Starting the final table of the WSOP 2016 Main Event by playing aggressively has paid off well for Qui Nguyen. He won the event and the $8 million dollar first place prize and bracelet. Though it wasn’t always smooth sailing, he pulled out a win which has become expected for those who play aggressively.
He came into the final table winning small to medium and several large pots against Gordon Vayo who was second in chip count and Gordon Josephy who was third. Josephy came out early moving up but his rise was crimped by Vayo who was dealt some strong hands as Josephy doubled up. He was left short stacked. He rallied for a bit till being eliminated by Vayo. Josephy took home $3.5 million for his work. This set the stage for Nguyen and Vayo.
The heads up match was long at 8 hours with many twists and turns. Vayo had gotten the chip lead briefly but that was changed after half an hour. The two battled back and forth till Nguyen took control. He went all-in on the river and Vayo folded with 80,000,000 chips on the table. Later Nguyen took another chunk of chips leaving Vayo weakened.
Nguyen continued to build on his lead eventually winning with a pair of kings against Vayo’s jack – ten spades combination.
Highlights of the tournament are in the video below.
Nguyen’s win highlights the effects of aggression in poker. If you sit at a table, you see it all the time. Players who raise often, even with questionable hands, often come out ahead.
Qui Nguyen is a Vietnamese who settled in California working in a nail salon before leaving for Las Vegas in 2007. He started by playing limit holdem cash games but went to no limit and had only a few cashes in small events. His only WSOP cash was in 2009 for less than $10,000. When the final hand came around, Nguyen won with a pair of kings against Vayo’s 10-jack combination. This shows the possiblities in poker that you don’t have to be Phil Ivey or a well known figure to win the WSOP.
Nguyen won his seat through a satellite tournament. Satellite tournaments are a great way to enter larger bigger payoff tournaments.
The WSOP 2016 Main Event results were:
Qui Nguyen $8,005,310
Gordon Vayo $4,661,228
Cliff Josephy $3,453,035
Michael Ruane $2,576,003
Vojtech Ruzicka $1,935,288
Kenny Hallaert $1,464,258
Griffin Benger $1,250,190
Jerry Wong $1,100,076
Fernando Pons $1,000,000
For most of the players, this is a high point of the poker career. Nguyen had his largest cash at this event. His previous top finish was $9000 and he earned his first bracelet. It’s rare to have repeat winners who place tops in the Main Event over and over.