Last week we were keeping a beady eye on the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event. It was won by poker legend J.C. Tran, who topped a field of 465 players to win the first prize of $302,750 in his hometown of Sacramento.
It was a second WPT title for Tran, who entered last year’s November Nine as the chip leader and has two WSOP bracelets to his name. This week we take a look at some of the televised hands that have brought the Vietnamese-born grinder some of that success. Here’s our top five…
5. J.C. Tran vs. Kido Pham
Tran has had incredible success at the World Series of Poker over the years, winning two bracelets and final tabling numerous events. His first bracelet came in 2008 in a $1,500 NLH event, where he bested a huge field of 2,718 to scoop $631,170. The second came just a year later in the $2,500 PLO event, overcoming a final table that included Jeff Kimber and Ross Boatman.
Obviously a huge amount of skill was needed to achieve those results, but we all need luck now and again, as this video proves…
4. J.C. Tran vs. Jorn Walthaus
Our first look at a hand from Tran’s epic 2013 WSOP Main Event run. Having squeezed preflop with his pair of Eights, Tran finds himself tangled in a huge pot when Dutchman Jorn Walthaus cold four-bets. After a questionable call, a tricky situation turns into the perfect one as the case Eight flops.
With the help of this huge pot J.C. Tran went on to finish fifth for over $2m…
3. J.C. Tran vs. Phil Hellmuth
Tran has been a regular in the PartyPoker Premier League and took the competition down for $300,000 in 2008. With every heat televised there’s plenty of hands to choose from, but the ones that stand out are exclusively against Phil Hellmuth!
We’ll ignore this hand (as the Poker Brat heroes it off) and concentrate on another absurd confrontation. With both players playing ‘unconventionally’, Tran pulls off a well executed turn bluff with five-high!
2. J.C. Tran vs. Alan Goehring
Having played the World Poker Tour for a number of years, Tran shipped the World Poker Challenge in 2007. As of last week he now has two titles on the tour, along with six final tables!
And as you’ll see from this hand, it could easily have been three WPT titles on the J.C. Tran resumé. A brutal two-outer on the final table of the 2006 L.A. Poker Classic forced Tran to bow out in fifth. Alan Goehring went on to win it for $2,391,550…
1. J.C. Tran vs. Fabián Ortiz
With 17 left in the WSOP Main Event it’s nice to be gifted a large amount of chips. While it doesn’t look like an easy call on paper, the river shove is hugely polarised and Ortiz looks more nervous than David Moyes facing the prospect of a tie with Bayern Munich. That rocking back and forth did him no favours whatsoever…
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