Qui Nguyen created history when he successfully completed a nine hour marathon record session successfully to beat Gordon Vayo and become the 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Champion. Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American player who was relatively unknown on the poker circuit until he made it to the final table and got featured in the November Nine list.
Nguyen used to run a nail salon in Alaska and initially played baccarat – a game that is popular with Asian gamblers. He used to use the money he made from his nail salon to fund his baccarat games but soon turned to poker as he wasn’t doing well playing baccarat.
He never really had a lot of success playing poker as prior to the WSOP Championship win; he had won just over $53,000 in career prize money.
World Series Of Poker
That’s one of the reasons why his win at the 2016 WSOP is so special and has made such a strong impact on the global poker community. The 39 year old poker pro surprised everyone as he beat a field of 6,737 poker players including experienced poker pros at the final table and proved yet again that an ordinary poker player can become a multi-millionaire playing poker.
There are some poker analysts who have compared Nguyen’s 2016 WSOP victory to that of Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 WSOP victory. Chris Moneymaker was 27 years old and an accountant when he surprised everyone and won the 2003 WSOP Championship and $2.5 million in prize money. His victory has often been credited to revolutionizing the poker industry and promoting the game on a global level. There are some who believe that Nguyen’s victory could have a similar impact, especially in Asia where the game of poker is growing at a rapid pace.
In a statement, poker pro and popular Twitch streamer Jason Somerville said
He kind of played like a 20-something. He was very aggressive, very courageous. There's a lot of ways you can be successful in poker. There's not just one way to do it. But there's no shortcut to putting the hard work in: studying, practicing training. You really have to put in the hours.
Since his 2003 WSOP victory, Moneymaker hasn’t really won anything significant but was recently nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame (PHOF) but did not make the final selection.