|From Vietnam to Las Vegas,
Scotty Nguyen (pronounced
'win') has made quite a name
for himself. He has become
one of the most famous faces
in the world of poker, and his
popularity continues to grow
with increased television
exposure and an eight-year
record of tournament
placements that grows on a
"The Prince of Poker"
Nha Trang, Vietnam
I'm a salt water fish hobbyist
How I Started Playing Poker:
I had a difficult time and worked hard for low wages. Poker was a way to
enjoy work and make money.
Scotty Nguyen's come a long way, baby.
From Vietnam to Las Vegas, Scotty Nguyen (pronounced 'win') has made
quite a name for himself. He has become one of the most famous faces in the
world of poker, and his popularity continues to grow with increased television
exposure and an eight-year record of tournament placements that grows on
a regular basis.
During his childhood in Nha Trang, Vietnam, Scotty had a large, close-knit
family that wanted the best for him. In 1974, at the impressionable age of
14, his loved ones encouraged him to escape the poverty and hardship that
was inevitable in his Vietnamese community. Scotty took a few possessions
and boarded a ship headed for the United States of America. He was
introduced to a host family in Chicago that cared for him, but they were no
substitute for his parents.
Scotty soon relocated to Orange County, California where he lived with
another host family. The difficulties he experienced adjusting to a new
country, culture, and lifestyle led to disruptive behavior at home and school.
It was at this point in his life that he was introduced to the game of poker,
playing in back room games instead of attending high school classes.
Eventually, he was expelled from school altogether.
He followed his love of poker into the casinos and card rooms of Southern
California, hoping to find success and a career that complimented his wild
ways. Instead, Scotty found a game that would require a great deal more
practice and discipline than he had given to any project in his life thus far. His
small bankroll was lost and he was forced to take a job as a casino dealer.
This proved to be the turning point in his career as he learned invaluable
lessons by watching both the winning and losing players at his tables.
Scotty made an adequate living throughout his 20's in cash games at local
casinos and he began to build a family with his wife. However, he was not
satisfied with an adequate lifestyle. The drive and determination that have
always been an integral part of his personality led him to take his game to
the next level ' tournament play.
By 1995, Scotty had established himself as a formidable opponent at the
poker table and entered the $2,500 Limit Hold 'Em tournament at the World
Series of Poker. He placed thirteenth, and though the monetary reward was
less than $5,000, he was validated and resolved to continue improving his
game. As his skills carried over to a variety of games, he was confident that
his adeptness would pay off.
And it did. In 1997, Scotty won his first WSOP bracelet in the $2,000 Omaha
Eight or Better tournament, gaining the notoriety to which he aspired, along
with the title and prize money. The next year, he placed in three WSOP
tournaments and won the $10,000 No Limit Hold 'Em World Championship,
the most highly regarded title in the game of poker and a $1 million prize. He
will be remembered for his final hand in the heads-up match with Kevin
McBride when he went all in with a full house on the table, saying assuredly,
'You call this one, and it's all over, baby!' When Kevin called, Scotty showed
his high card on the full house, implanting those words into poker history
with his win.
Finally able to live well in Las Vegas and provide generously for his growing
family, Scotty continued to hone his skills and play in an increasing number of
tournaments. He also began to supplement his wardrobe with the now
infamous gold chains and rings, low-cut shirts, and sunglasses. His flashy
dress was only matched by his outgoing personality, leaving a lasting
impression on everyone who played with him or met him at casino events.
With his dialect as unique as his personality, Scotty began to be noticed
outside of the poker gamut. He landed a role in The Big Blind, a 1999
poker-themed movie, as well as several guest spots on Conan O'Brien's talk
show. Since then, he has become even more recognizable with five final
tables on the World Poker Tour. At least once during each of the first three
seasons of the hit television show, he not only brought his signature style,
but he proved that he is one of the toughest and most confident players to
ever grace the WPT stage.
To date, Scotty has placed in the money in over 100 tournaments around the
world, and he has won 17 of them. Included in that outstanding number are
four World Series of Poker wins for the coveted gold bracelets, which
incidentally blend well with the rest of his jewelry. He has won over $4 million
during his poker career, making him one of the highest earning tournament
players in the game's history.
Of course, Scotty uses his winnings to maintain a comfortable life for his wife
and five children. In addition, he purchased a house in Vietnam for his
mother, flies there often to visit, and provides what is needed to all relatives
in his large family. This kind-hearted and generous man always tries to make
life better for those around him with the winnings from a long and arduous
There is no end in sight for this dedicated professional poker player. With a
magnetic personality complimenting his well-rounded poker skills, Scotty
Nguyen will undoubtedly continue to be seen at poker tournaments
throughout the world. At the age of 38, he's got a long way to go, baby.
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