I watched today as some random player, not willing take a chance with his $10,000 buy-in, folded a full house to an opponents all-in raise on the river on one of the first few hands. It turned out that opponent had nothing more than top pair.
His willingness to gamble led to success throughout Day 1 and the last time I checked that player who laid down the monster, his chair was empty. Odds are he got his money in bad in some spot once his stack was dwindled away by his ultra-safe, super-scared style of play. He just wasn't ready to mix it up with the big boys just yet. I hope he realizes now there's only one way to guarantee you won't lose that $10K - Don't put it up.
Then there's that other type of player. He's always willing to gamble a little. He's putting the pressure on his opponents. When the ESPN cameras are rolling, he's on.
Scotty Nguyen is one such player. While other Main Event participants cringe at the thought they might be seated at the ESPN feature table, The Prince of Poker came up all smiles when he found out he'd be seated there today.
Put the spotlight on Nguyen and he shines even brighter, baby!
By the dinner break he had amassed a stack of better than $85,000 chips and enough face time on ESPN that the network is considering another addition to it's line-up. ESPN 10 Scotty TV, baby!
It is really kind of amazing how this man not only survives, but thrives on all the attention, considering his humble upbringing.
Born in Vietnam, Scotty comes from a family with 12 brothers and sisters. He fled his home during the Vietnam war and eventually made his way to the U.S.
After a few years in the Mid-West and a couple more in California, Scotty landed in Las Vegas where he cleaned tables at what is now Harrah's.
Soon he started dealing poker and it wasn't long before he was playing. He got good fast and got better faster.
It was at the WSOP in 1998 where that spotlight he loves so much first shined on Scotty. He final tabled at the Championship Event and got to heads up with Kevin McBride. On board with three 8's and two 9's, Scotty pushed all in.
"You call this one, and it's gonna be all over, baby," he said smugly, mugging it up for the cameras and daring his opponent to rise to the challenge. With the board showing a full house already, McBride must have thought Scotty was trying to steal and made the call.
Of course, Scotty showed the 9 and never looked back. He became a millionaire, a WSOP Bracelet winner and proved he can handle all the pressure you can throw at him with a style all his own, baby!
Since then he's captured three more WSOP titles. In 2006, he won the WPT Championship and his tournament winnings to date are close to $7 million. Plus, you'd be hard pressed to find a player with more TV highlight hands than Nguyen.
The 2007 WSOP has been no different for Scotty. Cameras, reporters and fans follow his every move and he never wilts under those hot lights.
He's made two final tables, narrowly missed a third and has cashed more than $200,000 so far.
There are a lot of people pretending to be poker professionals these days, but when it's lights, camera, action - they disappear. A true professional, Scotty Nguyen is always there and you can bet he plans to stay. If you're not afraid to gamble a little.