Commentary

J.C. Tran on top once again

Updated: June 17, 2009, 4:02 PM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

Event 29 | Event 31

Before the 2008 World Series of Poker, many argued that J.C. Tran's presence on the "Best without a bracelet" list wouldn't last long. They were right in 2008, and in 2009 Tran proved his bracelet win last year was no fluke. The 32-year-old professional poker player from Sacramento, Calif., defeated a field of 436 players to win Event 30, a $2,500 pot-limit Omaha tournament.

[+] EnlargeJ.C. Tran
IMPDI 2009Wearing his lucky upside-down New York Yankees hat, J.C. Tran won his second WSOP bracelet in Event 30.

Tran defeated a final table that included John Juanda, Russ Boatman and Theo Jorgensen in six hours, personally eliminating five of the remaining nine players. Boatman entered the final table the chip leader, but would finish in fourth.

"I learned to play PLO [pot-limit Omaha] less than two years ago," Tran said. "I play the biggest stakes. I had some swings. PLO is the kind of game where you always have room to learn. Even after I win this bracelet, I still feel I have a lot to learn. Being able to win a non-hold 'em event, it goes to show that I can play a game outside of hold 'em. I would like to learn mixed games in the future, as I know how to play them, but I do not know enough to sit down in a big buy-in game. But this helps."

Tran's victory came with the support of many of his friends who surrounded the final table. Tran was on the other side of the table just last week as he supported Steve Sung at his final table.

"I am one of the few guys who has one of the biggest groups of friends in poker, just because we pick and chose the good guys from the bad guys -- who is truly here to support you for your win, and not for the money," Tran said. "By them being here to watch me, that support means a lot. I am happy that I won. But I am also happy for them. The other day when I was watching Steve [Sung] win a bracelet, I felt like I was winning a bracelet. It motivates me to go out and do well when I see a friend of mine do well. So I hope it motivates these guys to go well."

Other notable finishers include Leif Force (10th), David Chiu (15th) and Phil Ivey (44th).

Below are the complete results of Event 30:

Event 30: Pot-limit Omaha
Buy-in: $2,500
Entries: 436
Prize pool: $1,002,800
Players in the money: 45

1. J.C. Tran ($235,685)
2. Jeff Kimber ($145,656)
3. Jean-Philippe Leandri ($95,837)
4. Ross Boatman ($66,936)
5. Dallas Flowers ($49,387)
6. Rami Boukai ($38,407)
7. Chad Layne ($31,427)
8. Theo Jorgensen ($26,955)
9. John Juanda ($24,207)
10. Leif Force ($17,488)
11. Stephen Ladowsky ($17,488)
12. Lev Briskin ($17,488)
13. David (Len) Ashby ($13,026)
14. Loren Klein ($13,026)
15. David Chiu ($13,026)
16. Suk Min Sung ($9,907)
17. Kevin Murphy ($9,907)
18. Jesse Rios ($9,907)
19. Andrew Batey ($7,621)
20. Robert Mason ($7,621)
21. Isaac Baron ($7,621)
22. Andrew Fegan ($7,621)
23. Cedric Kolstad ($7,621)
24. Herezel Zalewski ($7,621)
25. Mikey Stotz ($7,621)
26. Brian Alioa ($7,621)
27. Wilbert Tademy ($7,621)
28. Jakob Elbaz ($6,056)
29. Greg Aversa ($6,056)
30. Ali Sarkeshik ($6,056)
31. Colin Wickersheim ($6,056)
32. Palev Milanov ($6,056)
33. Eli Elezra ($6,056)
34. John-Paul Kelly ($6,056)
35. Dr. Kegal ($6,056)
36. David Ewing ($6,056)
37. Noah Boeken ($4,883)
38. Anders Taylor ($4,883)
39. Lawrence Cowsar ($4,883)
40. Joe Beevers ($4,883)
41. Phillip White ($4,883)
42. Mike Gorodinsky ($4,883)
43. Andreas Krause ($4,883)
44. Phil Ivey ($4,883)
45. Dennis Kline ($4,883)

Andrew Feldman is ESPN.com's Poker Editor. He is the host of the Poker Edge Podcast and co-host of ESPN Inside Deal. Andrew has covered the poker industry for ESPN since 2004.

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