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Tran Takes Title: The Kenny Tran Interview
Kenny Tran has just picked up the World Championship Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em title in Event 25 at the WSOP 2008. It took seven grueling matches to reach the final before he defeated Alec Torelli 2-0 in their best-of-three match to take down the title.
We spoke to Kenny just a few moments after his triumph.
Superb result Kenny! How do you feel after coming through that tough sequence of matches and picking up the bracelet?
It means a lot to me. The first time it always feels great. I've never had a feeling like this before!
Who was your toughest opponent during the tournament?
I would have to say E-dog. Erick Lindgren. He gave me a heck of a hard heads-up match and I got lucky I won.
Just to go back to one of your earlier matches, it seems as though you and Brandon Adams are pretty close and you had to play each other! What was it like playing such a good friend?
Well, probably Brandon Adams is not my toughest opponent but it's not an easy feeling to beat one of your closest friends in the poker industry.
He taught me a lot, especially stuff outside of poker, so he's a nice guy.
Someone had to go and I'm lucky I came out ahead of him. It's really not an easy feeling to beat one of your best friends.
Regarding the last hand you played in the final, you made a quite aggressive play with the nut-flush draw. Would you have made that same move if you had been 1-0 down in matches instead of 1-0 up?
Maybe not. I prefer to make those sorts of gambles when I am ahead in chips if possible. It all depends on the situation but I might have played it differently if I was 1-0 down.
You had a great year in some ways, frustrating in others. You've been close in a number of events. Did you feel the pressure to close it out this time round?
Well you know I don't like to play a lot of tournaments but today I feel I put in 110% of myself.
For the big competitions like the $25,000 WPT event at the Bellagio, I definitely put everything on the side and concentrate.
This is a very different type of tournament where you have to play eight opponents heads-up. Every opponent has a different style. How do you adjust to different players' techniques?
I really have to go with the flow but I definitely have one strategy with the young-gun online players. I can grind them out and make them feel so bored and hopefully make them make a mistake!
Did you do any research about Alec before you played him today?
I played with him a few times in cash games in California. I knew he was a winning online player and like I said I have one system to play with the winning online young-gun players - I just make them bored.
Then they feel like they can run over me and I pick their pocket!
Well, it worked well today! Great result Kenny, massive congratulations.
Thanks, that means a lot.