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Scotty Nguyen Talks About Colluding In Cash Games, Why He Thinks Many Young Poker Players Disrespect The Game

'Prince Of Poker' Says A Lot Cash Games Full Of Bankroll Sharing, Cheating

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Five-time bracelet winner Scotty Nguyen needs little introduction—baby.

Though he plays little poker these days, the 51-year-old is still a threat at the tables inside the Rio Convention Center. So far at the 2014 WSOP, Nguyen has accumulated two cashes, which brought his lifetime total to 45. On Saturday, Nguyen was making a deep run in a $5,000 pot-limit Omaha event. A sixth career bracelet was on his mind as the field kept shrinking.

Card Player had the chance to speak with the 1998 main event champion about how he’s feeling this summer, why he now spends the majority of his time away from poker, as well as why his love for the game persists after more than two decades in action.

Brian Pempus: How is your Series going so far?

Scotty Nguyen: Good, good. You know, when you don’t play much, you don’t get burnt out. Every time you play, you enjoy it. That’s what I have been doing. This is my sixth event of the summer.

BP: Does this help you stay focused?

SN: You know, baby, they have so many events. The bottom line is the main event. You want to come to that event and make sure you are ready—love the game and aren’t burnt out and talking about bad beats all the time. You always hear poker players talking about it. I don’t talk about it. I just go home. I don’t hang around. I go spend time with my wife and my kid. If I want to say something, I say something with them. Or my close friend, James, baby.

BP: How does it feel to be here after so many years? There are a lot of new faces every year. How do you feel about the new wave of players every year? Do you feel as time goes on you recognize fewer and fewer people here?

SN: It’s just like school. You never stop learning. You know, poker is just like that. I have learned from all the great players like Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson—Stu Ungar is my idol. You know, now, some young players make some move and then you go like, ‘Wow, how did they make that kind of move?’ I learn from the young players. Don’t get mad at them. You want to continue to try to do this kind of job, you can’t hate anybody. You have to love the game and don’t hate anyone. That’s how you make it, baby. If you hate the game and hate the players, you aren’t going to make it [in poker].

BP: Do you feel like the older guys around here have an edge in terms of experience?

SN: I don’t know about them, but Scotty still has it, baby (laughs).

BP: Do you feel like when you are deep in an event, that’s really when you have an advantage because you have been there so many times?

SN: Yes, that helps a lot too. You know how to maintain your chip stack. I laid down so many pretty hands today, but pretty doesn’t pay the bills, baby. When you win a pot that pays the bills…let the chips come to you. So, just play one hand at a time. You don’t have to win hand after hand. You need to win one hand an hour, especially in pot-limit and no-limit. One is all I need. They need five or six (laughs).

BP: These days, what’s more important to you—the glory of winning or the prize money?

SN: Both, baby. You know, glory, money, every event is unbelievable. The prize is unbelievable. The bracelet, fame, I want to show people that I still have it.

BP: I know Mike Matusow got into some trouble recently for some of his behavior at a table. What do you think about that? Do you think it’s OK for the WSOP to give you a penalty for certain outbursts?

SN: You know, baby, right now every event is from like 500 people and up. If everyone does the same thing as Mike, it doesn’t do any good for poker. But, you know, for Mike, that’s his style. You got to learn to accept it. I accept whatever character is at the table. Some are loud, some are quiet, some like to yell and cuss—you got to learn to accept them. It doesn’t bother me anymore. But now if every hand someone stands up when they put a beat on you, and slam the table and are like, ‘Yeah!’—that’s disrespect right there. You can be happy on the inside, but you don’t need to slam the table and jump up and down. You should play the game with class.

BP: Do you think the etiquette at the table has gotten worse over time?

SN: Yes, there is a lot more disrespect these days than in the old days. In the old days you respect the [older players], you respect good players. Before I played I looked up to a lot of players. To this day, I still always respect them. These days, the young kids don’t dress right, they don’t talk right—the way they eat at the table, it’s just like ghetto. You would never catch me eat at the table. Eat before you play, or wait until the break. You don’t have to be all over at the table and touch your cards at the same time.

BP: These days, when you aren’t playing the WSOP, what are you up to?

SN: You know, most of the time I hang around with my family or travel around with my best friend James and his girl Lilly. They are good people. I just hang out with them and take vacations. Other than that, I don’t play much poker really.

BP: You don’t play cash games at all?

SN: Very little. I know everybody and I hear so many stories about cash game players. They play with the same money—the same bankroll. It has just turned me off. It’s not like the old days where you come out, you put your hours in, you try to make a few dollars and take care of your family. They just don’t do things like the way they are supposed to be done. I play sometimes, but only when I know absolutely there is no same bankroll in there…but honestly baby, I try not to think about it. When you don’t think about it, because you know what you have…if I have aces, I don’t care if you set me up or sandwich me in between. Go for it baby. I really don’t care, but those places should never allow people like that. Cheaters should not be allowed to come around. In every game, you will find something. I won’t say names, but almost every game. You always have people like that around, because we have so many poker players these days. They work together, they stay together and they travel together. You have to look out for yourself, because you can’t stop something like that when you have no proof.

 
 
 
 

Comments

biggreg64
over 4 years ago

He doesn't play much anymore because he would have to sober up.

 
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Dan9
over 4 years ago

Ur retarded bigreg. You've never drank while playing? That used to be the norm. Scotty is awesome Baby. Interesting points about cash games. Worth keeping an eye out for stuff like that

 
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biggreg64
over 4 years ago

Never drank you moron-never. Obviously you never played with him when he has been drinking.

 
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tuxedodave
over 4 years ago

For me, drinking while gambling just adds another excuse for losing. I would rather lose while sober. That way, I know that the only logical reason for losing is my own bad play. Not because I let alcohol cloud my judgement. I have no qualms about playing with drinkers. I drink, just not when money is on the line. My choice not to drink and play.I save the drinking for later.

 
 

Arjarn
over 4 years ago

Eating at the table is the greatest thing ever. You can eat and play at the same times. Can't beat that. This guy is a wacko!!!!!! People ganging up in cash game? Really Scott? He's properly loosing so much at cash game

 
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cardplayer1222
over 4 years ago

He has money now, enough money so he doesn't need to play cash game to earn the living like before. Just focus to the big tournament and your legacy is going on. Good luck, BABY.

 
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nowmoney
over 4 years ago

What do you mean he has money now? He doesn't need to play cash games as much because he realized that he is not that good anymore. His edge has greatly diminished. On one hand its a smart choice for himself to bow out. But on the other hand, Scotty likes to make all kinds of excuses so he doesn't look bad. But used to be as bad or worse when he used to drink and smoke at poker table.

 
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Thajokeman
over 4 years ago

Depending on the food, Scotty Is dead on about the food, anything that takes 2 hands to eat going back and forth to your cards, it's disgusting, if you can't wait 2 hours you have a problem.

 
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nowmoney
over 4 years ago

you are right... some people don't believe in eating light at the table. lol But I don't mind it. Because sometimes I welcome the smell of food which is much better than the smell of the poker player who hasn't showered in 24- 72 hours.

 
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nowmoney
over 4 years ago

Scotty commenting on this subject about Disrepectful Poker players is a joke!! He will go down in poker history as being one of the worse disrespectful poker players of all time on public tv during a WSOP event when he won the 2008 50K H.O.R.S.E championship bracelet.

*** Scotty got banned and released from being an Poker Ambassador for that that Casino in Oklahoma. He was known for his bullshit and trash talk in poker games even before then. To see his epic meltdown - go to youtube and put in his name.

 
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