Yet another champion was crowned at the Bicycle Hotel and Casino, which saw the conclusion of the WSOP Circuit $1,675 Main Event yesterday evening. This time, the champion title goes to poker pro David Pham who defeated a tough field of 705 contenders to pocket a prize of $216,790 for his top finish.
In addition to the hefty payout, the Vietnamese-American player was awarded the WSOP Circuit ring in recognition of his excellent performance. The winner also received a free seat to the Global Casino Championship which is to take place between August 7 and August 9 at North Carolina’s Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.
Pham finished Day 1A with 120,000 in chips and decided to take a short break on Sunday before he returned on Day 1B with a medium-sized stack. His performance during Day 2 earned him the fourth position on the chip-count list when the 11 survivors returned to Day 3 to compete for a place at the official final table. The nine-handed final table was formed after the elimination of Scott Saunders in 11th place and Brett Murray in 10th place, with the players earning $16,305 each.
Pham, who is known in the professional poker community as a rather aggressive player, decided to change his tactics for this final table by playing a little tighter this time around. The poker pro adopted this quieter approach in the early stages of play when opponents Kevin Gimble ($20,285), Martin Carnero ($25,550), and Adam Swam ($32,590) finished in 9th, 8th, and 7th place, respectively.
Adam Miller was the next victim to hit the rail, finishing in 6th place for the prize of $42,120. Kristy Arnett and Nick Palma were the next ones to leave the final table. Arnett’s 5th place earned her the prize of $55,150 whereas Palma finished fourth for $73,170.
Pham Defeats Tom Braband Heads-Up
Three-handed play commenced between yesterday’s chip leader Owen Crowe, Pham, and Tom Braband. However, at this point it was Braband who held a massive chip lead. Crowe was out preflop with pocket fours against Pham’s pocket eights, which earned him the third spot along with a payout of $98,390. Crowe’s elimination marked the start of the heads-up play between Braband and Pham, who succeeded in regaining his chip lead.
The last hand played saw Braband raising to 285,000 from the button position with [3c][3d]. Pham, who held [10c][10d], responded with a raise to 820,000. His opponent tanked for a while before he went all in for about 5 million in chips. Braband’s shove was quickly called by Pham and the two players saw the flop which consisted of [5s][2c][2d]. Things did not improve for Braband after the [8d] came on the turn but it was the [8c] on the river that officially earned Pham his first ring and a payout of $216,790. Braband was eliminated in 2nd place and went home with $134,145 in prize money.
After his victory, the main-event champion shared he intends to continue improving his game each time he attacks the poker table. The winner also explained that he was living in Vietnam with his family until 2016 but he would visit the United States each year so that he could participate in the World Series of Poker. They decided to move to California permanently so that Pham could concentrate on his poker game full-time.
WSOP success is hardly something new for David Pham as the 51-year-old player boasts almost twenty years of experience in high-stakes poker, during which time he has won three bracelets. His most recent win is just one of many in Pham’s hot streak. Only last week the player came in first for $240,254 at a No-limit Hold’em event that was part of the 2018 The Wynn Spring Classic series.