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Poker player runs crazy bluff to win huge pot in WSOP Main Event

It takes some luck to win the World Series of Poker Main Event. And a whole lot of guts, too.

Daniel Vampan of Santa Cruz, California, showed that late on Day 5 of the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Hold’em World Championship when he ran an audacious bluff with eight-high that had the poker room at Horseshoe Las Vegas buzzing.

The hand started with British poker pro Toby Lewis opening to 100,000 chips, and Vampan called along with Nicholas Rigby in the small blind and Ryan Brown in the big blind.

All four players checked the flop of five-six-queen with two hearts before the 10 of clubs came on the turn. Rigby led out for 325,000 chips. Brown folded, but Lewis made the call holding a pair and flush draw with ace-10 of hearts.

Vampan was on a straight draw with seven-eight and decided to raise to 750,000, which forced Rigby to get out of the way. Lewis called after thinking for a few moments and then checked on the river when the five of hearts completed his flush but paired the board.

Sensing weakness, Vampan shoved his remaining 2.285 million chips into the middle, and Lewis went into the tank for more than five minutes trying to make a decision.

“I have a flush. You know that, right?” Lewis said to his opponent. “It would just be an outrageous bluff.”

Eventually, Lewis folded, and Vampan showed the bluff with a missed straight draw, then celebrated with his rail after taking down the pot with 4.56 million chips.

“I tried to torch it,” Vampan said when he returned to the table. “But, I’m a (expletive) monster.”

When the PokerGO stream showed the hand, it drew a huge reaction from players in another tournament who were watching on the big screen.

Vampan started Day 6 on Wednesday in 39th place with 5.4 million chips (68 big blinds), while Lewis also was in strong position with 4.275 million chips.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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