All Aboard the K-Train - Kenny Tran Dominates Day 2A

Kenny Tran
Kenny Tran playing in Day 2A of Event 55, World Championship No-Limit Texas Hold'em at the 2007 WSOP

In a day where many big names fell Kenny Tran picked up his game and obliterated his competition. Tran finished the night with about $500,000 chips and is in great shape heading into Day 3. caught up with Tran just before the night ended:

You had a fantastic day. Do you mind running us through it?

I started out today with $42,000 which was a little below average but knew I could turn it around fast because that's the type of game it is. I just started building my stack early in the day.

On one hand the blinds were $500/1,000 and I was on the big blind. A player in late position raised and made it $3,000 and I called with pocket fives. The flop came 5-7-8 with two diamonds so I checked and then he bet out $5,500. I re-raised him another $15,500 and he smooth called me. The turn card was an ace of diamonds and I moved in for another $33,000 and he made the call showing the nut flush. I made a full house on the river. It was an important hand for me.

Kenny Tran
Kenny Tran = Stacked

After that I made a very sick call against the guy. He was on the button and I knew he was a very aggressive online player. He raised $5,500 and I raised another $11,000 with 5 3. The flop came 5-J-K and I bet $17,000. He re-raised me another $25,000 but he gave up a tell on the play. He would say, "I re-raise you" in a very prominent way when he was trying to convince me he had a strong hand. I have too much experience for that and my read on him was very strong on him so I called his bet. The turn was a king and I checked. He made another $25,000 bet and I called him. The river was a four and at this point it didn't matter what he raised I was going to call. I ended up checking and he made a good check. I had the best hand and it was another large pot for me. After that I just kept building slowly.

What do you think about the level of play in the Main Event so far?

Actually I'm really surprised. At this point there are still a lot of really bad players. I think the reason there is a lot of dead money is because the blinds go up so fast. I don't think they are constructive for good players. Even at this point in the tournament you can see the blinds moving up fast. Even though I'm the chip leader, or close to it, I don't put a lot of faith in that because it costs a lot to play each hand.

Kenny Tran
Kenny Tran riding the H.O.R.S.E.

Kenny you finished fifth in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. which was obviously a great finish especially considering the skill of the players involved. How do you compare an event like that to the Main Event?

This is a totally different ball game. There is so much more skill involved with the H.O.R.S.E. event considering the high profile players that are playing. There's very, very little dead money. I think the Main Event is a much easier tournament to play.

You've been playing very well this summer. Is there a reason your game has gotten so good recently?

Well I don't play a lot of tournaments and I'm mostly a No-Limit cash game player. This is only my fifth tournament this summer but when there is big money involved I give 110%.

How do you approach the Main Event and its massive fields?

There is so much dead money and the fields are so big that it all comes down to picking your spot.

What are your plans after the Main Event? Will you be going right back to the cash games or will we see you in a few more high profile tournaments?

I'm just going to go with the flow. I'm looking forward to maybe playing some big tournaments in Europe but it really depends. I have a family but if my kids allow me to travel I will definitely go.

So will we see you at the WSOP Europe?

If my kids let me.

Thanks a lot Kenny. Best of luck.

* * * * * * * * * * *

With all the great Trans in poker Kenny sure is making a name for himself this summer. First the H.O.R.S.E. Event and now he's making waves at the Main Event. Look for Tran to make some moves as the money looms closer. He's definitely not dead money and if things keep going like this the cash game specialist may have to start playing in a few more tournaments.

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