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Nguyen can make history at WPT Championship
After five days of play, the WPT Championship is down to just 10 players and the current chip leader is poised to make poker history should he hold on to win.
Should Scotty Nguyen bank the $2,149,960 first-place prize in the offing at Bellagio, he will become poker's all-time leading money winner with almost $12.6 million, surpassing 2006 WSOP Main Event winner Jamie Gold's $12.1 million.
"That's right," Nguyen told PokerListings as he sat bagging his 5,880,000 in tournament chips. "That's my goal. That's what I promise the poker world and the fans."
Earlier this year at the Los Angeles Poker Classic, Nguyen told PokerListings TV he would quit poker if he made less than $4 million at the 2009 WSOP.
A few days ago here at the Championship, he booked a bet with Mike Matusow getting 3:1 on $5,000 that he would earn $4 million over the next three years.
"He's dead," Nguyen said, with the WPT Championship title clearly in his sights. "Count on it baby, he's dead."
To book this win, the 1998 WSOP Main Event champ will have to get through a bevy of great young players still in contention.
APT Macau champ Yevgeniy Timoshenko will come into the final ten holding 5.1 million in chips and two-time EPT final tablist Christian Harder is not far behind on 4.6 million.
Justin Young made second at the WPT Five Diamond back in December and is currently fourth in chips with 4.2 million.
2006 Bellagio Cup winner Shannon Shorr and 2008 WSOP $5k Pot Limit Omaha final tablist Brian Rast have a little over three million chips each, while 2007 WPT Five Diamond champ Eugene Katchalov holds 2.3 million.
Just below the two-million chip mark sits the ever-dangerous Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, looking to repeat his 2008 WPT Festa al Lago win here at Bellagio.
Regardless, Nguyen said he's just going to do his thing and let the chips fall where they may.
"I'm just going to play Scotty Nguyen style, baby," he said. "Fearless, baby; Fearless and confident."
The Vietnamese-born Nguyen sits on the edge of history with unmatched bravado and the poker skills to back it up.
"Think about it, how many people do you know who will look straight at the camera and say 'I will win four million dollars this year'?" he asked. "None. I'm the only one. That's why they have people betting on me five to one, four to one, three to one, you know, baby? I take it all.
"Whoever wants to bet against me, I take it all. I told you, this is my year."
The play down from ten to the final table of six at the WPT Championship will begin at 12 p.m. PT in Las Vegas and PokerListings will have all the action on our Live Tournaments page.