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L.A. Poker Classic -- Scotty Nguyen Wins the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Event

Nguyen Takes Home Another Major H.O.R.S.E. Title


Scotty NguyenSixteen players returned at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18 for the final day of the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at Commerce Casino. This marquee event on the L.A. Poker Classic had attracted 96 of the most well-rounded pros in the game, and of those who had survived this far, only eight would make the money. Howard Lederer, Nick Schulman, Chris Amaral, Gavin Griffin, Ralph Perry, Randall Skaggs, Steve Billirakis, and Kenny Tran all fell during the march to the final table.

John Monnette fell quickly at the final table in eighth place ($29,491). The final seven then played for a full two levels before Amnon Filippi was the next to fall in seventh place ($40,550). Stud specialist Bob Golick was eliminated next in sixth place ($52,531). This was the third final-table appearance for Golick at the 2009 LAPC; he has already won both the $300 and $500 seven-card stud preliminary events.

Scotty Nguyen surged into the chip lead during the battle for fifth, and he became more vocal during the stretch, as well. This reached a peak when Nguyen eliminated Matt Graham in fifth place ($66,355) and celebrated his victory in an enthusiastic manner. Nguyen calmed down after tournament director Matt Savage came to the table and warned players that they could no longer talk about hands at the table without incurring a penalty.

Chino Rheem surged into the spotlight next by eliminating both Chris Tsiprailidis in fourth place ($86,630) and Jeff Madsen in third place ($122,573). This evened Rheem back up with the chip stack of the reigning H.O.R.S.E. world champion before heads-up play. The two final players then took a break and decided to make a gentleman's agreement to chop the prize money. As part of that agreement, Nguyen was crowned the champion of the LAPC $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event and Rheem was the runner-up.

Here is a look at the highlights of the day, as featured in's live updates:

Amnon FilippiAmnon Filippi Eliminated in Seventh Place ($40,550)

Stud Eight-or-Better

Amnon Filippi was knocked out of the H.O.R.S.E. tournament shortly after the field returned from break. He was on a short stack for much of the end of level 19 and he was forced to shove it all in early during the new level. Filippi was all in with split queens against Matt Graham, who held splits fives, but seventh street delivered Graham a six to give him sixes up to win the pot when neither player qualified for a low hand. Filippi will take home $40,550 in prize money. This is another appearance at a major H.O.R.S.E. final table for Filippi, who also finished in fourth place at the 2007 WSOP H.O.R.S.E. world championship.

Scotty Nguyen on the Rise

Stud Eight-or-Better

Scotty Nguyen contributed over 90,000 into a pot, pushing the action the whole way with 5 J J 5 exposed against Jeff Madsen. Madsen had 2 6 10 J exposed when Nguyen bet another 30,000 on seventh street, but Madsen mucked, and Nguyen is now the chip leader with more than 650,000.Matt Graham

Matt Graham Eliminated in Fifth Place ($66,355)

Seven-Card Stud

Matt Graham moved all in on fifth street, and Scotty Nguyen called him down. Graham revealed K K to go with the exposed K A 2 he held, and Nguyen turned up 8 3 to go with his up cards of 9 9 J. Graham was dealt the Q on sixth street, while Nguyen received the 6 to make a flush. Nguyen, said "Bye bye," when he realized he had drawn out on Graham to defeat him. Graham mucked his hand after peaking at his last down card and he walked away from the table as Nguyen laughed in celebration. Graham will take home $66,355 in prize money.

Jeff Madsen Eliminated in Third Place ($122,573)

Jeff MadsenOmaha Eight-or-Better

Jeff Madsen was just eliminated when his straight-flush draw failed to improve against Chino Rheem when he was all in. Rheem held top two on a flop of K-5-2. The turn and river fell 9 and 10, and Rheem's hand was good when he revealed A-K-J-5 in the hole. Madsen mucked his missed draw, and he was eliminated in third place. Madsen will take home $122,573 in prize money.

No Horsing Around this TIme

It looked like Scotty Nguyen's behavior might escalate during the final stages of  the final table and become a repeat of the WSOP H.O.R.S.E. event. But Nguyen remained cordial and composed during the final stages of the event, and despite offending Matt Graham after he eliminated him in fifth place, he was calm after that point.

Part of it may have been because tournament director Matt Savage came over to the final table when four-handed play began and warned the final table to stop talking about hands moving forward, but in any case, Nguyen remained casual at the end of play.

Scott Nguyen Wins the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Event

The final two players in the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event have come to a gentleman's agreement to chop up the prize money. As part of that agreement, Scotty Nguyen is the champion of the tournament and Chino Rheem is runner-up.