Qui Nguyen Crowned 2016 WSOP Main Event Champion

On the last day of the 2016 WSOP Main Event, three players returned to the Rio in Las Vegas to decide who would be crowned this year’s champion, and book themselves a place in the annals of poker history. Seven hours of intense action later, and it was US pro Qui Nguyen who would eventually triumph over his two compatriots to claim the WSOP title, as well as its huge $8 million first place prize.
On Sunday, Las Vegas professional gambler Qui Nguyen, 39, had entered the Main Event final table in second place behind Cliff Josephy, and ahead of Gordon Vayo. After taking the chip lead at the end of Day 1, he then continued to dominate the play into Day 2 and Day 3 to clinch the victory. Commenting on his mindset while attempting to pull off the biggest win of a tournament player’s career, Nguyen explained:
“With millions of dollars [on the line], I didn’t think a lot about winning and losing. I was just thinking in my mind ‘don’t make a misstep at all’. In a tournament, you can’t make a misstep — if you make a misstep, you’re done.”
On the last day of play, Cliff Josephy had a volatile start to proceedings and was all-in five times over sixteen hands before Gordon Vayo eventually eliminated him in 3rd place ($3,453,035) to set-up the final heads-up battle for the bracelet. Up until then, Qui Nguyen had been the most aggressive player at the table, and during the heads-up phase he continued to grind down Vayo to a small stack when the deciding hand was played with Vayo re-raising all-in holding Js-10s. Nguyen made the call with a dominating Kc-Tc, and after the dealer laid out a Kd-9c-7d-2s-3h board, Vayo collected $4,658,452 for his runner-up finish, while Nguyen earned Nguyen $8 million for his famous victory.
This year’s WSOP Main Event final table also set a record for the longest heads-up battle since the November Nine format was adopted, with its 181 hands beating the previous record of 119 hands set when Pius Heinz beat Martin Staszko to claim the 2011 title.

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