Up and Down: JC Tran, Men the Master and Greg Raymer prove old players still have it

The older generation in poker are often written off. They are referred to as stuck in their ways, irrelevant and archaic in their approach to the game. The younger generation are the future, but for this week at least, they are certainly not the present.

JC Tran beats Tony Dunst to claim WSOPC ring

JC Tran
JC Tran

Two older pros went head to head for this title after navigating a field of 47 players at the WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley High Roller. The event cost $3,250 to enter and had a prize pool of $141,000, with almost $50,000 up top. Of the final 8 players, just two were recognisable names, and they were JC Tran and Tony Dunst.

All 8 players received prize money, but for Dunst and Tran, they had plans to pocket more than just loose change. The pair have both won major events in their lifetime but are less prolific these days. Despite that fact, they were able to roll back the years to cut through the remaining players and reach heads up. Tran eventually triumphed after two hours, when his pocket queens were able to hold up against Dunst’s ace-ten. Tran picked up $49,035 and a circuit ring for his efforts.

Men the master schools youngsters at Borgata

Men The Master
Men The Master – Photo Borgata

Men ‘The Master’ Nguyen is almost as old as the game of poker itself, having been a known name since before this century began. Having racked up 7 WSOP bracelets in his life, he is now in the twilight of an exceptional career. Much like JC Tran though, nobody has told Men that he should be fading into the background with the odd min cash as he enjoys semi-retirement.

Men has not only gone deep in a field of 741 players but has taken the title and a $50,000 payday at the $400 Saturday Series during the Borgata Winter Poker Open. He was part of a three-handed deal struck between the players, before surging into the lead and taking home the win. It is the first five-figure score in almost 18 months for Men and his first live tournament victory in almost 7 years.

Raymer returns to glory

Greg Raymer
Greg Raymer – Photo Heartland Poker Tour

Greg Raymer is a part of poker history, having won the WSOP Main Event back in 2004. That victory remains his only current WSOP title, but Raymer has not been avoiding the winner’s circle for all of the years since. He has managed to rack up around $3 million in live cashes over the past 15 years and has been especially successful at the Heartland Poker Tour. This lesser known tour may not be quite to the scale of the world series, but Raymer has claimed five titles during his time there, with the latest coming this week.

The HPT’s $1,650 Ameristar East Chicago Main Event brought together a field of 520 players, creating a prize pool of $748,800. Raymer battled his way through the final table to find himself heads up with a 2 to 1 chip deficit, but soon levelled the match before gaining the momentum. He was eventually able to swat aside Evan Bethyo to take the title and $171,411, completing a fabulous week for poker’s elders.

Article by Craig Bradshaw