Tom Vu

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Tommy Vu
Nickname(s) Tommy
Residence Orlando, Florida
Born (1957-12-05) 5 December 1957 (age 56)
World Series of Poker
Money finish(es) 4
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
22nd, 2005
Information accurate as of 25 February 2010.

Tuan Anh Vu, (born December 5, 1957[1]) better known as "Tommy" or "Tom" Vu is a Vietnamese-American poker player, real estate investor and speaker best remembered as an infomercial personality in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Infomercial career[edit]

His late night infomercial featured Vu surrounded by luxury items: mansions, yachts, expensive cars and most visibly, collections of young bikini clad women. He promoted his free 90-minute seminar to learn the same secrets he used to make millions. As a Vietnamese immigrant, he presented himself as the classic "rags to riches" story. His infomercials promoted free seminars that served as advertisements for paid seminars, the most expensive of which was a week-long seminar held only in Orlando, Florida that cost as much as $16,000. Vu's investment theory involved finding "distressed" properties: foreclosures, bankruptcies, divorces, tax liens, and selling them at a profit.[1]

In the early 1990s, Vu was sued by former students and investigated by the government for alleged violations of securities laws, fraud and false advertising.[2]

Formerly of Longwood, Florida[1] and later a California resident, Vu has retired from real estate and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Professional poker career[edit]

Vu continues his parallel career as a tournament poker player. As of 2010, he has won more than $1,500,000 in casino poker tournaments, including a second place finish in a no limit Texas hold 'em event at the 2007 World Series of Poker[3] and a 22nd place finish at the 2005 World Series of Poker championship event.[4] His 4 cashes at the WSOP account for $678,633 of his lifetime tournament winnings.[5]

In April 2006, he finished ninth in the Season Five World Poker Tour championship event, earning $216,585.

References in popular culture[edit]

Vu and his infomercials and seminars have been parodied numerous times, including on the animated series Courage the Cowardly Dog and Family Guy, TV sketch shows In Living Color and Saturday Night Live and in the 2013 Michael Bay film Pain and Gain. [2] Vu was interviewed by Tom Arnold for his HBO comedy special Tom Arnold: The Naked Truth.[6] Vu was also one of the subjects of Renee Tajima-Peña's documentary series about Asian Americans, MY AMERICA...(or Honk if You Love Buddha).[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Santich, Kate (May 24, 1992). "Tom Vu's Secrets Of Success". Orlando Sentinel. 
  2. ^ a b "Despite Florida Probe, Real Estate Promoter Tom Vu Still Wows Crowds". Los Angeles Times. February 16, 1992. 
  3. ^ World Series of Poker Tuan (Tommy) Vu information, worldseriesofpoker.com
  4. ^ Hendon Mob Poker Database: Tuan "Tommy" Vu
  5. ^ World Series of Poker Earnings, worldseriesofpoker.com
  6. ^ Chapman, Art (April 5, 1991). "Arnold isn't funny when the Barr is closed". Fort Worth Star Telegram (The News and Courier). 
  7. ^ "ExEAS - MY AMERICA (OR HONK IF YOU LOVE BUDDHA)". 

External links[edit]