Todd Bui Defeats Tom Franklin in $1,500 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw

Todd Bui won his tournament of his career for over six-figures. (Photo by Drew Amato)

Todd Bui won his tournament of his career for over six-figures. (Photo by Drew Amato)

Todd Bui is a well-known cash game player in Los Angeles, but he got his start in poker with fellow bracelet winner and November Niner JC Tran playing in small rooms around Sacramento.

Bui prefers not to play tournaments and has a  hand full of cashes. He played his way to heads-up with the experienced “Captain” Tom Franklin and won his first tournament ever.

The second Saturday of the 2014 World Series of Poker saw the the third and final day of the $1,500 Deuce to Seven Triple Draw event. The field returned with nine players but in the end Bui won his first bracelet and $124,510.

“The bracelet means a lot, this is the first tournament I’ve ever won, period,” Bui said. “It means a lot, but it’s hard because I only play three or four tournaments a year. It’s a blessing, I’m grateful.”

Bui got heads-up for the bracelet with Franklin, but felt he had the edge over Franklin’s experience. “I felt I had a huge edge – he even told me a the start of heads-up that he was in for a world of hurt. I don’t want to brash or cocky, but I just smiled at him.”

Tran was table side when Bui won the final hand. He and Tran started playing poker at the same time together in Sacramento and their paths separated when Bui moved to Southern California for college. “He and I are like brothers, I know his entire family. He’s my best friend and longest friend in poker.”

It took just over 90 minutes to trim the field to the official final table with David Bell holding the chip lead. He was followed closely by Franklin and then a wide gap separated Bui, Aaron Steury, David Gee and Vladimir Shchemelev.

Gee was the first casualty of the final table and was all in on the second draw. Franklin and Bui called along and bet on the third draw for a sidepot. Bui tabled 7x 6x 5x 3x 2x, Franklin mucked and Gee sent his cards to the muck as well, earning an elimination as he couldn’t beat Bui’s hand.

A couple of hands later Steury chopped a pot to stay alive but was all in on the next hand. Shchemelev opened, Steury raised from the big blind and Shchemelev three-bet and Steury called to be all in. Steury drew two cards on the first draw, one on the second and stood pat on third street. Shchemelev drew one card on the first round, then stood pat and tabled 8x 7x 6x 5x 2x. Steury couldn’t beat the hand, mucked his cards and was out in fifth place.

Shchemelev’s quest to win a second bracelet fell short after he bowed out in fourth place. Franklin opened the action, Shchemelev raised and Franklin called. Shchemelev drew one card, Franklin drew two and Shchemelev got the rest of his stack in the pot. Franklin tabled the nuts – 7x 5x 4x 3x 2x – and Shchemelev tabled 8x 7x 5x 3x 2x and made his way to the payout desk.

The pace slowed at three-handed and all three players held the chip lead at one point. But Bell was crippled by Bui and got his last chips all in against Franklin. They both drew two cards on the first draw, then each drew one on the second and they both stood pat on the third. Franklin tabled 9x 8x 7x 5x 2x, Bell mucked his cards and was out in third place.

Bui held 1.24 million to Franklin’s 323,000 at the start of heads-up play. Bui chipped away at Franklin, never allowing him to gain any momentum. Franklin’s last hand saw him all in before the first draw. Bui stood pat after the first draw and tabled Tx 8x 5x 4x 2x and Franklin showed 8x 6x 5x 3x with a card to come. His final draw saw him pair his five and Bui won the first tournament of his career.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Todd Bui – $124,510
  2. Tom Franklin – $76,943
  3. David Bell – $49,944
  4. Vladimir Shchemelev – $44,388
  5. Aaron Steury – $22,935
  6. David Gee – $16,170
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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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