2016 WSOP Champ Nguyen Wins Fans With Unorthodox PlayNovember 3, 2016 10:17 am
US player Qui Nguyen became the 2016 WSOP Main Event champion after beating San Francisco pro Gordon Vayo heads-up to win tournament poker’s biggest title, in addition to a huge $8 million prize. Moreover, this year Nguyen’s victory proved a popular choice amongst commentators and viewers alike, who described the unorthodox player as a breath of fresh air.
In recent years, the WSOP Main Event has become a young man’s game with its eventual winners mostly in their low-20s, but the 39 year-old Nguyen turned that statistic on its head by becoming the oldest player to win the tournament since Jerry Yang in 2007.
Despite categorizing himself as a professional gambler, the Vietnamese-born American player is also somewhat of an amateur when it comes to poker tournaments, having earned just $52,986 going into the Main Event. In fact, during his 4-month long break as a November Niner, Nguyen said “I don’t play poker. I don’t gamble. Just hang out with family, hang out with friends..”
Nevertheless, having the instincts of a professional gambler subsequently enabled him to take more unconventional lines during the game than his professional poker opponents, which then made it harder for them to gain good reads on his play. This not only made for a faster, and more volatile type of game, but it also made the battle more fun for both casual and hard-core poker fans alike. Giving an insight into how difficult this made Nguyen to play against, the 2016 WSOP champion’s final victim, Gordon Vayo, had these words of praise to say about Nguyen:
“It’s hard to pinpoint his strategy. He just kind of plays every hand uniquely; he doesn’t necessarily have a constructed strategy. Not that that’s a negative, but most people aren’t able to adapt to every hand and make so many correct assumptions and correct plays over and over again and he was able to do that.”
These aggressive and instinctual qualities taken together with an amenable personality has made Qui Nguyen one of the most popular WSOP Main Event champion in years, whilst also having the potential to inspire more recreational players to give the game a go. Commenting on the positive impact of Nguyen’s famous win, poker pro Matt Glantz tweeted the following message:
“Tournament Poker will become so easy now. Everyone going to cr air flops and bluff every street. I can’t wait to call everything down. The next few months will be a total free-for-all. Chips flying everywhere for absolutely no reason. Just random aggression.”