About Scotty Nguyen

Scotty Nguyen
Scotty Nguyen

Scotty Nguyen's hometown, Nha Trang, is situated on a strip of the South China Sea in south-central Vietnam. Shimmering with white sand beaches and pristine waters, and renowned for its healing natural mineral springs, the city is fast becoming a destination for international tourists and backpackers.

But when Scotty was born in 1962, Nha Trang, like the rest of Vietnam, was a very different place. Though the United States had not yet officially entered the war, the conflict between North and South Vietnam was escalating, destabilizing life across the country. No community was left untouched, and daily life was too often characterized by hardship and poverty.

With an eye to the future, Scotty's mother put aside what little the family could save in order to send her firstborn away from the war-torn beaches of Southeast Asia. And after much convincing by his close-knit family and friends, 11-year-old Scotty set sail for the United States to begin a new life.

His first stop was Taiwan, where he escaped the confines of a refugee camp and found a job working as a manual laborer. Scotty stayed put for a couple of years until an American family volunteered to sponsor him. Now 13 years old, Scotty was ready to begin the next phase of his life.

But once he arrived in the United States the goings were tough. Adjusting to a new country, language and culture without the support of his family and community took a toll. Scotty was struggling to be happy, and, to make matters worse, he hated the weather.

The transition from the tropics of Southeast Asia to the landlocked, windswept frigidity of Illinois was difficult and, well, kind of unappealing. So Scotty requested a new host family in a climate and setting that more closely resembled Nha Trang's.

His request was eventually granted and Scotty shipped out once again, this time to the beaches of Orange County, Calif., where he settled in with a new host family in Costa Mesa.

Life in his new digs meant better weather, but Scotty still didn't fit in. Bored with high school, he skipped class and diverted himself by making a ruckus around the neighborhood, stealing the odd bike, breaking the occasional window. Until he found poker, that is.

Poker quickly became all the diversion Scotty could handle.

His first experiences at the felt took place at friends' houses, and despite his inability to take down pots, his ambition led him to pool halls and backrooms, where he tested his game at the higher levels.

When Scotty was in in his early 20s he moved to Vegas to be closer to the action. Growing up, he had heard stories about the city, and after arriving in California his interest in it grew alongside his passion for poker. And blessed as he was with an insatiable appetite for excitement and cards, there was no better place for Scotty to put down roots and learn his trade.

He picked up a job cleaning tables at a casino and somehow managed to build a bankroll. Scotty then turned to the felt, where he hoped to transform his poker hobby into a bona fide career. But his game still wasn't developed enough. He quickly lost his bankroll and took a job dealing cards, first at Harrah's Holiday Casino and later, the Golden Nugget.

Dealing poker turned out to be a valuable career move; Scotty honed his understanding of the game by observing the methods and mistakes of his customers. He began applying his new knowledge to the low-limit games he played, and his bankroll - and confidence - started to grow.

His dream of playing poker professionally more attainable now than ever before, Scotty hunkered down and got serious. And after just two years of up-and-down play, the 23-year-old rounder quit dealing cards and picked up poker full time.

Over the years, Scotty has lost and rebuilt his bankroll innumerable times. But he has never again taken another job. Poker is his career, and time and again he's proved just how suited he is to the game.

He has cashed in hundreds of tournaments, including nearly 40 WSOP events, more than a dozen WPT tournaments, and countless standalone events like the California State Poker Championship, Aussie Millions, Poker Superstars Invitational, U.S. Poker Bowl, Caribbean Poker Classic, Monte Carlo Millions and Austrian Masters, to name a few.

Though there are many impressive finishes on his tournament resume, Scotty's most notable achievements were notched at the World Series of Poker.

Since his first Series in 1995, he's collected five bracelets and made history as the first player to ever win both the Main Event (1998) and the $50k H.O.R.S.E. Championship (2008). Furthermore, of the numerous events he's cashed in, he's final-tabled in nearly half, and has rarely finished outside the top 25.

And his WPT record is nothing to sneeze at either. With more than half a dozen Championship finishes under his belt - most of them at the final table - Scotty holds several World Poker Tour titles and was the first player in history to win the triple crown of a WPT Championship, the WSOP Main Event and the WSOP H.O.R.S.E. Championship.

But what is perhaps even more incredible is how down-to-earth Scotty has remained. Yes, he's confident. And he's cocky, too. But arrogant? Never. Pretentious? No way. Where other players may have let their egos run free in the emotional wasteland of self-importance, Scotty Nguyen has effortlessly kept his ego in check.

