Le scores his first bracelet after his fourth final table in PLO over the last two summers
July 1, 2017 (Las Vegas, NV) - Tommy Le proved that his 2016 World Series of Poker was no fluke. He is an absolute beast at the game of Pot-Limit Omaha.
Last summer, Le final tabled the $25,000, $10,000 and the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, finishing in second, third and fifth, respectively. On Saturday night, Le made a repeat appearance at the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha championship event, but this time he took it down.
Le defeated a field of 428 players to win $938,732 and his first career bracelet, defeating Chris Lee heads-up.
"[It's a] monkey off my back," said the 35-year-old from Southern California. "I've made so many of these final tables and I've felt like the guy that could never win it. That could get there, but could never close. So, it feels amazing to finally get it. Especially for all my friends and family for all the support that I've been given. It feels like I kind of won it for them actually. More for them than myself."
Le comes from a long lineage of poker playing success. His two other brothers are both successful players as well. Last year, while Tommy was final tabling three different Pot-Limit Omaha buy-ins, his brother Allan won his first bracelet in the $1,500 Mixed Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event. His other brother Nam is a very successful professional who has won over $7.3 million playing live tournaments.
Tommy, however, is not a pro. He's an entrepreneur that makes his living off of the felt. In his own words, he's kind of a fish.
"I own multiple businesses. I'm an entrepreneur at heart," said Le. "I don't play poker for a living, you know. At the same time, I'm not bad at it. I don't really know what you would consider a professional player. You could say I'm a tough fish, right? I'm a strong fish is what I am."
The fact that Le doesn't make his living on the felt is part of the reason, he feels he's been so successful at the game. He's able to relax and make some unorthodox plays without the pressure of having to pay the bills with the results.
"I think because I don't do this for a living it helps a lot because there are a lot of situations where I'm borderline a fish or a genius," said Le. "Because a lot of the plays I make, had they called or it didn't go my way, I would look like an idiot. But a lot of the time it does work out, so I look like a genius. I don't play with a lot of pressure. I just play for fun."
His love for the game and desire to play the game means that you can find him at the table outside of the high-stakes events. Any time there is an Omaha tournament, regardless of the buy-in, there is a good chance you'll find him at the table.
"I'll drive 45 minutes to go play a $100 buy-in with like 20 players," he said. "Because I enjoy the game. I enjoy PLO tournaments. I play for the love of it. It's nice to win a million bucks too. Don't get me wrong."
For the most part, however, Le plays in the Southern California home games and doesn't head to many of the casinos. According to Le, he finds the atmosphere to be more enjoyable and the players are more likely to be having a good time.
He also is able to get into a lot of the games because he isn't afraid to put chips into the middle.
"I pretty much get into any game that I want, or most of the games that I want, becaue I give a lot of action," said Le. "Because I come to have a good time."
The event was played eight-handed and the final eight players reached the final table in the middle of Day 3. They stopped when they reached eight players so that the final table could be streamed live on PokerGo with a 30-minute delay.
Two-time bracelet winner Scott Clements came into the final day as the chip leader with Le on his heels second in chips. Clements was also on Le's direct left for the tournament's last day of action, which made Day 4 much tougher than Day 3 for the eventual winner thanks to Clements' relentless aggression.
"I think I had the worst seat at the table," said Le. "Last night, it went pretty smooth and i was cruising all the way through. But today it was a different. I think everybody came fresh and came with a game plan. They probably did their homework on me. I was playing a lot of hands. i was making a lot of moves. And I think Scott had a game plan.
"He made it really, really difficult for me to play. Like, he took me out of my element I think half the hands I raised on the button, he would pot from the small blind. i think that was his game plan and it worked. So, I came back from dinner and I re-strategized. I had to come in with a different game plan and it worked out."
Clements was active against Le and was involved in many pots early, including the knockout of Miltiadis Kyriakides in eighth place. They got the last of Kyriakides' chips into the middle preflop in the lead with against Clements' .
The flop was favorable for Kyriakides, but the came on the turn to give Clements a set and the lead. The river was no help and Kyriakides was eliminated in eighth place.
Throughout the early portion of the final table, Le was faltering and it was Clements and Hani Mio battling for the top chip stack. Both players were involved in the pot that sent Murat Tulek home in seventh place. Tulek was short and got all in against Clements and Mio on a flop of . Mio bet the turn and river with the board being completed with the and the .
Clements called the turn and folded the river. Mio hshowed the nut flush and eliminated Tulek, while taking some chips from Clements and put some distance between himself and the rest of the field.
Mio continued to run good before the dinner break when he eliminated 2011 November Niner Eoghan O'Dea in sixth place. O'Dea got all in preflop with and was in the lead agianst Mio's .
The flop was and Mio's top set sent the Irish pro home in sixth. The final five players went on a dinner break and Mio was the runaway chip leader. Like Le mentioned, over the break, he made some adjustments to his play and things turned around for him when cards got back in the air.
He immediately won some pots without showdown and quickly chipped up. Then, he eliminated Jason DeWitt in fifth place after he flopped bottom set against DeWitt's top pair and the nut flush draw. He was second in chips at that point and never really seemed to be in danger after that.
Clements was eliminated in fourth place by Mio after he turned a flush against Clements' top pair. Clements shoved the turn and was called by Mio. Clements was drawing dead and Mio took the chip lead into three-handed play against Le and Lee.
Over the course of the next hour of three-handed play, Le emerged as the chip leader as Mio dwindled down to the short stack. Mio was eliminated in third by Le and he took a more than 2-to-1 chip lead into heads-up against Lee.
Le slowly extended his lead before finally putting lee away just shy of his second bracelet. On a flop of , they got all the chips in the middle with Le as a big favorite. Le showed top and bottom pair against Lee's bottom two pair.
Le faded a bad beat and took home the hardware. lee earned $580,177 for his second place. finish.
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Final Table Results:
1st: Tommy Le - $938,732
2nd: Chris Lee - $580,177
3rd: Hani Mio - $397,836
4th: Scott Clements - $277,768
5th: Jason DeWitt - $197,533
6th: Eoghan O'Dea - $143,128
7th: Murat Tulek - $105,705
8th: Miltiadis Kyriakides - $79,599