Learn about poker pro Tuan Lam
Tuan Lam made Asian poker players proud at the 2007 WSOP main event as was the last man standing against the winner, another poker player of Asian origin, Jerry Yang.
Like Liz Lieu, Tuan Lam was born in Vietnam (in 1966 during the war) and he immigrated to Canada when 19 years. Tuan epitomizes the American dream (if we include Canada in America) as he started from very humble origins, developed skills over many years that enabled him to become successful in his own right, and finally hit his big payday.
$4,840,981 for his WSOP second place.
Initially Tuan worked as a laborer for a metal processing company. He learned to play poker with friends, but he was a fish and lost a lot of money at the beginning.
Yes it took Tuan a lot of effort and dedication to become a great poker player and he could have given up any time along the way. He got seriously involved with the game of poker when he took a part time job as a poker dealer in a local casino in Toronto.
But as this was just a small operation, he also had to double up as a player when the customers were rare. And to play with his own money. For the first year, he lost all his dealer salary by playing poker at this casino.
But with persistence and study, Tuan finally managed to break even by the second year and then to become profitable. He gave up his job as a dealer in order to play more poker and finally gave up his other job to become a full time poker professional.
Playing in the casinos in Canada and some in the USA, he was able to modestly support his family with two young sons by becoming a ring game holdem specialist.
Tuan Lam did not venture into tournaments until 2005 when he played at the WSOP $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event, finishing 76th and earning $3k. The next year he went in the money again, taking 46th place at the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event, winning $7k.
The following year, Tuan Lam made all Asian and Canadian players proud. In the heads-up confrontation against Jerry Yang (also a US immigrant from Laos), he started with a big chip disadvantage with less than 20% of Yang's chip count.
Tuan Lam knew exactly what he had to do in this situation. Be very aggressive and try to double up once or twice in order to get back into the contest. This is what he did from the onset of their heads-up battle.
After just a few hands he reraised all in with AQs and was called by Jerry's pocket eights, which is about a coin flip. As the flop came Q95 with no flush draw, Tuan had 83.6% chance to double up. The turn was a 7 without flush draw but with a gut shot straight draw for Jerry, still giving Tuan an 86.4% chance of success.
The river was a 6 giving Jerry Yang a runner-runner straight, and the rest is history.
After his newly gained poker fame, Tuan Lam gor many offers including from party poker. He chose and joined pokerstars, the leader of online poker. You can see him there at the high stake tables, always aggressive but friendly.
Pokerstars is in our recommended list of the best online poker rooms. Check our Pokerstars review to learn why millions of online players have made it their favorite poker room.