A Poker Life: Tuan Le
Tuan Leis a small paradox. A participant who has won and not so quietly lost over the previous two years, he attained fame with lightning pace in 2004 and then vanished from the fanfare of championship poker. However, Le has ever been there, just down from the top layer of the spotlight. Now, after winning back World Series of Poker titles, Le is in the limelight once more.
The 37-year-old who calls Los Angeles home has $5.4 million in livelihood live tournament earnings, and finds the opportunity to compete in a few of the larger money games around day in and day out.
World Poker Tour Breakout Success
Le’s first breakout on the championship scene proved to be a collision of numerous variables some could call surreal. Already known in money match circles, Le was a routine at Foxwoods and likened into a home away from your home. After theWorld Poker Tourmade a halt there in November 2004 for its World Poker Finals, Le chose to playthough pursuing championship glory and fame wasn’t high on his list of priorities.Le bested an area of 674 players left $1.57 million and a chair to theWPT$25,000 World Championshipa couple months later in the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
But with a world championship title at stake, Le wasn’t interested in pursuing the attention that encircles poker. He showed up in the Bellagio planning to just money in his chair and walk outside with all the $25,000. Unfortunately, that wasn’t how it functioned.
Upon being advised he needed to play with the event, Le said he couldn’t. He just didn’t want to.
“They said that they wouldn’t give me my money back, so I said ‘Fine. To hell with it. ‘ I played it and happened to win it. “
Le walked off with a cool $2.86 million plus a chair at theWPTBattle of Championstournament, where he won a seat in the subsequent season’s championship tournament. It was an unlikely run which made him a celebrity.
A Quick Start, Followed By Years Of Anonymity
After turning heads on theWPT, Le slipped from the championship spotlight and adhered into money games, Together with excursions into the pit.
“I never really played tournaments, it was just the climate of poker at the time and was the thing to do,” he explained. “But we played a lot of cash games. I played every pit game you could possibly think of. If they had a game where you could throw quarters against the wall, I would have played it. “
Swinging through important ups and important drawbacks, Le never vanished, even as his life started to evolve from that of a hard-partying, veteran participant to that of a responsible and concentrated father.
“The biggest change in my life now is just knowing that if I don’t make intelligent choices, my son or daughter may not consume,” Le said. “I will ‘t be Mr. Duplicity. I can’t tell my son to not do something while I’m doing this, I must lead by example. And that’s what I try to do today. I simply can’t say it, I have to actually do it. “
Back-to-BackWorld Series of PokerTitles
Always there but not at the headlines, unexpectedly Le was back to the championship scene with a bang in 2014, a lot of like his breakoutWPTappearance.
In consecutive years – 2014 and 2015 – Le won thesame event at the WSOP, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished after all Thang Luu won back-to-back $1,500 Omaha eight-or-better titles in 2008 and 2009.
At the 2014WSOP,Le let everyone from casual fans to major media outlets know he was still around when he won the $10,000 limit deuce-to-seven triple draw event for $355,324. But he really had no intention of being a back-to-back winner. In fact, he nearly missed the tournament in 2015 due to a combination of a late wire transfer and simple disbelief he could win it twice in a row.
“I’ll obtain right to the point for this. I stated ‘I’m not going to win this two years in a row. What am I doing here? ‘”
Prior to the tournament, Le checked at the cage for his money wire, but it was not there by the time he had expected it. The voice in his head told him back-to-back wins would be nearly impossible and the delayed transfer was a sign perhaps he just was not meant to play. However, a phone call from his mother minutes before registration locked changed it all.
“My mother called me and stated, ‘Why don’Can you just play. Quit being dumb. ‘ So I went down and, at the very last moment, I registered and the rest is history,” Le said.
And background it had been. Nobody had won back-to-backWSOPtitles in six decades, a lot of less at a $10,000 tournament event.
“They are coming for you when you sit down back-to-back,” he explained. “When you defend, it’s not easy. I know it’s not easy. “
Le accommodated as it mattered most, and walked off with his secondWSOPbracelet and $322,756. He now has almost $830,000 in lifetimeWSOPearnings.
The Larry Flynt Game in Hustler Casino
While attending faculty Le was awarded a mission: If you might be one individual on earth, who’d it be?
