Making the Case: Scotty Nguyen and the Poker Hall of Fame

Scotty Nguyen is up for induction to the Poker Hall of Fame.

Scotty Nguyen is up for induction to the Poker Hall of Fame.

The World Series of Poker released the candidates for the 2013 Poker Hall of Fame Class last week. Over the next ten days BLUFF will make the case for each of the nominees in a series of stories on the 2013 HOF ballot. We begin this series by making the case for Scotty Nguyen.

Nguyen cemented his place in poker history as one of the most colorful personalities since his “You call and it’s all over, baby,” moment when he captured the 1998 WSOP Main Event title. Since then, “The Prince of Poker” has been one of the most successful players of his generation.

Nguyen has amassed over $10 million in career earnings, five WSOP bracelets and has shined on poker’s biggest stage. His slick-backed quasi-mullet, bottomless beers and his penchant for saying baby at the end of every sentence captivated millions of viewers during poker’s boom.

Nguyen was born in Vietnam, came to the U.S. when he was a teenager and would become a poker dealer in California. According to legend, he hit a hot streak gambling and was playing in the biggest games in Vegas in a short amount of time.

Nguyen had the game to back up all of his bravado – with 22 tournament wins, six final tables in seven seasons on the World Porker Tour and 20 WSOP final tables. He would win his first WSOP bracelet in 1997, won his first WPT title in 2006 and won the prestigious $50,000 Poker Players Championship in 2008.

The PPC final table was aired heavily on ESPN and Nguyen came under fire for his wild behavior at the table. He drank heavily, berated players at the table and cursed at just about everyone, but Nguyen issued a public apology to those turned off by his behavior.

The win marked the highest point in his career, coming with a near $2 million prize. Nguyen has maintained success across three decades while playing against the best competition available and survives as an old school player in a new school world.

This is the fifth consecutive time Nguyen has been on the ballot since the HOF process changed in 2009.

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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