Vietnamese-American player Kwai Nguyen became the World Series of Poker Champion in 2016. At the last table, he met with such stars as Clif Joseph and Gordon Vayo. Despite the high level of rivals, Kwai still got his WSOP bracelet and won the main prize of the championship – $ 8,000,000!
The start of the decisive day of the series was simply incredible. Josephi doubled on the first hand, but after 4 hands he lost 90% of the capital. Later he managed to recoup a little, but this was only enough for 3rd place.
After the departure, Josephi Headsap pushed Kwai Nguyen and Gordon Vayo with their heads. The game was intense and lasted several hours. In the end, the Vietnamese still brought the matter to an end, knocking out Vayo with a short stack with king and ten against jack and ten.
How it was?
On the last day of the game, three players remained at the table, each of which could easily claim the title of champion. After 4 previously eliminated applicants, the situation at the final tables was quite interesting. Nguyen was ahead of him, leaving 165 big blinds and 197.6 million in chips. Joseph and Vayo, with their 50 million and 89 million, lagged far behind.
As soon as the tournament manager Jack Effel announced the first hand and the camera started recording what was happening, one of the most exciting and vivid spectacles in the history of the event began.
On the first hand, Josephi doubled at the expense of the Vietnamese. He wore his famous hat and glasses for the first time in the tournament and looked pretty damn confident. He played with an ace and a queen against an ace and a four of Kwai and won.
Just as the first hand was like Josephi’s dream come true, the result of the fifth hand was a disaster for the ambitious player. The nightmare began with a rise from Cliff’s side. Vayo called and both squeezed out Nguyen. The flop came king, three and two. Kwai immediately raised the bid to 10 million. Both opponents answered. The bank grew by leaps and bounds. On the fourth turn, Joseph’s opponents checked and he bet 21 million. Gordon raised his bet to 75 million and the Vietnamese merged before Joseph could call. Vayo opened up and showed a set of threes, which was significantly better than Josephi’s similar set of twos. In the final of this hand, the pot swelled to 200,000,000, which went to the lucky one. The risky Cliff Josephi has only 8 big blinds left.
The next hand allowed the would-be player to double, which was repeated a little later. Careful play allowed Cliff to return to the stack size from which he started the game. It seemed that by taking "his" chips back, he was still creating competition for the other two players and was quite capable of competing for the championship title. But, on one of the next hands, Josephi tried to bluff against Nguyen and put almost everything on his queen and three against the king and six. The bluff failed and the outsider was eliminated from the game.
The tournament approached the “heads-up” stage, where Vayo and Nguyen met. They have 200 and 163 million chips, respectively. Leadership was with Gordon, but this did not last long. The players picked up the pace. Vayo was unlucky with the deal, although he did fold some pretty good cards a few times. This puzzled commentators. No one knew why one of the title contenders was acting surprisingly passive. The Vietnamese showed considerable aggression. Unable to finish off his opponent, he took the chips piece by piece.
One of the most interesting hands fell in the middle of the game. Nguyen was holding an ace and a queen against a queen and five from Gordon’s side. Using his best hand, the Vietnamese raised the bet, which his opponent only called. River judged both, bringing victory to the more passive player.
Both participants in the game were quite benevolent and friendly towards each other. However, at the moment of distribution, a strong tension was felt. Nguyen looked cool at the moment when he decided to conduct the last decisive test on the enemy. Vayo was nervous. Commentators have repeatedly noted that his emotions are clearly visible to his opponent. During this deal, his face was not pleased with the cards.
Having lost almost everything, Gordon decided to put his last 18 big blinds on suited jacks and nine. But, Kwai called him with his king and ten. As a result, even on the river, Vayo did not receive the necessary cards and had to be content with the second place in the tournament.
Champion’s Big Heart
WSOP winner Kwai Nguyen was born and raised in Vietnam. Although he now lives in Las Vegas, the player decided to take the $ 8 million winnings back to his home country and donate most of the money to organizations helping war veterans and their families.