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David Pham: Professional Poker Player Profile

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David Pham is nicknamed "The Dragon" because he is always putting heat on his opponents at the poker table. This Vietnamese-American wonder was Card Player's 2002 Tournament Player of the Year. As of 2004 he had one World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet to his name, and over $2.4 million in tournament earnings.

In the 2000 WSOP, David Pham suffered a bitter defeat against John Clements and Chris Bjorin. However, taking this beating only made him much, much stronger as a player. It was in 2001 that he bagged his first World Series of Poker bracelet for winning the mixed game S.H.O.E. event. S.H.O.E. is an acronym for four of the most popular poker games -- Seven-card stud, Texas Hold'em, Omaha high/low, and stud Eight-or-better. It is supposed to be a true test of a champion's poker prowess.

In 2003, 415 players showed up for the $1,500 buy-in, $1 million-guaranteed limit hold’em event at Commerce Casino’s L.A. Poker Classic. David Pham went head-to-head against Ray Dehkharghani, and won almost every hand. Pham was crowned king of limit hold'em at that event.

Recently, in 2005, Pham made his way to the final table of the WSOP. He placed seventh in this event. He took home $65,740. He currently holds a record of 14 first-place finishes at major poker tournaments during the past four years.

David Pham was born in 1967, in South Vietnam. Pham is a cousin of famous poker player Men "the Master" Nguyen. He started working for Nguyen's laundry business, which was opened in the United States soon after his early poker successes. Like many of Nguyen's workers, Pham would eventually learn poker from him, and would move on to play tournaments.

Pham's cousin, Men Nguyen, has enjoyed renown as a "professor" of poker. His patience with teaching and welcoming attitude toward all poker enthusiasts is well-known in and out of the circuit. He sometimes also tutors to charities in Vietnam.

Benny Binion Behnen, grandson of casino owner Lester Ben "Benny" Binion, has said it is believed that Nguyen has tutored more tournament winners than anyone else. In fact Nguyen used to run a poker school, but its reputation was tarnished by unsubstantiated rumors that his students were dumping chips to other people.

Besides having worked in Nguyen's laundry business, David Pham had also worked as a manicurist. Pham is currently residing in Bell Gardens, California. He is married and has four children.

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