Wicked Chops Awards: Tuan Le Memorial

We could've also called this the Mischa Barton of Poker Award.

Originally, we were going to name this Wicked Chops Award the Tuan Lam Memorial.

The concept of the award was simple: what player who was KILLING IT on the circuit a few years ago has now completely and totally fallen off the map.

In a way, it was an evolutionary-Temp Hutter All-Stars for us. The Temp Hutter All-Stars were guys that made a big TV score during the boom years and you never heard from again.

But this is a little more nuanced. The award isn’t just about TV time, but consistent circuit scores. And when we were looking at Tuan Lam, we realized that he was basically the evolutionary Steve Dannenmann, a WSOP Main Event runner-up that never did anything again. After Lam, you had Ivan Demidov, and after him, you had Darvin Moon, and basically if you finished second in the WSOP Main Event since 2005 (save Paul Wascika, who is in danger of falling off now) you were fucked as a career poker tournament player.

So we began looking for someone else. A guy that was a super-nova for a sustained period of time, and now for whatever reasons you just don’t hear from anymore.

In naming the award, the choice became clear. Instead of Tuan Lam, we were going with Tuan Le.

Look at Le’s career yearly earnings. He goes from $1.6M to $2.8M in ’04 and ’05, then $96k in ’06, $0 in ’07, $33k in ’08, $0 in ’09, and $44k in ’10.

With that in mind, we almost gave the Tuan Le Memorial Award to Tuan Le. Seriously, holy shit. But we found someone with a similar career arc, although not as drastic, but potentially just as alarming. And that individual is Alex Jacob.

Look at his career stats. Jacob goes from $1.6M in ’06, to respectable years of $400k in ’07, $202k in ’08, $224k in ’09, then $48k in ’10.

So there you have it, our Tuan Le Memorial Award goes to Alex Jacob.

We’ve played against Jacob in a tournament before, and dude was solid. So we hope he gets off the schnide. But all trends point to down right now.


3 Responses

  1. steven dannenmann

    December 30, 2010 10:28 pm, Reply

    This was hilarious…i just happened to look at your website, hadnt seen it since summer and holy crap my name is there…I love it…and your absolutely right, except 5th place in the TOC in 2005 when i called hellmuth a “punk”, but thats a different story….i havent done shit…zippo…nothing…well a couple small tournaments, but thats all i play….i have a lot more fun playing a $85 tournament then i would a $10k event…its dumb to throw $10k away having fun when you could have the same fun playing $85….sure most people say what about the score…..the score, another score….well that would be great, however, how many guys have gone broke in search of the next score….yes, most of them….see a smart person who has a lucky score invests it and continues to do what they know best….a sure win…a career….in poker, nonsense….take that money, invest in ______ and make it grow….life is great and getting better everyday…..steve dannenmann

  2. Birmy

    December 31, 2010 9:46 am, Reply

    LOL Steve. I think Steve is wiser than many poker players trying to chase the big payday every other weekend. Sounds like he plays for fun with an occasional big tourney here or there. What’s wrong with that?

    • Wicked Chops Entity

      December 31, 2010 11:00 am, Reply

      Nothing wrong with the way Dannenmann handled it. But the point was you couldn’t escape Dannenmann on TV in ’06 and you don’t see him now. Doesn’t speak to his game. Good to see you are still reading the site though, Steve.

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