Fortuitous Mistake Wins Poker Gold Bracelet



The 51-day World Series of Poker with 68 events that started on May 27 attracted top-notch international poker players to Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

Christian Pham of St. Paul is a 40-year-old migrant from Vietnam 15 years ago. He delivers newspaper now in Minnesota. He had outlasted 219 players to win the most coveted gold bracelet of the World Series of Poker by participating in an event in which he entered by mistake.

He planned to play no-limit Texas Hold ’em but by mistake signed up  no-limit deuce-to-seven draw lowball that was scheduled on the same day.  When he was dealt five cards instead of the usual two, he was shocked. He realised his mistake and panicked.  But with the help of fellow players and his own homework at night he understood that the game was all about holding the least poker hand with no straights or flushes.

On Friday, he won $81,314 and also the gold bracelet, the tournament’s version of a Super Bowl ring.  He proudly stood for the playing of Vietnam’s national anthem, the custom of World Series of Poker to honor the winner.

In 2008, he won second place in a local cash-prize poker tournament but he gave it up until 2012.

In 2014, he won a $200 satellite tournament which qualified him for the World Series of Poker’s circuit main event where he won the gold ring and $214,332.

And now, he had won the coveted gold bracelet, by a fortuitous mistake.