Pham was born in South Vietnam and fled to the United States at the age of 17 in a boat carrying 145 people of which only 46 survived the journey. Once in the United States, Pham gained employment at his cousin's laundry business. His cousin is the famed professional poker player Men Nguyen, from whom Pham would learn poker and continue to do so even after Pham along with his wife had opened a nail salon in Los Angeles, California.
In both 2000 and 2007 Pham was named "Player of the Year" by Card Player.
As of 2017, his total live tournament winnings exceed $9,850,000. His 50 cashes at the WSOP account for over $2,175,000 of those winnings.
Pham won a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in 2001 for the $2.000 S.H.O.E. event, defeating a final table including Tom McEvoy, John Cernuto, Cyndy Violette and Paul Darden. In 2006, Pham won a second WSOP bracelet in the $2,000 No Limit Hold'em Shootout event. He won a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event in 2017.
In February 2003, Pham won the $5,000 limit hold'em event of the L.A. Poker Classic, outlasting such players as John Phan and Jennifer Harman to take home the $457,320 first prize.
Later, in December 2004, he defeated Alan Goehring heads-up to win the $3,000 no limit hold'em event at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic, earning a payday of $414,419.
On March 28, 2008, Pham made his sixth WPT final table at the 2008 World Poker Challenge, where he finished 5th earning $93,664. On November 11, 2008, Pham finished in fourth place at the WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals, earning $240,344.
In January 2008, Pham finished in fourth place, winning $600,000 at the European Poker Tour's (EPT) PokerStars Caribbean Poker Adventure (formerly a WPT event) after being eliminated at the final table by Bertrand Grospellier, who called Pham all-in with an ace high flush draw on the turn, which was made on the river.