It took over 13 hours, 314 hands, and countless bottles of beer for Scotty Nguyen to vanquish his seven distinguished opponents at this $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. final table. An elated Nguyen bearhugged Layne Flack, kissed his wife, and even embraced WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack in the moments after his victory.
Some would say that Nguyen experienced one of the greatest "blow-ups" of all time at last year's Main Event, where he had the chip lead with 12 players to go, yet ultimately finished 11th. Coming back a year later to win arguably the most prestigious tournament in poker has got to put some of those demons to rest for the now five-time bracelet winner.
"The $50K H.O.R.S.E. event is the best all around player...#1 in the world. Nobody can walk up to me and say, Scotty, you're second, baby" said Nguyen in his post-game interview.
Nguyen also had kind words for runner-up Michael DeMichele. "He's a great up and coming young player. Everyone told me to watch out for him."
When Jeffrey Pollack presented an emotional Nguyen with the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, Nguyen thanked his friends, his fans, and especially his wife for their support.
"This feels so good, baby. This is it!" he exclaimed with a smile.
Michael DeMichele had the button in Seat 7 and he raised. Nguyen took his time while stacking chips from a previous hand. At one pointed he said "it's gonne be all over baby." He eventually raised and DeMichele called all in.
The crowd was on it's feet as the players showed:
The two exchanged pleasantries and shook hands. DeMichele seemed resigned to his fate before the community cards ever hit the felt. The flop came and both players paired their ace. The crowd was relatively silent as the flop came down. There was a lengthy delay but eventually the hit the turn. DeMichele was down to his final card or Scotty Nguyen would be the champion. The crowd came alive and began to cheer. The hit the river and the crowd went wild. Nguyen and DeMichele smiled as they had an inaudible conversation.
Michael DeMichele was our 2nd place finisher and will leave with $1,243,200.
Scotty Nguyen gave Michael DeMichele a well-deserved congratulations. He then hugged some members of his gallery which included Layne Flack, Daniel Negreanu and Tex Barch before making his way over to his wife to show her some affection.
Scotty Nguyen is our champion and will leave with $1,989,120, a coveted WSOP bracelet and the David "Chip" Reese memorial trophy.
Scotty Nguyen: (X) (X) (X)
Michael DeMichele: (X) (X) (X)
Michael DeMichele brought it in and Scotty Nguyen completed. DeMichele raised and Nguyen called. Nguyen bet on fourth street and DeMichele called. DeMichele led out on fifth and sixth streets and Nguyen called on both. When DeMichele bet the river, Nguyen raised. DeMichele took over two minutes before finally calling. Scotty showed () () () for two pair. DeMichele mucked and Nguyen scooped the pot.