If you haven’t seen the first in the series of ‘Letters from Vegas,’ be sure to check out last week’s here.
In this letter I shift my focus away from a player I discovered this year, to one I am fairly certain most poker players know: Five-time bracelet winner and former WSOP Main Event Champion Scotty Nguyen.
I want to tell you about a list. This list in my head is full of the legends of the game; the great and the good of poker. The players who I started watching on Poker After Dark when I first got into poker. And as I travel and work and experience more and more within this industry, I cannot help but mentally tick their names off.
However, after working at a number of European Poker Tour events, the list had stagnated. As I’m sure you’re aware, there is a divide between legends who continue to travel and play around the world, and those who are based mainly in the United States. The divide between Negreanu, Seidel & Juanda, and the likes of Elezra, Brunson & Hellmuth.
You, Scotty, are part of the second group of legends.
Ok, enough about the list and more about why I am writing this letter to you. People go on and on about Hellmuth or Negreanu having a presence in a tournament field, mainly because they never shut up and you can hear them from three tables away.
However, when I saw Negreanu or Hellmuth (amongst others) at a table, I didn’t feel anything. They are legends of the game, without a doubt, but there was no special feeling whenever I saw them in the field. What I’m trying to say is that out of all the great players that I saw in Vegas, out of all the legends of the game, you were the one who I continuously had a feeling of awe when seeing in a tournament field.
Whenever I looked over to see you sat in a tournament, I heard a little voice in the back of my mind say: “Wow, that’s Scotty Nguyen,” followed swiftly by an almost instinctive “…baby!”
I had the privilege to report on the H.O.R.S.E. final table where you finished eighth. It means a great deal to me, as someone who devoured YouTube videos of poker during university, and has probably watched that final table dozens of times, that the first final table that I ever reported on was H.OR.S.E. tournament involving Scotty Nguyen.
Therefore, I want to thank you for being part of my first World Series of Poker, and I wish you all the best for the future, baby.