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World Series of Poker Gold -- Thang Luu Completes Historic Repeat

Luu Wins Another Bracelet at Omaha Eight-or-Better

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Thang LuuThis may very well go down as one of the most impressive feats in World Series of Poker history.

Thang Luu, a 34-year-old Las Vegas resident who moved to the United States from Vietnam, followed up his win at the World Series’ $1,500 Omaha eight-or-better event in 2008 with a repeat victory in 2009 in the same event in 2009. Incredibly, he also finished runner-up in $2,000 Omaha eight-or-better event in the 2007 World Series.

Luu completed the finishing touches on his victory late last night. The former table-games dealer says that this victory even tops his first bracelet event.

“I was surprised I won again,” said Luu. “I mean, I was very confident going into the final table, but I had fewer chips than last year. Last year, I was chip leader for most of the tournament, and it was kind of like no problem.”

This year was a different story. Luu entered final-table play third in chips, but with less than half of the stack of the chip leader at the time, Robert Price. Still, Luu was able to outlast the final competitors in a starting field of 918 players — the largest ever for a live Omaha eight-or-better event — to win his second bracelet.

“In the future, poker historians will debate poker’s greatest accomplishments,” wrote WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla in a press release. “This feat is certainly among them.”

In 2008, Luu outlasted a field of 833 players. In his 2007 runner-up performance, there were 534 players competing for a bracelet. The robust sizes of these tourneys certainly make his three-year stretch of results all that much more impressive.

In comparison, Johnny Chan’s feat of winning the main event in back-to-back years in 1987 and 1988, and then finishing runner-up to Phil Hellmuth in 1989 had fields of 152, 167, and 178 players, respectively.

Luu says that Omaha eight-or-better is certainly his favorite game, and he admits that he isn’t such a big fan of hold’em.

“It gets boring with only two cards,” he said. Still, Luu plans on playing the main event this year, as well as a handful of other events — including a few more Omaha events and a mixed event.

“If I win more, I’ve got to play more, right?” Luu said with a laugh.

Luu collected $263,135 for his win.