USA Today - Former nail salon owner and failed professional baccarat player Qui Nguyen won the World Series of Poker Main Event early Wednesday morning in Las Vegas, claiming the top prize of $8,005,310 and a gold bracelet after a nine-hour heads-up session that was the longest in tournament history.
Wearing a raccoon baseball cap throughout the final table, the 39-year-old Nguyen eliminated San Francisco poker pro Gordon Vayo on the 364th hand of the final table — almost 200 hands with just the two of them at the felt with the first place prize money splayed between them in giant bricks of $100 bills.
“It’s so exciting,” Nguyen said. “I don’t know what to say.”
Vayo earned $4,661,228.
Unbeknownst to many, the last 3 night ESPN has showed the WSOP main event final table live with hole cards showing. It wrapped up last night as they played from the final 3 down to a winner, which ended up to be Qui Nguyen, who was an absolute beast. He played so unconventionally, so erratic, and so aggressive, it was some of the best poker television ever. Qui Nguyen took every traditional way to play poker and flipped it on it’s head. There wasn’t a hand he wouldn’t play, or a flop he wouldn’t raise. And it didn’t hurt that he was catching cards too….meanwhile his much more experienced opponent, Gordon Vayo, was not getting any hands or even good spots to bluff, which made him sit there looking like he wanted to die for the better part of 6 hours. The heads up match had so much drama, even poker TV superstar #humbly said this
What sucked was that he sent that tweet at 1:11 am. No casual viewers were watching it. And live poker (it was on a 30 minute delay, but unedited) can be very boring to watch at times. I believe ESPN will edit it down and show the final table as an episode with just the highlights and exciting hands, which should make for very good television. Qui Nguyen didn’t say much, but his play spoke for him. One second he would be check raising the 6-4 offsuit on a KKJ board, the next hand he would be folding the 6-4 offsuit for seemingly no reason. But whatever was going on in his head worked for him, as he ran through all 8 other players at the final table to collect a cool 8 million dollars.
I’m going to channel my inner Qui Nguyen this Friday in Aruba, I have no other choice. He’s now my spirit animal and I’m going to do my best to emulate him. And you can have a piece of me too! First place should be around $100k, and you can win yourself some money by doing basically nothing because I’m the people’s champ.