2008 WSOP Event #6 $1,500 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo: – Thang Luu Captures First Bracelet
After an impressive display of aggression near the final-table bubble moved him into the chip lead, Thang Luu rode his big stack all the way to his first World Series of Poker bracelet in the $1,500 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo event. Luu outlasted 832 other competitors in the largest Omaha Hi/Lo field in WSOP history to claim his $243,356 first prize.
The chip stacks looked like this as play began at the final table:
Thang Luu – 560,000
Greg Jamison – 333,000
Chris Falconer – 331,000
Scott Clements – 315,000
Mark Wilds – 226,000
Spencer Lawrence – 226,000
George Guzman – 196,000
Craig Sabel – 160,000
James Prichard – 155,000
Scott Clements came into the final table with the most experience playing for the biggest stakes in poker, as he won WSOP bracelets in Omaha in 2006 and 2007. Clements, though, was the first to bust off the final table when he lost a few big pots early, then got all his chips in against both Thang Luu and James Pritchard. Luu and Pritchard checked it down on a board of . Pritchard made a full house with , and the other two players mucked. Clements was eliminated in ninth place for $22,172.
The limit format of the event led to long spells of few eliminations, and it took more than two hours to bust the next player. Mark Wilds saw his stack dwindle through the early hours until he was forced all in from the small blind. Thang Luu came along as George Guzman checked his option from the big blind. The flop came down , and Luu and Guzman checked. Guzman bet out when the came on the turn, and Luu folded. Guzman tabled , well ahead of Wilds' . The river gave Guzman a full house and sent Wilds home in eighth place ($30,700).
A few hands later, Craig Sabel was all in from the big blind, and found two callers. The flop was checked around, and Spencer Lawrence bet out when the turn brought the Qh. George Guzman folded and Lawrence revealed for top set, and Sabel revealed for top pair. The on the river gave Lawrence a full house and sent Sabel to the rail in seventh place ($39,228).
The field continued to thin at a quick pace compared to this event's marathon Day 2, and Greg Jamison was the next to fall. With all his chips in from his big blind, Jamison went all the way to the river with his three callers checking it down. The final board read . Spencer Lawrence took the high pot with a set of tens, and George Guzman showed for a low hand of 8-6-4-3-A. Jamison tabled his hand, K-K-, and headed to the cashier's cage for his sixth-place payout of $50,598.
Chris Falconer headed to the rail in fifth place when he raised preflop for all his chips and was called by Luu and Guzman, who checked it all the way down on a board of . With no low hand possible, Falconer tabled , not good enough to stay alive against Luu's diamond flush. Falconer was eliminated in fifth place for $64,243.
Luu then took out James Pritchard in fourth place ($78,456) when Pritchard raised all in from the small blind with . Luu made the call from the big blind with . Luu picked up a pair of kings on the turn as the board ran out , and Pritchard was eliminated.
Almost immediately following Pritchard's ouster, Spencer Lawrence sent George Guzman to the rail in third place ($93,806). Guzman put his all his chips in the middle for what he referred to as the 19th time in one day with , and Lawrence called with . Already ahead, Lawrence got even more help when the flop gave him two pair as it came down . The turn gave Lawrence a full house and left Guzman drawing dead as the irrelevant came on the river.
Heads-up play started off fairly evenly, with Spencer Lawrence and Thang Luu sporting almost identical stacks. But over the course of the hour-long, heads-up match, Luu wore Lawrence down and finally dealt the finishing blow to capture his first WSOP bracelet. After a huge hand where Luu's nut flush left Lawrence severely short-stacked, all the chips went in the middle for the last time.
On a flop of , Lawrence raised Luu's opening bet. Luu re-raised, and after a series of raises all of Lawrence's chips were in the middle. Lawrence tabled for an inside straight flush draw, while Luu showed for two pair with the flush draw. The on the turn helped neither player, but the on the river gave Luu a full house and sent Lawrence home in second place ($156,343). Thang Luu picked up $243,356 to go with his first WSOP bracelet.