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Seventh Heaven For The Master: WSOP 2010
Men Nguyen collected his seventh bracelet in the $10k 7-card Stud Championship at the World Series of Poker Sunday amidst incredible scenes.
A star-studded final table had been assembled, including the $50k Player's Championship winner Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi and the runner-up of that event, Russian Vladimir Schmelev.
The big story going into the final was Mizrachi attempting to win his second Championship event in a row - his red-hot form making him the front runner for the WSOP Player of the Year title.
The Grinder never got going however, crashing out in sixth place and come the early hours of the morning, it was Nguyen and Brandon Adams who were the last men standing. Following a largely one-sided heads-up game, Nguyen overcame his opponent to collect the bracelet and the $394,800 first prize money.
"This is a very big moment for me," said Nguyen afterward. "This is my game - the Stud."
The final moments of the tournament were dramatic and unique in WSOP history.
Men Nguyen had been drinking heavily throughout the final, and clearly inebriated he was betting blind and winning pot after pot from his bemused opponent.
Finally, Nguyen persuaded the short-stacked Adams to flip blind for the bracelet, and with no answer to Nguyen's run of good cards, Adams agreed.
Adams made a pair of queens by seventh, leaving Nguyen needing to turn over a queen or king on seventh street to take the title.
The Master milked the moment for maximum exposure, peeking at the card and revealing paint before slamming over the K♦ - enough to secure the bracelet.
Once regarded as the hottest property in poker, Nguyen had seen his stock fall somewhat over the last few years - his last bracelet won back in 2003. Nguyen gave several reasons why in recent times he may not have been the dominant force he once was.
"When the Series moved to the Rio, it was very hard to win," said The Master. "I like Binions. I'm superstitious!"
Men also referred to the influx of young internet players as an obstacle he had found tough to overcome.
"A lot of new people have come into our world. It's not like it used to be."
Nguyen made a point of paying tribute to America for making him into the player he is today. "I want to thank America for bringing me into this country with open arms," he said.
Although he has had a few lean years, Nguyen is chasing Phil Hellmuth's record of 76 WSOP cashes, now just eight behind Hellmuth with 68 cashes himself. He clearly has designs on catching up and overtaking the Poker Brat's record.
"In the future I will pass him. I'm younger than Phil Hellmuth!"