Nguyen Challenge smashing attendance records

Scotty Nguyen

The third annual Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge doesn't wind up until next Tuesday, when the giant novelty check gets handed to the winner of the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em finale. But organizers are already celebrating, as attendance and payout records have been broken all along the way.

Hosted by the Cherokee Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Nguyen Challenge has always had great turnouts, from the very first event sponsored by the four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner back in November, 2005.

But it seems to be establishing itself as "the" poker event of the year in Oklahoma, with numbers growing stronger each time out.

"Just about every event is up over last year," reports Senior Manager of Poker, Tony Armstrong. "The tournament is already a big success."

"We're very pleased with the response," adds Tournament Director Brooks Turk. "The players seem to be having a good time."

Two players in particular will likely echo that sentiment, having taken down the most recent tournaments on the schedule, $500+$50 H.O.R.S.E and $200+$20 No-Limit Hold'em.

Victor Pierini, of Boonville, Arkansa, was the H.O.R.S.E. winner on Friday, outlasting 77 players to take $13,491 for his first-place finish.

Retired military veteran A. G. Rose was the other, defeating 324 runners for the title in Hold'em and $19,135.

The $5,000 Hold'em finale gets underway today and finishes up Tuesday. Last year's winner was Nam Le, who took home $204,579 for the win.

For more information about the tournament, you can check it out here.

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