Tom Vu

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Tuan Vu
Nickname(s) Tommy
Residence Orlando, Florida
Born (1957-12-05) 5 December 1957 (age 57)
World Series of Poker
Money finish(es) 9
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
22nd, 2005
Information accurate as of 9 September 2014.

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 2014, he has won more than $1,800,000 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 9 cashes at the WSOP account for $827,562 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, King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-head and Family Guy, TV sketch shows In Living Color and Saturday Night Live, the 1995 Troma film Blondes Have More Guns, and in the 2013 Michael Bay film Pain & 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 (24 May 1992). "Tom Vu's Secrets Of Success". Orlando Sentinel. 
  2. ^ a b Shiver Jr., Jube (16 February 1992). "Despite Florida Probe, Real Estate Promoter Tom Vu Still Wows Crowds". Los Angeles Times. 
  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. ^ Righi, Len (5 April 1991). "No Laughing Matter Arnold, Emo Specials Are Disappointing". The Morning Call. 
  7. ^ "ExEAS - MY AMERICA (OR HONK IF YOU LOVE BUDDHA)". 

External links[edit]