Event #57: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Championship

Seat 9: Soi Nguyen (9,650,000)

Soi Nguyen

Hailing from Santa Ana, California, Soi Nguyen is the oldest of the 2010 November Niners at 37 years young. He works for a medical supplies distributor and despite playing poker for roughly 20 years, Nguyen is the lone nonprofessional at the table. Asked how he was feeling a day after making the November Nine, Nguyen told PokerNews: “Tired. I’m excited, but burnt out at the same time.” An eight-day grind and a nearly six-hour final table bubble will take its toll on anybody, and Nguyen was no exception. In just his fourth live tournament and first World Series of Poker, Nguyen has achieved what every Main Event entree aims for: a seat at the final table.

How He Got There

The biggest hand of Nguyen’s tournament came on Day 7 just before the dinner break. With the blinds and antes at the 40,000/80,000/10,000 level, Brandon Steven raised to 225,000 from late position. Theo Jorgensen, the chip leader at the start of the day, called from the small blind and Nguyen called from the big blind.

The flop came down {K-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{5-Hearts} and it was checked to Steven. He fired 525,000 and Jorgensen called, only to see Nguyen pop it to 1.5 million. Steven folded, but Jorgensen made it 4 million to play. Nguyen went all-in for another 3.62 million and Jorgensen called, setting the stage for somebody to win a huge pot of 19.52 million and take the chip lead. Their hands were as follows:

Jorgensen: {A-Clubs}{3-Clubs}
Nguyen: {K-Hearts}{J-Clubs}

A bold play by Nguyen, strongly believing his top pair was the best hand. Needing to dodge clubs, running straight cards, and an ace, Nguyen did just that as the {10-Diamonds} turn card and {3-Diamonds} river card secured his double up and vaulted him to the top of the leader board with 42 players remaining. At the end of Day 7, PokerNews caught up with Nguyen and asked about the hand.

“Honestly, all I did was just run every single possible scenario in my head and the biggest thing that kind of stuck out to me was the fact that it was dinner, if I was in his shoes I would have probably done the same thing. So, I put that into my thought process and I figured I had the best hand and it held up most importantly.”

He ended Day 7 in second place with 27 remaining and survived a grueling Day 8 to make it to November.

What to Watch For

Nguyen (seat 9) is in eighth place with 9,650,000, just under 20 big blinds. While he has a little time to wait for a hand to go with, he can’t wait too long. With position on Filippo Candio {seat 8) and John Racener (seat 7), both likely to raise with a wide range of hands, Nguyen will have opportunities to shove, possibly chipping up without any showdowns.

Good friends with Nam Le, Nguyen has the advantage of getting invaluable advice from somebody who knows a thing or two about winning tournaments. If he can find an early double up, the rest of the table had better take notice. Nguyen’s already proven that he won’t be pushed around and with chips, the amateur can make a serious run at poker’s top prize.

Tags: Soi Nguyen