Say what you want about the November Nine, but the WSOP always put on a fantastic show when it comes round to the Main Event final table. Mind you, they should do… they have nearly four months to prepare for it. This year’s spectacle was split across three days (or nights) of action, with Lon McEachern, Norman Chad and Antonio Esfandiari providing the hand-by-hand and Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth looking pleased with themselves in the booth.
What a team. And what a performance by Qui Nguyen, who was utterly fearless in the way he dismantled the opposition and claimed poker’s greatest prize. From the very first hand he had my heart in my mouth as he took control and, gradually, everyone else’s chips. I couldn’t make the trip to watch it live this year but I watched every second of the action on ESPN and it reminded me why I love the game and why I flew to Vegas to try and win the Main Event myself. (Spoiler: I didn’t.)
The heads-up with Gordon Vayo was brutal, but that wasn’t Nguyen’s fault. I almost dozed off a few times throughout the eight hours but clung on to see him win in the early hours. I was glad he didn’t get unlucky. Despite playing a ridiculously passive game, Vayo could easily have won if the cards had gone his way in key pots. And it would have been a travesty. I’m personally looking forward to seeing much more of Nguyen over the next 12 months. Good game champ!
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We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it!
Dave Woods, PokerPlayer Editor