Tran, doesn't have that problem. These two, who met when they were youngsters growing up in Sacramento, were fast poker friends, but ended up taking very different paths. Tran, as we all know, became a No Limit tournament grinder after binking a tournament at the Hustler on a trip to visit Bui, who moved to Southern California to go to college and be closer to the cash game action.
"Me and him are like brothers," Bui explained. "He's one of my best friends in the world and definitely my best friend in poker and my longest friend in poker. Before I moved down to SoCal to go to college, we used to play in a small cardroom in Sacramento...it was me and him every day, we were inseparable. We were like Tom and Jerry."
Today, it was Tran on the rail as Bui faced off against some accomplished heads-up competition in Franklin. Even though it was a formidable foe, Bui felt like the match was his to lose.
This event drew 348 players, generating a $469,800 prize pool. The top 36 finishers cashed in the event, including Dan Kelly (35th), Layne Flack (30th), Bill Chen (23rd), Mike Leah (11th), and Kevin Iacofano, who bubbled what would’ve been his second final table of the series in seventh place.It was another experienced final table as five of the six players already had a WSOP final table on their poker resume. Only David Bell was appearing at his first-ever WSOP final table. The line-up included bracelet winner Aaron Steury (5th) the now-ubiquitous bracelet winner Vladimir Shchemelev who was appearing at his ninth final table in the past seven years.Here are the final table results from the $1,500 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw event:1st: Todd Bui - $124,5102nd: Tom Franklin - $76,9433rd: David Bell - $49,9444th: Vladimir Shchemelev - $33,3885th: Aaron Steury - $22,9356th: David Gee - $16,170
"I thought I had a huge edge, if you want to know the honest to God truth. He even told me heads-up something like that he was in a world of hurt."
Indeed Franklin was. The heads-up battle was a short one and Bui secured his first win, but it may not be his last. Bui always comes out to the series to take part in the mixed game tournaments, and now he will likely play a few more after winning his first event.