Starting the final table of the WSOP 2016 Main Event by playing aggressively has paid off well for Qui Nguyen. He won the event and the $8 million dollar first place prize. Though it wasn’t always smooth sailing, he pulled out a win which has become expected for those who play aggressively.
He came into the final table winning small to medium and several large pots against Gordon Vayo who was second in chip count and Gordon Josephy who was third. Josephy came out early moving up but his rise was crimped by Vayo who was dealt some strong hands as Josephy doubled up. He was left short stacked. He rallied for a bit till being eliminated by Vayo. Josephy took home $3.5 million for his work. This set the stage for Nguyen and Vayo.
The heads up match was long at 8 hours with many twists and turns. Vayo had gotten the chip lead briefly but that was changed after half an hour. The two battled back and forth till Nguyen took control. He went all-in on the river and Vayo folded with 80,000,000 chips on the table. Later Nguyen took another chunk of chips leaving Vayo weakened.
Nguyen continued to build on his lead eventually winning with a pair of kings against Vayo’s jack – ten spades combination.
Highlights of the tournament are in the video below.

Nguyen’s win highlights the effects of aggression in poker. If you sit at a table, you see it all the time. Players who raise often, even with questionable hands, often come out ahead.
The results were:
Qui Nguyen $8,005,310
Gordon Vayo $4,661,228
Cliff Josephy $3,453,035
Michael Ruane $2,576,003
Vojtech Ruzicka $1,935,288
Kenny Hallaert $1,464,258
Griffin Benger $1,250,190
Jerry Wong $1,100,076
Fernando Pons $1,000,000
For most of the players, this is a high point of the poker career. Nguyen had his largest cash at this event. His previous top finish was $9000 and he earned his first bracelet. It’s rare to have repeat winners who place tops in the Main Event over and over.

Qui Nguyen has taken over the lead in day one of the final table and has a major chip lead. The biggest hand of the night however went to Nguyen who took Kenny Hallert out with a pair of aces against Hallaert’s ace queen of clubs. Though that was the biggest hand of the night, Nguyen had been leading for most of the night. That hand was more or less the cap of a successful night at the table. He holds a sizeable lead over his opponents.
There were four bust outs. The action leading to the four bust outs were:
Fernando Pons went all-in with ace-six but lost when Cliff Josephy won with three of kind of kings. Jerry Wong was next with a pocket jacks being overruled by Vojtech Ruzicka’s pocket queens. Griffin Benger was next out when a pocket tens from Gordon Vayo won over Benger’s ace- nine combo.
The remaining players are guaranteed at least $1.9 million.
There are five players remaining.
Chip counts for the remaining players are:
Nguyen 128,625,000
Josephy 63,850,000
Vojtech Ruzicka 62,250,000
Vayo 58,200,000
Ruane 23,700,000
All the players who busted out are guaranteed at least a million dollars . First place finish will take home $8 million dollars.
The results for the bust outs were:
Hallaert $1,464,258 6th
Benger $1,250,190 7th
Wong $1,100,076
Pons $1,000,000
Don’t feel bad for the losers though they will each not only got at least $1 million bucks. But can also parlay that into big buck endorsements. A final table at the WSOP is a very prestigious place to have on a poker resume.