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Scotty Nguyen

The Prince of Poker

United StatesUnited States

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Biography

Scotty Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American poker player who won the 1998 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.

Nguyen has won five WSOP bracelets during his career, including 2008 $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship.

He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2013.

Biography

Nguyen was born in Vietnam on October 28, 1962. Because of the conflict in his home country, his mother sent him to Taiwan where he worked as a manual laborer. He was eventually able to receive sponsorship from a host family in the United States.

After arriving in the United States, Scotty found it hard to adjust to the living conditions. He changed host families and was relocated from Illinois to California. Despite the weather being more acclimating for the young Nguyen, he still found it hard to fully adjust.

He eventually left school to take up poker, playing in backrooms and pool halls around California before he made the jump to Las Vegas in his early twenties, where he worked as a dealer. After a few years, he quit dealing all together in order to focus on playing.

1998 WSOP Main Event

Despite picking up his first WSOP bracelet in 1997 in Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, Nguyen was broke by the time the 1998 World Series of Poker (WSOP) came around. Mike Matusow bought him into a satellite tournament for the 1998 WSOP Main Event which Nguyen won, earning himself a seat in the Main Event.

With the film 'Rounders' released in 1998, stars Matt Damon and Edward Norton both entered the tournaments, but did not last long, with Damon busted with pocket kings against the pocket aces of Doyle Brunson.

With three tables remaining, Nguyen was dominant and kept his foot to the floor as he eliminated player after player. By the time heads-up was reached against Kevin McBride, it was McBride who was in the lead. However, Nguyen's aggression saw him flip the script and move into a 4:1 chip lead.

The Final Hand

"You call, it's gonna be all over baby!" —Scott Nguyen

The 1998 Main Event is perhaps best known for its final hand. McBride raised pre-flop with {q-Hearts}{10-Hearts} and Nguyen called with {j-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}. The flop came {9-Hearts}{9-Diamonds}{8-Clubs} and Nguyen check-called a bet from McBride bet. The turn was the {8-Hearts} and Nguyen check-called another bet.

The river was the {8-Spades} putting a full house on the board. Almost immediately, Nguyen moved all in. Standing up at the table, smoking a cigarette and swigging on a beer, Nguyen uttered the immortal lines: "You call, it's gonna be all over baby."

McBride thought for a moment. "I call, I play the board," he said. Nguyen flipped over his nine giving him a bigger full house, winning the tournament for $1,000,000.

After the tournament, McBride said that Nguyen's speech-play influenced his decision to call.

"I wouldn’t have called the bet," he said. "The only thing is Scotty said, 'If you call it’s all over.' I didn’t think he was telling me the truth, he was, it’s all over. It was a great play by Scotty… If he hadn’t said that, I would have folded the hand."

Tragically, Nguyen's Main Event triumph was overshadowed by the tragic death of one of his brothers back in Vietnam. For this reason, Nguyen does not wear his 1998 WSOP Main Event bracelet.


Read More: Scotty Nguyen's Winning Smile Shines Bright at the WSOP


Scotty Nguyen Poker Achievements

Following his Main Event win, Nguyen continued to cash at the WSOP, picking up two more bracelets in 2001.He came close to making another WSOP Final table in 2007, finishing 11th.

In 2008, Nguyen won $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship at the World Series for $1,989,120. This was the second-highest first-prize in the tournament's history, and a joint-highest field size of 148.

Nguyen is the only poker player to have won the WSOP Main Event and the H.O.R.S.E. Championship.

He has come close to adding another bracelet to his collection, with a runner-up finishing the $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Event at the 2012 WSOP, and most recently with a third-place finish in the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller in 2018 for $592,875.

Away from the WSOP, Nguyen has made several WPT final tables, winning the Gold Strike World Poker Open in January 2006 for $969,421.

