For years now Scotty Nguyen has been one of the highlights of professional poker. Known as a guy who could not only impress a crowd with his incredible play but also with his humorous and talkative nature, Nguyen was one of the guys who people could consistently root for in poker… or so it seemed.
The truth may be that Nguyen’s likeable demeanor has an uglier side to it – especially when he’s got some beer in him! ESPN’s re-showing of 2008 WSOP events showed Nguyen’s vulgar (but really entertaining) behavior during the $50K H.O.R.S.E. event in which he was consistently getting under other players’ skin through his drunken tirade and cuss words he kept spitting out.
One point of the ESPN coverage showed Nguyen revealing his hole cards to the audience behind him while taunting fellow player Michael DeMichele. Later on, he yelled, “Where the F*** is my cocktail” because the waiter was late getting it to him.
He definitely succeeded in making DeMichele angry and he also infuriated Erick Lindgren even more so as Lindgren admonished him when Soctty eliminated him in 3rd place. The announcers also admonished Nguyen for dishonoring the memory of Chip Reese who the 2008 WSOP $50K H.O.R.S.E. tournament was supposed to celebrate.
Scotty did deliver an apology though some wonder how heart felt it really could be and it is as follows:
I would like to apologize to all my fans for the disappointment I have caused in the H.O.R.S.E. Event. For that I would like to express my sincerest apology.
I would like to ask for understanding of what really took place. Keep in mind this was a five day event, with an almost fourteen hour final table that was reduced to two hours of air time including all the commercial breaks. With that being said, as you can imagine, more took place than what made the final cut for t.v.
Last year’s Main Event I made the mistake of letting someone get under my skin, of which overtook my mental focus of the game, and cost me my tournament along with a lot of disappointment amongst my fans and peers. (…) This year, I needed redemption of my own 2007 Main Event demons to prove to myself that no one would get to me again.
This tournament was too important for me, the trophy, the fifth bracelet, and history, my head was zoned in for this event, and for that time, I forgot the fans were watching me. I said things I shouldn’t have said that have disappointed you, and I apologize for my actions.
This tournament I played the players game. They wanted to play a drinking game, and they couldn’t win, they say they can’t even beat a drunk, how can you beat a drunk if I’m not drunk. (…) I gave it right back to them and got underneath their skin, and they couldn’t win. When it came down to playing a poker game, the best will win.
And all I have to say, I hope all you fans understand what I’m trying to say. And watch the tape again. I was not the one to start anything, not even drinking or talking, they wanted to start it with me, and they got beat by me fair and square on all levels they wanted to play.
All I would ever be sorry, is how the fans feel about me, I would never be sorry to beat those players. If they can’t accept defeat, then stay home, crawl under their loved ones arms, don’t bad mouth because you got beat by the best poker player.
Another thing, I always bring joy and excitement to the poker game every time I’m on tv, and all of you know, when Scotty Nguyen is on tv, your eyes are glued on the screen. Why? Because I make it fun so you guys don’t switch the channel.
Bottom line, I only ask for you to please understand and remember that I, Scotty Nguyen, the Prince of Poker is still a human being, just like all of you. I too have good times, bad times, sad times and angry times, just like everyone else in this world, and I hope you can understand that. I do promise to all the fans that no matter what, from now, I would never disappoint you again any which way. I forgot about the fans, and only focused on me. I am sorry.
Yes, the ESPN clips may have shown a lot more of Nguyen than the other players in these altercations but neither Lindgren nor DeMichele seemed drunk so where did the drinking game take place? With a bunch of Nguyen’s buddies who where already out of the tourney? Plus, his apology doesn’t really to be much of an apology either.