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Scotty Nguyen comes back
When Scotty Nguyen told PokerListings he would quit playing professionally if he didn't win $4 million at the 2009 World Series of Poker, there were people who doubted he would ever walk away from the game.
It turns out they were right.
This summer, Nguyen added just $33,668 to his $10,705,581 in career tournament earnings with an 11th-place finish at the $10k Stud World Championship, falling far short of his $4 million goal.
However, the Prince of Poker was back on the felt at the WPT Legends of Poker event last week.
"People retire and then they come back right," the 1998 WSOP Main Event champ laughed.
"Legends is my comeback, baby. It's the first tournament I've played since the World Series."
Nguyen currently sits 12th on the all time World Series of Poker money list with $4,727,717 collected from 37 WSOP cashes, and actually considers the 2009 Series his least successful.
"This was the worst World Series I've ever had just because of that statement - the $4 million," he said. "It was always stuck in my head, I was always thinking 'I got to get there, I got to get there.'
"You see baby, when you have to do something, there's more pressure on you and that's the wrong thing. It was stressful. In poker you can't have that stress."
Prior to the 2009 WSOP, Nguyen's bold statement actually morphed into a prop bet with fellow pro Mike Matusow at the WPT Championship.
Getting 3:1 on $5,000, Nguyen is attempting to collect $3 million in tournament earnings over the next three years.
With a win in the 2009 L.A. Poker Classic's $9,900 H.O.R.S.E. event and a sixth-place finish at the $25k WPT Championship, he's earned almost $700k this year so far and seems well on his way to making the bet quite interesting.
And despite not coming through on his $4 million promise, Nguyen is not apologizing for believing in himself.
"You know baby, if you ask me again, I will tell you again," he said. "Before the World Series if you ask me how much I'm going to make I'm going to tell you $4 million.
"I'm not going to tell you I'm going to lose, baby."
Nguyen busted on Day 3 of Legends, falling just short of the money.