2023 WSOP: Vietnam’s Thai Ha breaks curse, wins $1500 Short Deck for career first bracelet


Vietnamese online pro Thai Ha secured a long-awaited career milestone by clinching his very first gold bracelet at Event 83: $1500 Short Deck No Limit Hold’em.

thai ha pokergo 2
2023 WSOP

Ha’s triumph came after two heart-wrenching runner-up finishes at the 2019 WSOP and WSOPE, where he fell just short in both the $10,000 Short Deck NLH and the €25,500 Short Deck High Roller NLH events. Topping a field of 363 entries, Ha mounted a comeback during heads up to claim the coveted gold and $111,170.

SMP: How does it feel to finally win a bracelet having come close a couple of times? 

Thai Ha: It feels really good, a relief because I finished second twice in this same game that I love the most. I play so much Short Deck, I’m glad I won it. It was a long grind. I was behind at the start and we were so deep, like 200 ante deep, that we had to play slow. So ya it feels really good that I was able to grind it out and win it.

thai ha pokergo
Thai Ha – Photo by pokerGO

SMP: Showdowns are big at Short Deck, what hands swung the tide your way at heads up? 

Thai Ha: There were two big hands, I had Jack-10 the nuts straight and he had 10-6 on a 7-8-9 board. Then the second one when I made a hero call with Jack-6 two pair on a Jack-6-7-8-King board. Those were the two biggest hands before the all in.

SMP: You mentioned Short Deck is your game of choice, how much of it do you play live and online?

Thai Ha: Right now I still play more online but I will start playing more live tournaments. The problem with Short Deck is that there aren’t that many live tournaments running. You just have to play very high stakes. Yesterday, this was the only Short Deck event running. So you have no choice but to play online.

SMP: Why is Short Deck your game of choice?

Thai Ha: There’s more action, it’s more fun and enjoyable. You get to play more hands. In No Limit the play is so slow and a long grind. This game at least you get to play many hands instead of fold most of the time.

SMP: What’s next for you?

Thai Ha: There’s the $10,000 Short Deck event in a few days, I will definitely play that one.

SMP: One last question, are you planning to attend any events in Asia?

Thai Ha: I don’t have Asia planned at the moment but we’ll see because Poker Dream will run some Short Deck events and I am in talks with them on running more Short Deck events. So possibly in the near future.

SMP: Thanks for taking the time Thai and congratulations! 

Event details

Buy in: $1,500
Entries: 363
Prize pool: $484,605
ITM: 55 places

Final table payouts

Place Player Flag
Payout in USD
1 Thai Ha Vietnam 111,170
2 David Prociak USA 68,712
3 Wai Kiat Lee Malaysia 45,866
4 Robert James USA 31,307
5 Ryan Laplante USA 21,863
6 Moshe Alosh USA 15,629
7 Matan Gabay Argentina 11,443

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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