For Le, the response has been Larry Flynt. Shortly after Le finished his mission, Flynt opened the Hustler Casino in Gardena, California.
“People told me to go meet my idol,” he remembered. “So I went to go meet him and I saw him playing poker and he was throwing $1,000 chips into the middle. I was like, ‘What sort of game is it that you may examine your cards before you make a decision as to what to do? ‘”
Intrigued, Le maintained watching Flynt drama and a single day, together with cash procured from a psychedelic medication earnings, Le sat at Hustler’s $20-$40 limit grip ’em match with $500, enough for only 1 rack of processors.
“This is how stupid I was,” Le said. “I didn’t understand what cash was back and I would only crush it. However, I wasn’t crushing it in the sense that I was good, where I was just this great, phenomenal player. I was just getting really, really lucky. “
Le conducted the $500 up to $10,000, then sat at a larger game at which $10,000 was a little buy-in. That $10,000 was shortly $40,000 and Le jumped bets . Soon he had been sitting in matches that he ‘d never played .
Le was only 22 years old when Eric Drache and Barry Greenstein obtained him an invitation to one of the most significant and most exclusive matches running in the moment, which just so happened to be Flynt’s game.
At times, the match has been $1,500-$3,000 stud. You’d feel his lack of expertise could be a deterrent to the youthful Le, however he had no difficulty sitting at the match with his whole $40,000 bankroll.
“I had never played a stud hand of in my life until that game,” Le said. “I ran it up to about $800,000, which back then, that was a lot of money. I was definitely the sucker, but I was winning for like four months,” Le said. “Then I obviously went broke because I just didn’t know any better. “
Adaptation and Lifestyle Changes
Le was young and reckless when he before all else discovered poker. A small-time drug dealer who idolized Larry Flint and did not care where his money went or if it ran out, Le lived life without a care.
“I always had this inner optimism about myself if I did run out of cash or go bankrupt, I could only go back and play make more money,” he said.
And with the money came drugs and partying, and Le never shied away from any of it.
“I don’t glorify it, but we partied a lot. I had friends in the poker industry and outside the industry, and all we did was party and have fun. And back then, you just played online where you could make a few hundred thousand dollars and be good for the rest of the year. I made a lot of unhealthy choices in my life. I did a lot of drugs. But looking back, I’m a changed man. I’m not the equal person. I had a baby, cut out the drugs, started up the exercise, stuff like that. “
At 37, Le might have easy outgrown his breakneck lifestyle, but getting a father four years ago set in motion the seeds of change.
“I can’t lie, I had been out of control before the infant,” Le said. “I was crazy. My thought process was the equal, however, the infant certainly changed the whole perspective and understanding of existence. It got real then. “
It changed poker as well.
“Before I had been reckless,” he admitted. “I didn’t care about what my results were. I didn’t do it for the glory either. I don’t understand exactly what I played poker to tell the truth, since it wasn’t for the money. No matter how a lot of I had, I just fucked it off. And I knew I was going to, whether it was $1 or $1 million, I knew I was going to do something bad with the money. I had no stocks and all my friends that were successful did smart things with their money and I just looked at them like they were stupid as hell. How do they enjoy life? But I was the fool all along. “
A Veteran Approach
Having been playing poker after all the early 2000’s, Le had to accommodate to fluctuations in the sport which have come about as a result of poker boom, online poker, and various approaches.
“I feel like a dinosaur, I really do,” he explained of no more function as young gun from the matches. “Now that online is gone, the live games are a lot tougher and you are either going to adapt or just be broke. “
But adaptation could be easier said than done for somebody who arrived on the scene once the line medially old school and new school wasn’t so blurry.
It required a whole lot,” he admitted. “I needed to make some lifestyle decisions. A whole lot has happened medially now and then and it wasn’t like you could just turn on a switch. As great as you think you are and as great as you might be, it just doesn’t all work out the moment you turn it back. “
Le started slow and really thought about it what it means to be great at poker.
“It is not just about enjoying your hands a particular manner, it’s an entire lifestyle change,” he said. “You find that the excellent ones, they undergo a good deal. Their diet differs, their exercise differs, the way that they talk to their buddies on poker hands is only entirely different. It’s not old school . It’s more sophisticated, and if you don’t keep up, you are going to obtain lost in the whole transition. ”