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Traply wins first WSOP bracelet for Hungary
Traply, a 22-year-old professional poker player from Budapest, defeated Andrew Lichtenberger in heads-up play to win the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Shootout.
"I feel amazing," said Traply. "This is one of my poker dreams and it came true."
The victory came after a steady stream of disappointments for the former Communications major.
Traply told PokerListings.com he had weathered a string of defeats before finally scoring Tuesday's big win.
"I played every single No Limit Hold'em event except the $40k and I didn't manage one single cash," he said.
"I ran really, really bad but I guess I can't complain now."
To win the tournament, Traply had to defeat a final table that included the likes of Danny Wong and EPT regular Nasr El Nasr.
El Nasr looked dominant early at the five-handed final table but would flame out in fifth place, with Wong going broke in fourth.
Maxim Lykov would bust in third, leaving Traply and Lichtenberger heads-up with the bracelet on the line.
Traply jumped out to a monster lead early in the heads-up match when his pocket sixes turned a set against Lichtenberger's A-Q after the latter had flopped an ace.
The hand gave Traply a monster chip lead, but Lichtenberger would double up three times to pull back within striking distance.
Ultimately, however, Traply would get his rival's chips in the middle holding A-K to Lichtenberger's A-J.
After a board of blanks, the young Hungarian had won the match.
"The players were really tough," said Traply. "The first table not so much, but my second was really tough and this one was also.
"Compared to an average WSOP tournament this was much tougher. It's not even comparable."
Traply banks $348,728 in prize money to complement the bracelet. Lichtenberger earned $215,403 for his second-place finish.
And with the win, Traply assumes the role of poster boy for the burgeoning Hungarian poker revolution.
"In Hungary, poker is growing really fast," he said. "It's some kind of poker boom and I guess it will be bigger after my bracelet.
"There are a lot of good online players in Hungary. They're my friends and they were cheering here. I think there will be many more Hungarian successes coming in the future."
The new champ sees himself playing a key role in that success.
"I will be a national hero or something," he said.
Check out the PokerListings.com 2009 WSOP section for more coverage of Traply's victory.