A victory wasn't in the cards for Tuan Lam, but he still came away a rich man.
The 40-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., finished as the runner-up at the World Series of Poker on Wednesday in Las Vegas, collecting a cool $4.84 million US for his efforts.
American JerryYang defeated Lam in head-to-head play to claim the $8.25-million top prize.
"The last hour I got a couple big hands … but it didn't work out," Lam told the World Series of Poker website.
Play at the final table began at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday in Las Vegas and did not finish until nearly 7 a.m. Wednesday. With the final table whittled down to two, Yangenjoyed alarge lead overLam, with104.5 million in chips to Lam's 23 million.
On the last hand, with a huge mound of cash on the table, Lammoved all-inholding anace and queen of diamonds. Yang called with a pair of eights.
When a queen, five and nine came out on the flop, it looked like Lam, waving a Canadian flag, would be on the verge of a miracle comeback, making a pair of queens for the lead.
But the final two cards were a seven and a six, giving Yang a straight that beat Lam's pair.
"I've seen the miracles of God with my own eyes," Yang said. "I did a lot of bluffing also."
Lam, who was accompanied by his wife Kim, was unsure about his plans for his newfound wealth.
"I don't know, this is the first time I've had this kind of money," said Lam, who has a son and daughter. "Me and my wife's only wish that we come to the final table…
"I'm very happy with what I got."
The finalists ranged in age from 22 to 62, and hailed from five countries —the U.S., Canada, Russia, England and South Africa. By birthplace, players also were from Laos, Vietnam and Denmark.
The nine players who began the day were all that remained from a field of 6,358 players that began to play down in stages on July 6. Entrants paid $10,000 to enter the main event, the biggest poker tournament of the year.