Born in the middle of not only the biggest military conflict his country has ever seen, but also one of the defining conflagrations of the 20th century, the Vietnam War, on New Year’s Day in 1966, Tuan Lam could’ve easily ended up as cannon-fodder for the insatiable meat-grinder that war was.
He remained in Vietnam after the end of the war, struggling on to make a decent living and to support his family too.
As the years went by, it became more and more obvious that earning a decent living would be an impossible task under the given circumstances. This realization prompted him to move to Canada. The better life that he had hoped for wasn’t to be found in Ontario either, where he settled down. His only goal still to provide a decent life for his wife and two children, Tuan Lam had to learn the hard way that the life of a Vietnamese immigrant would be fraught with obstacles pretty much every step of the way. The fairy-tale like success stories that he had heard proved to be just that: fairy tales.
Forced to accept just about any kind of job offered to him, it seemed like he would never be able to break out of the seemingly endless circle of futureless jobs he got caught up in.
Despite the adversities, Lam never gave up. He earned his high school diploma by going back to school, and decided to attend business school to forge a better future for himself.
Everything he earned then was used up towards supporting his wife and kids, as well as his family members who remained in Vietnam.
Because he didn’t have the money to go to business school as he had planned, once again he went looking for a job. A friend of his offered him a job as a dealer in a card-room, which he promptly accepted. Forced to play as a prop player every now and then when the action was slow, he had to learn the ropes, and he had to learn them well. Soon, he began playing heads-up and short handed on PokerStars. It was about then that he realized he could actually make a living playing poker.
Always a cash games specialist, he saw some success in the tournaments he took part in too. Money was finally beginning to flow his way, and it became obvious that he had indeed started down the right path that time.
Unlike prop players, regular rakeback players do indeed qualify for all the things rakeback-less players do: sign up bonuses, freerolls, live event satellites and every single promotion the rake back room offers. Sure, they’ll only get up to 50% rake rebate (most of the time closer to 30%) while poker props earn over 100% rakeback, but then again, they can’t take part in any of the above named promotions.
The biggest success of his poker career, one that would change his life forever came in a tournament. It wasn’t just any old tournament though. It was the Main Event of the 2007 WSOP.
Tuan Lam finished second beating a field of 6,358 opponents, and taking home $4,840,981. For a moment, during the final hand, it looked like he would take home first prize and his first WSOP bracelet, but Jerry Yang, the eventual winner, with luck solidly nestled by his side, proved unbeatable that day.
Should you create a regular rakeback-less account at a poker room first and then contact a rakeback provider to set your rake rebate deal up? No. Never ever do that. Most likely, you won’t be allowed to turn your regular account into a rake back one, and you won’t be able to open a new rakeback account either. Such a move will probably deprive you of rakeback from that particular poker room forever.
Tuan Lam had finished twice more in the money before his 2007 second place, once in 2005 and once in 2006. Thus, his WSOP achievements feature 3 money finishes. (he hasn’t earned any bracelets yet, though).
Because he’s still mainly a cash game player, his tournament achievements are kind of unimpressive when compared with fellow pros. He does play in $400/$200 cash games online though (at PokerStars) as well as live in the Brantford Charity Casino in Ontario, Canada.