David “The Dragon” Pham is one of the fiercest tournament players the United States has ever seen, but he almost didn’t make it to America. Born in South Vietnam in 1967, Pham fled to the US at the age of 17 aboard a boat with 145 passengers; only 46 people would survive that voyage, and fortunately, David Pham was one of them. When he arrived in the States, Pham briefly worked for his cousin’s laundry business, but since his cousin was Men “The Master” Nguyen, he soon shifted his focus to poker.
Honing his game in small tournaments and cash games, it wasn’t until 2000 that David Pham played in the World Series of Poker, making two final tables for over $65K, and also being honored as Card Player’s Player of the Year. The following year, “Dragon” would claim his first WSOP bracelet, winning the $2000 S.H.O.E. event for $140K. In 2003, Pham won the $5000 Limit Hold’em event at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic for $457K, and a year later, he took 1st in the Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $414K. David actually has an incredible seven WPT final tables to his credit, although none of them have come in a championship event.
David Pham won his second WSOP event in 2006, taking home $240K in the $2000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout. For his next trick, he won the 2007 Card Player of the Year award a second time after making a remarkable 11 final tables, bagging a grand total of $1.8 million. More recently, Pham finished 4th at the EPT PokerStars Caribbean Poker Adventure for $600K. All told, “Dragon” has amassed more than $7.8 million in live poker earnings.