Minh Ly is a player who epitomizes the feast or famine nature of tournament poker, as he has alternated between several six-figure scores here at the World Series of Poker, and summers without a single cash on poker's premier stage.
A quick review of Ly's record illustrates the often random nature of tournament results, as he made a splash in the $5,000 Short Handed No-Limit Hold'em event at the 2005 WSOP, finishing as the runner-up to none other than "Texas Dolly" himself Doyle Brunson. For that impressive showing, Ly earned $203,715, while cementing his reputation as a fearsome force on the felt after nearly a decade of grinding the circuit.
Ly followed up his 2nd place finish with a deep run in that year's Main Event, as he placed 19th and earned $304,680 for his efforts in wading through one of the largest fields ever assembled. Ly's validation was secured later that year, when he captured the 2nd annual WPT Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship for $1,060,050, but he failed to make any waves the following year at the WSOP.
In the 2007 edition of the WSOP, however, Ly placed 5th at the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event for a score of $174,537, and he backed that performance up the following year with a 5th place finish ($118,816) at the $10,000 Seven Card Stud World Championship here at the Rio.
Continuing to ride the roller coaster known as variance, Ly failed to cash a single time at either the 2009 and 2010 WSOP, but he made his presence known once again in 2011, placing 3rd at the $50,000 Poker Player's Championship and taking home $665,763 in prize money.
Ly once again alternated six-figure scores with 0'fers, and he did not register a cash last year at the WSOP. This year, he got right back on the horse with another final table appearance at the $50,000 Poker Player's Championship ($309,830), and he is back in the house here today, looking to add another Main Event run to one of the more checkered tournament careers in poker history.