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Poker Tournament Trail -- Steve Sung

Sung Talks About the Growing Asian Poker Scene and Reflects on His 2009 WSOP Performance

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Steve Sung at the 2009 WSOPSteve Sung (pictured right) has had a strong 2009 in multiple parts of the world. Off the felt, Sung became a member of the Poker Pack with his close friends J.C. Tran, Nam Le, and Quinn Do. The Poker Pack represents and promotes the Asian Poker Tour, and Sung traveled to Macau and the Philippines to participate in APT events in 2009.

On the felt, he won his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet in one of the largest events of the year, event No. 4 ($1,000 no-limit hold’em). Sung beat out 6,011 opponents to take home $771,106, along with the bracelet. Nine days later, he almost won his second bracelet in a very different event. Sung finished in third place in event No. 23 ($10,000 no-limit deuce-to-seven world championship) playing against some of the top players in the world in a small field of 96. His final-table opponents included eventual champion Nick Schulman, Ville Wahlbeck, John Juanda, David Benyamine, and Michael Binger.

Card Player caught up with Sung in Las Vegas and he talked about the poker market in Asia and offered his thoughts about the performance he booked this past summer.

Ryan Lucchesi: You spent some time in Asia during the fall to play in the Asian Poker Tour event in Macau. What did you observe about the poker scene in China while you were there?

Steve Sung: The poker scene is pretty good. We are seeing more new faces, and the satellites are attracting more players.

RL: What do you think about your new role as a member of the APT’s Poker Pack, along with J.C. Tran, Nam Le, and Quinn Do?

SS: It is really good to be a part of something with my friends. It is fun to be an ambassador for poker in Asia. It is fun that we are starting it together.

RL: What forms of poker have caught on in the cash games in Asia?

SS: No-limit hold’em is it, and I think pot-limit Omaha will work into the mix eventually.

RL: Looking back on the World Series, now that we are a few months removed from it, what do you think allowed so many professional players to post such consistent results this summer?

SS: It was definitely the amount of chips they gave us. Three times the amount of chips will always help, plus the economy is doing so bad that everybody is stepping up their games.

RL: Which final table that you made this summer was the toughest?

SS: Deuce-to-seven, for sure; Nick Schulman and Ville Wahlbeck both played very well. When three people were left, I got really confident. After John Juanda went out, I felt anxious to win my second bracelet, but I couldn’t press the brakes.

In no-limit hold’em events, people bust out so quickly, so if you can get some chips early, that’s key. I got lucky in the event that I won. I was short. I see a lot of people get chips early, like Daniel Negreanu, who always cruises early in tournaments, but that tournament was a rollercoaster ride for me, and I got really lucky. I felt blessed to win.