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Scotty Nguyen: This is Bigger than Winning the WSOP

1 July 2008, By:

Are you a poker junkie, Scotty?

No, I'm not a poker junkie. When I win a big tournament, I don't go out and party. I stay home with my kids and wife and enjoy my home, enjoy my flowers. I don't think about poker all the time like some players do. I'm not like those guys.

They don't talk about their family, they don't talk about their kids. They talk about how they dress and how they look. You've seen the way they dress. They stay up for two days, they don't brush their teeth, it's nasty. That's a poker junkie.

Me, I don't do those things. Even when I play a big tournament, every six or seven hours there's a dinner break. I run home, I change, I get everything fresh, everything new, everything clean. You have to stay sober all the time.

So you don't think a lot about poker?

No. You know, just like last night, after five long days, me and my wife just went straight home. You know, other players, they have friends waiting, they throw a party, things like that. Me and my wife went straight home and enjoyed with the kids.

Before, when I had a bad day at the table, I went home with my wife and kids. But when I had a good day, I'd forget all about that. I'd go out and enjoy with my friends.

That's not the way to do it. The way to do well in poker is this: good or bad, you stay with your family. Especially your wife, your kids, people who are a hundred percent loyal to you, people who you can trust. People who enjoy with you, who say "I'm sad for you", or "I'm happy for you".

You don't see me go to strip joints and this kind of place. I stay at my house, maybe hang out with a couple of very, very good friends. Have a drink, maybe talk a little about the event, how they won, how I won, you know. You can ask any poker player, "when was the last time you partied with Scotty?" In three years, nobody. I go straight home.

There are a lot of poker junkies in there (Scotty points back to the Rio Hotel where the WSOP action is bristling). They turn nasty. No class whatsoever. Women with almost no clothes who crawls up in their chair like this - what kind of woman is that. That's a poker junkie. I don't like that.

You don't see my around the poker room either. When you don't see me play, I won't be around. Nothing in poker is new to me. This is what I do in life for the last twenty years. I've seen it all. There's nothing I didn't see, there's nothing I didn't win.

Bad people, good people, sad stories, good stories, dirty, pretty, I know it all

Does this help you play good poker?

Yes! The reason it helps me play good is that I miss it. I don't play every day. You know baby, I stay home, two or three days. When a big event comes, I miss the game. When you miss the game, you enjoy playing. You've got more patience than everybody else, know what I mean?

You know, I love it and I don't play every day, so I miss it. When they play every day, they get burned out, they get cranky, they get fed up, they get sad. They may even say "I hate poker".

If you say "I hate poker", you should stop playing.

I mean, they'll bring the negative to the table. You never see me bring a negative feeling to the table. When I come to play, I think everybody can enjoy Scotty. That's what the fans want, you know. Who wants to sit six-seven hours to watch this boring game, otherwise?

If a player don't like the way I am at the table, I get mad. I knock them out. You mess with me, you will be gone.

First I'm nice to every player. Nice players - I treat them nicely. I don't want to be the one to knock them out. But when they don't appreciate what I've done for them, they'll be gone, baby. I'll send them back to school.

You laughed a lot at the final table. Is that because you have fun, or is it a tool to throw opponents off?

You know, when I laugh and smile a lot, sometimes it's to throw off embarrassment. When I make a big bluff and get caught, that's embarrassing. So I laugh, you know?

To sit there and get angry, that's not good. It's enough for you to lose the pot to the guy. Now if you get angry and you show him that you're angry, you give him satisfaction. That's three bad things.

He took my chips, that's enough, you know what I mean? I'll try to get it back, not try to give him some more, through my anger. That's why I'm laughing. That's the way for me to recover, when I do something wrong, a mistake.

Last year's Main Event is still in my head. This year, I'll not let one bad hand throw me off. Last year, I had 22 million in chips with 11 players left. I had almost one third of the chips. There's no way I don't make it to the final table. But I gave it to them. Yesterday, it was Scotty Nguyen who won!

You've became world champion in 1998, which was bigger?

Yesterday was bigger. Yesterday was so big. That's the one I dreamed to win. It's not because of the 50K buy-in, it's because all the different games are included. Scotty has proven to the world that he can play all the games. The best poker players play all the games in one single event, and that's the 50K HORSE event. It's the biggest ever to win.

You know Chip Reese, the late Chip Reese, how great a player he was, how gentle to the game. I knew him a long time, and I had the chance to play with him.

I'm the first man to win the 50K HORSE event, the WSOP Main Event and the WPT Championship Event. But the Chip Reese trophy standing in my room, that's something to remember. And I'm the first man to get that, you know what I mean.

I have broken every record out there, if you look. When I won the World Series there were only eight players on the final table because I knocked out two guys at the same time the day before. Everything I win is a record in the book. WPT heads-up - one hand baby! It had never been done before, but I get it done every time.

My next dream is the 25K at the Bellagio. That's my next goal. I haven't won that, I haven't even come close to lay a hand on that yet. Next year, baby, 25K, that's my goal.

I want to win all the big tournaments. I want to be the first man to achieve that. I want people to say that Scotty is the best poker player.

What about the main event this year?

Oh yes, that's my second goal. The HORSE event and the main event, that's the only two events I will play this year. I'll be focused and I'll play nothing else. I'll just enjoy my win yesterday, sit back with my wife and kids, maybe friends, just get ready for the main event.

Which one do you appreciate the most, the 50K HORSE or the main event?

The Main Event, baby, it has to be the main event. When you win that, money come with it, but that's not it. The whole world is there. You beat the whole world. The 50K HORSE, it's not the whole world. It's just the big players and people with a lot of money. But the main event, baby, that's the whole world! Sixty-four countries! That's the way to be remembered.

Thank you and congratulations

Thank you, baby.

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