A practicing Buddhist with a positive outlook and bountiful reserves of internal strength, Scotty has persevered through the highs and lows in order to achieve his dreams. And while he'll be the first to admit he's at the top of his game, he refuses to take all the credit. He understands the role his fans have played in making him who he is today.

"The fans are No. 1 for a poker player," he confessed to PokerListings.com after his 2008 H.O.R.S.E. victory. "Without the fans, I'd never be who I am now ..."

"It's important to give fans what they want - a good game, a good show," he continued.

"The fans fly in from all over the world. They fly in from Germany, Australia, London, Paris, just to come and see you. They ask you for pictures, autographs, and you can't say no to them. I always stop."

With an attitude like this, is it any wonder he's known as the Prince of Poker? There can be no doubt the warmth and kindness with which he greets every fan has earned him the respect of poker enthusiasts worldwide. But he's also won the admiration of his opponents.

Although he is fiercely aggressive and competitive at the tables, Scotty's gentlemanlike manners, friendly chatter and respectful professionalism make him hard to hate, even when he's just knocked you out of the game.

Indeed, Scotty Nguyen is a unique character in the poker world. And, considering how many unusual people you find slinging cards at the felt, that's saying something.

Armed with his contagious exuberance, deadly plays and beguiling charisma, Scotty has forever altered the way rounders play poker, and the way fans watch the game. He's cheeky, he's easygoing, and he's polite, and he remains one of the most beloved and talented poker pros on the scene. Not to mention one of the most feared.

Tournament Placing

Place Winnings Tournament
8 $19,724.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 8 - $1500 H.O.R.S.E.
713 $15,000.00 WSOP 2015 - $10,000 WSOP Main Event
7 $66,579.00 WSOP 2015 - Event 63 - $10,000 H.O.R.S.E Championship
101 $8,155.00 WSOP 2015 - Event 28 - MONSTER STACK $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
39 $5,564.00 WSOP 2015 - Event 13 - $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better
24 $16,888.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 42 - $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Max
83 $5,936.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 29 - $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em
644 $3,446.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 8 - $1,500 Millionaire Maker
21 $7,075.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 50 - $2,500 10-Game Mix
8 $33,789.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 58 - $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low 8 or Better
2 $182,213.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 24 - $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low 8 or Better
5 $53,091.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 47 - $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo
209 $48,847.00 WSOP 2010 - Event 57 - $10,000 Main Event Championship
19 $21,997.00 WSOP 2010 - Event 43 - $10k HORSE Championship
12 $56,439.00 WPT Season 8 - WPT World Championship
8 $58,600.00 WPT Season 8 - Bay 101 Shooting Star
4 $125,000.00 2010 Special - 2010 NBC Heads-Up Championship
5 $249,976.00 WPT Season 8 - Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic
6 $285,985.00 WPT Season 7 - WPT Championship
11 $25,000.00 2009 Special - NBC National Heads-Up Championship
50 AU$15,000.00 2009 Special - 2009 Aussie Millions Main Event
5 $241,120.00 EPT Season 5 - EPT London £1m Showdown
32 £13,052.00 EPT Season 5 - PokerStars.com EPT London
73 $19,390.00 WPT Season 7 - Bellagio Cup IV
1 $1,989,120.00 2008 WSOP - Event 45, $50,000 H.O.R.S.E.
7 $50,508.00 2008 WSOP - Event 31, No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed
11 $476,926.00 2007 WSOP - Event 55, World Championship No-Limit Texas Hold'em
15 $30,992.00 2007 WSOP - Event 50, World Championship Pot-Limit Omaha
4 $31,610.00 2007 WSOP - Event 46, Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better
17 $16,582.00 2007 WSOP - Event 31, World Championship Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em
2 $110,731.00 2007 WSOP - Event 24, World Championship Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better
10 $11,658.00 2007 WSOP - Event 5, Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better
3 $106,105.00 2005 WSOP - Event 31, $5,000 No-limit Hold'em, Short-handed (6/table)
34 $3,305.00 2005 WSOP - Event 21, $2,500 Omaha High-Low Split
4 $336,282.00 WPT Season 3 - World Poker Open
5 $129,509.00 WPT Season 3 - Mirage Poker Showdown
6 $129,842.00 WPT Season 2 - PartyPoker Million
6 $48,692.00 WPT Season 1 - Five Diamond World Poker Classic
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