Bui leads outstanding WSOP showing for NorCal poker players



After a long summer in Las Vegas, Northern California players impressively made a combined 24 final tables and brought home more than $3 million from the World Series of Poker. And another bracelet now resides in the NorCal region thanks to Todd Bui of Sacramento. He won Event 16 ($1,500 2-7 Triple Draw) for $124K. This tournament was extra special for Bui as it happened to be the first win of his career.

Bui is a cash-game player who never focused his attention on tournaments. He “clairvoyantly” posted on social media his decision on dedicating himself to winning a bracelet during the series. By the end of the next event, he was hanging the gold bracelet around his wrist and become part of WSOP history as a champion.

There were many other standouts at the Rio this year, including the NorCal player with the largest score of the series, 2011 bracelet-winner Sean Drake of Sacramento. Drake made the final table in one of the most popular events of the year (Monster Stack), finishing third for an outstanding $619K.

A few of Northern California’s finest are continuing to stand the test of time and produce results year after year. J.C. Tran (Sacramento) and Taylor Paur (El Dorado Hills) each made two final tables this year. Tran finished fourth in Event 2 ($25K mixed-max, $290K) and Event 32 ($10K six-max, $185K). Paur, who won a bracelet last year, finished sixth in Event 11 ($1,500 six-max, $55K) and seventh in Event 20 ($3K shootout, $36K).

The NorCal player who made the most final tables during this year’s WSOP is the always consistent Phil Hellmuth (Palo Alto), who made three. Hellmuth was runner-up in Event 7 (razz, $74K), eighth in Event 15 ($3K six-max, $45K) and sixth in Event 61 ($10K stud, $46K). Hellmuth continues to quiet his haters by displaying pure consistency on the tournament circuit and not just in hold’em.

Some other notable WSOP finishes WSOP include Nghiahiep Nguyen (San Jose), who was second in Event 9($1K NLHE, $199K), Gordon Vayo (San Francisco), second in Event 15 ($3K six-max, $314K), and Yegor Tsurikov (Walnut Creek), second in Event 43 ($1,500 limit, $120K). Marco Johnson (Walnut Creek), Reed Goodmiller (Lafayette) and Craig Carrillo (Santa Rosa) also represented Northern California well by cashing in multiple events throughout the series.

The NorCal player who made the deepest run in the main event was respected pro Isaac Baron from Menlo Park, finishing 52nd for $152K. Two days before the main, Baron was fourth in Event 64 ($10K PLO, $301K) and was coming off a third-place finish at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for$1.2 million.

All of these phenomenal players did an amazing job of making their presence known and represented Northern California well.

— Email Garrett at roth@anteupmagazine.com

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