Scotty Nguyen WSOP Bracelets

YearEventPayout (USD)
1997Event #8: $2,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo$156,950
1998Event #22: $10,000 NLHE WSOP Main Event$1,000,000
2001Event #14: $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha$178,480
2001Event #23: $5,000 Limit Omaha Hi-LO$207,580
2008Event #45: $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship$1,989,120

Scotty Nguyen Top Five Poker Cashes

YearEventBuy-inPlacePayout (USD)
June 2008WSOP H.O.R.S.E.$50,0001st$1,989,120
May 1998WSOP Main Event$10,0001st$1,000,000
January 2006WPT Gold Strike World Poker Open$10,2001st$969,421
June 2018WSOP PLO High Roller$25,0003rd$592,875
July 2007WSOP Main Event$10,00011th$476,926

WSOP Main Event Winners 1989-98

YEARENTRIESCHAMPIONCOUNTRYPRIZE
1998350Scotty NguyenVietnam$1,000,000
1997312Stu UngarUnited States$1,000,000
1996295Huck SeedUnited States$1,000,000
1995273Dan HarringtonUnited States$1,000,000
1994268Russ HamiltonUnited States$1,000,000
1993220Jim BechtelUnited States$1,000,000
1992201Hamid DastmalchiIran$1,000,000
1991215Brad DaughertyUnited States$1,000,000
1990194Mansour MatloubiIran$895,000
1989178Phil HellmuthUnited States$755,000

Covered Events

Event Place Prize
2018 World Series of Poker
Event #75: $1,500 The Closer No-Limit Hold'em (30 minute levels) - $1 Million Guarantee
209th $3,515
2018 World Series of Poker
Event #54: Big Blind Antes $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em
44th $10,387
2018 World Series of Poker
Event #49: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship
35th $21,028
2018 World Series of Poker
Event #42: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller
3rd $592,875
2018 World Series of Poker
Event #32: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship
171st $3,760
2018 World Series of Poker
Event #24: $2,620 THE MARATHON No-Limit Hold'em
46th $11,329
2017 World Series of Poker
Event #73: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT - World Championship
549th $22,449
2017 World Series of Poker
Event #47: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MONSTER STACK
271st $5,415
2017 World Series of Poker
Event #44: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E.
35th $5,496
2014 World Series of Poker
Event #42: $5,000 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha
24th $16,888
2014 World Series of Poker
Event #29: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em
83rd $5,936
2014 World Series of Poker
Event #8: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold'em
644th $3,446
2013 World Series of Poker
Event #50: $2,500 10-Game Mix (Six Handed)
21st $7,075
2012 World Series of Poker
Event 58: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better
8th $33,789
2012 World Series of Poker
Event 24: $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better
2nd $182,213
2011 World Series of Poker
Event #47: $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better
5th $53,091
2010 World Series of Poker
Event #57: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Championship
209th $48,847
2010 World Series of Poker
Event #43: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
19th $21,997
2010 NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship
$20,000 Heads-up Championship
3rd $125,000
2009 World Series of Poker
Event 37 - $10,000 World Championship Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo 8-or-better
11th $33,668
2009 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship
$20,000 Heads-up Championship
11th $25,000
2009 Aussie Millions
Event 9 - $10,500 Aussie Millions Main Event
50th 15,000 AUD
PokerStars.com EPT London £1m Showdown
£20,000 High Roller Event
5th £137,000
2008 PokerStars.com EPT London
£5,200 EPT London Main Event
32nd £13,052
2008 Partouche Poker Tour - Cannes
€8,500 Cannes Main Event
44th $15,693
2008 World Series of Poker
Event 45 - $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship
1st $1,989,120
2008 World Series of Poker
Event 31 - $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-handed
7th $50,508
2007 PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) - Sydney
$6300 APPT Sydney Main Event
19th 18,416 AUD
2007 World Series of Poker
Event 55 - $10,000 World Championship No Limit Holdem
11th $476,926
2007 World Series of Poker
Event 50 - $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha
15th $30,992
2007 World Series of Poker
Event 46 - $1,000 Seven Card Stud Hi Lo
4th $31,610
2007 World Series of Poker
Event 31 - $5,000 Heads Up No Limit Holdem
17th $16,582
2007 World Series of Poker
Event 24 - $3,000 Seven Card Stud Hi Lo
2nd $110,731
2007 World Series of Poker
Event 5 - $2,500 Omaha/ 7 Card Stud Hi Lo
10th $11,658