Scotty Nguyen - High School Rebel Turned Successful Poker Player

He may play with emotion, and may have been sited for drunkenness, but Scotty Nguyen sure has more than just some talent at the poker table.

Personal Poker Player Profile of Scotty Nguyen

Scotty Nguyen didn’t have it easy growing up. Born Thuan Nguyen, he changed his first name to Scotty when he began cleaning tables at a Vegas casino. One of 12 siblings, he found himself in America’s Orange County at age 14, having grown up until then in South Vietnam. He found it hard to adjust and was expelled from school – the teachers didn’t take kindly to him playing poker more than studying history and math. But it was only in America that he got introduced to the game, as he found himself a job as a poker dealer in an attempt to make money. For him though, rather than just a job, Nguyen found he was learning more there than he ever did at school; every time he worked at dealing a session, he picked up the tricks of the trade, observing carefully what made a winner, and indeed, what contributed to a poker loser. It was these lessons that rendered him a top poker player and enabled him to make enough money for his whole huge family, putting bread on the table for them all.

Some of the Bad Times in Scotty’s Poker Career

While today he lives happily with his wife Julie and two Japanese monkeys (not surprisingly called Lucky and Jackpot), things didn’t always run so smoothly for Nguyen. He suffered a major depression after finishing in 11th place at the 2007 Main Event. It took him a while to recover from that setback. In fact, he clearly hadn’t kicked the drinking habit as in 2008, Scotty upset his fans and other professional poker players when he behaved seemingly belligerent at the WSOP H.O.R.S.E. final table. He was extremely rude and treated everyone around him with contempt. While he has since apologized, such an event hasn’t been so easy to forget. One could definitely say that Scotty Nguyen is quite a character, as well as being a charmer, if you catch him in the right mood.

Major Success and Recognition for Scotty Nguyen

His major fame, one might say came in 1998. At the World Series of Poker event, he won $1,000,000 as well as his second WSOP bracelet. Currently he has won 5 WSOP bracelets including the 2008 $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. world championship. It was the latter win that rendered him the first (and to date, only) player who has won both the WSOP Main Event and $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. events.

Scotty in Lights

Scotty has definitely used his poker playing ability to his advantage. In 2004 he was on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and in 2006 he appeared in a Diet Pepsi commercial with fellow poker champs Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu.