How JC Tran went from 2013 WSOP ME Favorite to 5th Place


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If you were looking to predict a 2013 WSOP Main Event winner going into the final table, odds are you would've tabbed JC Tran as the future champ. After all, the two-time gold bracelet winner had experience and the chip lead (38 million) on his side.

But as any player knows, things don't always play out on the felt like they're supposed to. Sometimes it's one mental blunder here or there, or just the cards not falling in your favor. Tran, who finished fifth and earned $2,106,893, experienced a terrible case of the latter.

Totally Unprepared

With weeks of preparation time before the 2013 Main Event final table, Tran had prepared for a lot of different scenarios. However, one thing that he wasn't ready for was just how card dead he'd be at the final table.

"Finishing fifth was definitely a possibility, but not the way I went out," said Tran. "I don't know if you saw any of my hands, but I had zero pairs the whole day, A-K once, A-Q a couple of times in really tough spots."

Besides the lack of cards, the Vietnamese-American also wasn't happy with his overall play either. "To be honest, I'm not happy with my play, but you know what? When you're on the bottom end of the cards, you're faced with tough decisions all of the time, and you just gotta make the right one....I wasn't for sure prepared for this coming in, prepared for coming in extremely card dead."

Looking to the Future

Obviously Tran was a little disappointed with his fifth-place finish. However, he still has an eye towards the future and is looking forward to more than just poker.

"I got bigger and better things coming, my daughter is due in a couple of weeks." Tran added, "I just take the best from it and move on, and I'll guarantee you guys I'll be back.

He also said that the best part of the experience was taking what he learned from his card-dead debacle and applying it to other tournaments. Of course, with the upcoming birth of his daughter, Tran said he won't be playing a lot of tourneys any time soon. But we can reasonably assume that he'll be adding something to his $10,942,043 career winnings one day.