JC Tran’s BFF Wins First WSOP Bracelet

June 14, 2014

“It means a lot. 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?”

Perhaps Todd Bui should play more tournaments because he is apparently better than at least 347 other poker players. That’s how many fellow players he bested in Event #16 $1,500 Limit 2-7 Draw, which netted him just under $125K. Not bad for his first win, and a year’s salary. And even better, of those 347 other players, one of them was seasoned veteran and bracelet owner Tom Franklin, who came in second.

Buy-ins to this event resulted in a $450K prize pool that paid the top 36 finishers. Other notable cashers included Layne Flack, 30th; Mike Leah, 11th; and Vladimir Shchemelev, 4th, who won his first WSOP bracelet last year in the $3K PLO Hi/Lo.

The heads up action went fast and quickly declared Bui the winner. He is now expected to stay and play in more events in addition to the typical mixed game events he comes to the Rio to play in each year.

Ironically, Bui’s best friend is JC Tran, now a fellow bracelet winner. They grew up playing poker together in Sacramento, but Tran, who took his poker career straight to the top, grinding NLH tournaments, while Bui moved to Southern Cali to play cash games and go to college.

Bui says of Tran, “Me and him are like brothers. 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.”


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