Theo Tran came into the final table of the 2008 WSOP Event 7 $2,000 No Limit Hold'em with a big chip lead. Things went well at first as he increased his lead on the field, but then came Shannon Shorr.
He blew his lead to Shorr running top pair into Shorr's flopped set and didn't hold on to his short stack much longer going out fourth soon after.
All is not lost for Theo though, as this is already his second fourth place finish in just the first week of World Series play making him about as hot as any poker player in the world right now. Despite being upset over the way the final table unfolded in the Amazon Room today, Tran was nice enough to sit down with PL.com and tell us how he felt, how he's feeling and where he's headed next.
Things really didn't work out for you here Theo, how are you feeling?
I'm a little disappointed in myself. It's tough to keep getting this close. Today was the best chance I've had so far. I came in with the dominant chip lead and was leading throughout. I was up to like $3.2 million and just dominating.
Yes, you had about the same amount of chips as the rest of the field.
Yeah with like five left. I don't know. I $#@%ed up.
Shannon Shorr had chipped up and you ended up playing that huge pot against him where he flopped a set.
Yeah, he chipped up and I should have taken him out earlier. He was all in on me and I laid down A-x offsuit. I thought he was my only threat if he chipped up. When we got back from the break he still only had $550k, but he slowly chipped up on everybody and then we played that big pot. I %$#@ed up there was really no reason for it.
Did you think he was empty?
I think what it was, and I was talking to Nam (Le) about it, the longer I tanked the more suspense that built up and I was like uh, uh, uh (chokes). I was going to fold. I had ace-king (on a king high board) and I thought there's no way he was going to do that with king-queen so he's got to have a set. How can he have air and go all in with that. I don't know what happened. The longer I thought, the longer it took and all of the sudden I was like 'I call.' I don't know what came over me. I don't know what happened, because I was going to fold.
It's the same thing that happened on that last hand. I still had chips and I knew he was going all in. All I kept thinking was please have ace-king. I kind of think I didn't want to play a short stack there. I'm good enough to play a short stack and I really wasn't that short at all. I'm just disappointed that's all I know.
But you've got to be happy with two final tables in just the first eight events on the schedule. You really must be playing you're A-game right now. Did you feel coming into the WSOP that you were on your game?
Oh yeah, of course. The thing is with these huge fields no matter how good you play you've got to run good and I ran really good in this tournament. It's not going to be easy to keep getting there. It's pretty crazy when I think about it.
You're obviously upset about the results here, but this isn't something you are going to let tilt you in future events is it?
No, I mean I got fourth in the last one and I got right back in and played the next day in this $2k event. I almost won here coming into the final table with the chip lead. When I'm sitting at the table I'll just stay focused. I'm pretty disappointed in myself, but that's the thing about No Limit tournaments; you make one mistake...
How about going forward, are you going to just keep playing as many events as possible?
Probably, but I'm pretty drained right now. Six straight days of hard core poker, it's just hard. But I'll be back in again tomorrow, because I play well against soft fields and these fields are really soft. I'm just disappointed but I'll try to put this one behind me and move on.
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You can't blame Tran for being upset. To get so close to WSOP gold and come away empty must be heartbreaking. But two final tables at the 2008 WSOP so far suggest if he keeps it up, it won't be very long before Jeffrey Pollack is putting something shiny around his wrist.