It's been a year of records so far at the 2009 WSOP and only fitting that Event #3, $1,500 Omaha 8-or-Better, concluded with another history-making performance. Last year's defending champion, Thang Luu, eclipsed a record-setting field of 918 entrants to capture his second gold bracelet! Not only is this Luu's second bracelet, it's his second in the same event in consectutive years.
Back in 2007, Luu took second place in this same event for $147,726. Last year, Luu topped that performance with a win in the same event for $243,342 in what was the largest Omaha tournament ever played. This year, Luu came out on top of a larger field than last year and earned himself $263,135. In total, Thang's earned over $650,000 for all three of those finishes! As Nolan Dalla mentioned, "This feat has only been equalled by Johnny Chan back in the 1980s."
Luu was the chip leader after Day 1 finished up and as of yesterday, claimed that he was feeling really good about this tournament. He was never really the big stack at the final table, but drove the action and picked his spots well. When play got down to three handed, Luu simply took over and began crushing the competition. From there, it was smooth sailing.
Congratulations to Thang Luu for his win and amazing back-to-back-to-back performances!
Ed Smith limped in from the button and left himself with only a tiny bit more than one small bet left. Thang Luu opted to try and get his opponent all in and raised. Smith just called with a few thousand behind.
The flop came down and Luu stuck in the money to put Smith all in. Smith went with his hand, saying, "All right, let's go."
The turn brought the and the river the and that was it for Smith. He would be eliminated in second place, earning $162,110 for his efforts.
On the other hand, the winner, Thang Luu, completed an amazing feat by winning the event for the second year in a row! Don't forget, in 2007 he also placed second in this event!
Severely short stacked, Ed Smith has been getting his money all in preflop for the past few hands. Thang Luu was up to the challenge each time, but could only muster enough of a hand to score half of the pot. Smith has been taking the other half opposite Luu to stay alive.
Thang Luu is steadily applying pressure to his opponent Ed Smith, especially from the button. Luu is raising almost every button to attack from position. Smith has dropped to just 1.3 million chips. Luu has over double him with approximately 2.9 million.
Is Luu going to repeat? This is already his third top-two finish in three years... amazing!