Tuesday July 5,2016 : ALL THE EIGHTS GO TO HUNG LE AT WORLD SERIES OF POKER
Main prize of $888,888 won by Vietnamese immigrant now living in Ohio.
The fourth of July will be memorable for Vietnamese immigrant Hung Le as not only Americas Independence Day, but his own in financial terms after winning $888,888 in the $888 buy-in No Limit Holden "Crazy Eights" event at the World Series of Poker.
Now living in Dayton, Ohio the 53-year-old has a wife and five children to support as an nail salon owner, so the rewards from his first visit to WSOP and his first cash will go a long way toward easing the financial burden.
"I have five kids. We are a lower middle class family. We work hard. This is life changing money for us,” is how the winner described his situation as he showed off his winners bracelet.
Perhaps Les novice status worked for him; on his first visit to Vegas, and in his first major tournament, at the worlds biggest poker festival, he achieved his first final table and emerged with his first WSOP bracelet…and in the process he tilted opponents off balance with unexpected and at times puzzling calls that helped him survive a vastly more experienced array of players.
He later acknowledged that he was completely outclassed by his opponents and had to resort to unorthodox measures. In a sense, as crazy as this strategy was, it was also brilliant. And it worked…aided by some very good cards.
The final day of event 54 began with 12 survivors from the original massive field of 6,761 entrants, who created a prize pool totaling $5,403,391 from which the last 956 finishers cashed.
The action was swift and aggressive, but when the final table formed Le was still in there….and when Bulgarian pro Dimitar Danchev exited at third for $297,888, it was Le who faced the 26-year-old super-aggressive Arizona poker pro Michael Lech in the heads up.
At that point Le didnt believe he had a chance, given the experience and substantial chip lead of his opponent, but he continued to play his unusual brand of poker. Aided by some really good cards, he was able to pull off what may well go down as the biggest upset of this years WSOP after several dozen hands of action.
Le did it in style on the final pot of the contest, astonishing the railbirds and Lech by calling down a stone-cold bluff with a flush possible… holding nothing but a pair of deuces against Lech.
“He decided to bluff and I call him,” Le said. “I go with the feeling of the player. The last hand, if he had the flush, he would have reeled me in. He wouldn’t have shoved. That’s why I called with pocket deuce.”
A rather disappointed, and perhaps still shocked, Lech had the consolation of a second placing pay day of $401,888.
Other final table finishers cashed:
Rafael Yaraliyev $222,888
Henry Grunzweig $167,888
Loni Harwood $126,888
Aurelien Guiglini $96,888
Yang Zhang $74,888 score