Gardens Regular Tuan Phan Nears Vengeance for WPT Gardens Close Call

Jan 13, 2020

Tuan Phan

By Sean Chaffin

The Gardens Casino is not only the regular poker home for L.A. area player Tuan Phan (pictured), but his favorite property has also hosted some of his nice runs on the WPT. That included an eighth-place finish in the Gardens Poker Festival in Season XVII for $69,705. Later that season, the 49-year-old part-time player also finished 32nd in the Gardens Poker Championship for $19,120.

A year later, he’s now hoping to top both of those scores with another deep run this week at the property. With 12 players remaining in this year’s GPC, Phan was among the chip leaders and mixed it up early in the day to build up his chip stack even more.

“Day 1A I wasn’t planning on playing,” he says. “When I came in I saw that the competition was hard. I was hesitant, but I couldn’t play on Friday.”

Phan overcame those initial concerns and jumped in the field. Because of that, he’s now added his eighth tour cash and has his eyes on a final table appearance in Las Vegas at HyperX Esports Arena at Luxor Las Vegas. He still looks back in anguish at the eighth-place finish and the final table appearance that fell just out of his reach.

After getting his chips all in, his pocket Kings were beaten by Simon Lam’s pocket 10s when another 10 fell on the turn. Lam went on to win the title and $565,055. How would it feel now to make that final table appearance in Las Vegas?

“It would be great,” he says. “It would be awesome. My friends and I go to Vegas a lot.”

In the last couple of years, Phan has even hit the road to play in a few WPT events outside California and is hoping to make some more. He has almost $335,000 in live tournament winnings and played full time until just a few years ago. He is now an investor in a Vetnamese restaurant and enjoys spending time with his wife and 11-year-old son. The Gardens is his home away from home when he’s looking to play cards.

“This is my casino,” he says. “I’ve been playing here for 14 years and I know everybody here. I played a lot of cash games back then, but now I’m busy with the business. But I still play here – the Gardens is great.”

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.

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