World Series of Poker saw just three players return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to play for the main event title. The players had already locked up $3,453,035, but all three had their eyes locked on the $8,005,310 first-place prize.
In the end, the title went to Qui Nguyen, a Vietnam-born, former nail salon owner who has lived in Las Vegas for the last nine years. The 39-year-old professional gambler had previous lifetime tournament earnings of just $52,896, but early Wednesday morning, he was crowned as this year’s world champion.
Vayo took home $4,661,228 for his runner-up performance and was gracious in defeat, giving his opponent credit for playing well with a very unconventional style. Nguyen, emotionally and physically exhausted after nearly 20 total hours at the final table, looked dazed as he hugged his supporters and hoisted his custom bracelet. “I just want to thank all of my friends and family. I’m so excited, I don’t know what to say.” In addition to the cash, the bracelet and the title, Nguyen also earned 3,300 Card Player Player of the Year points, which by itself is enough to move him into 22nd place.
Here is a look at the final table results.
Finish Player Name Prize POY Points
1 Qui Nguyen $8,005,310 3,300
2 Gordon Vayo $4,661,228 2,750
3 Cliff Josephy $3,453,035 2,200
4 Michael Ruane $2,574,808 1,650
5 Vojtech Ruzicka $1,935,288 1,375
6 Kenny Hallaert $1,464,258 1,100
7 Griffin Benger $1,250,190 825
8 Jerry Wong $1,100,076 550
9 Fernando Pons $1,000,000 275
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