Men "the Master" Nguyen wins seventh WSOP bracelet

6 June 2010

Men "the Master" Nguyen topped a field of 150 of the world's best poker players to claim the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud World Championship (Event #10) at the World Series of Poker for his seventh career WSOP gold bracelet and $394,807 in the early-morning hours on Sunday.

The 55-year old was born in Phan Thiet, Vietnam which is located in the southeastern part of the country. Nguyen immigrated to the United States three years after the fall of South Vietnam in 1978. Nguyen escaped his native homeland on a boat, which made its way to Malaysia. He was granted political asylum in the United States, and now resides in Bell Gardens, Calif.

"Every time I make a speech or get into an interview, I want to thank the United States of America for giving me this chance," said Nguyen.

Nguyen's win ended a seven-year WSOP bracelet drought and moved him into a tie for sixth on the all-time bracelet winners list with Poker Hall of Fame inductee Billy Baxter and living legend Phil Ivey. Still above him in wins are Erik Seidel, Johnny Moss, Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, and Phil Hellmuth.

"This is very, very big for me," said Nguyen. "The last two bracelets I won were in 2003, and now it's 2010. I have not won any bracelets because a lot of people have come into our poker world. I haven't won because it's kind of hard now. It's hard to break through."

Nguyen now has 67 cashes in his WSOP career, which ranks second on the all-time list, and he is tied for second place with T.J. Cloutier for most final tables with 38. Hellmuth is the all-time leader in both categories, with 76 and 40, respectively.

That smile says "I have six more of these at home."

That smile says "I have six more of these at home." (photo by GreasieWheels)

The final table also included Michael "the Grinder" Mizrachi and Vladimir Shchmelev, who became the first two players at this year's WSOP to make multiple final table appearances. Both made the final table of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship which ended five days earlier, finishing first and second, respectively.

Brandon Adams of Pensacola, Fla., was the runner up. He will receive his PhD from Harvard at the end of this year and holds Masters Degrees in both finance and real estate. Adams, who won $243,958, is the author of Broke: A Poker Novel.

The third-place finisher was Steve Billirakis, from Genoa, Ill., who won a gold bracelet in the first event of the 2007 WSOP. At the time, Billirakis became the youngest winner in WSOP history at age 21. That mark has since been eclipsed by Annette Obrestad, who won the inaugural WSOP Europe championship at the age of 18. Billirakis added another $152,787 in prize money in his eighth WSOP cash.

Nikolay Evdakov of Moscow, Russia, was fourth. He received $110,628 in his highest WSOP finish ever. Evdakov holds the all-time WSOP record as the player with the most cashes in a single year with 10, which he accomplished in 2008. Evdakov has 17 cashes over the past three years at the WSOP, more than any other player in that time span.

Joe Cassidy, from Costa Mesa, Calif, was fifth, while Mizrachi finished sixth and Shchmelev was seventh. The eighth-place finisher was Sirious Jamshidi.

The top 16 finishers collected prize money. Dan Heimiller, who won a bracelet in 2002, finished ninth and was the former bracelet winner other than Nguyen to cash in the event.

(Modified from original notes by Nolan Dalla for www.wsop.com)

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