WSOP Main Event: Qui Nguyen Show Continues as Final Table Down to 3

Just two players stand between Qui Nguyen and the 2016 WSOP Main Event championship (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)

The first day of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table was all about Qui Nguyen. The Vietnamese-born Nguyen got into it with chip leader Cliff Josephy on hand #1 and finished with the chip lead. The storyline from the second day wasn’t much different.

Nguyen started play Monday, with five players remaining, with more than double that of his nearest competitor. When play wrapped up late Monday night, Nguyen again had more than double either of the other two players remaining and almost 59% of the chips.

The fireworks started early on Monday night with Michael Ruane and Nguyen finding an all in preflop situation. Nguyen opened to 2,350,000 with 6d6h from the button. Ruane found 8c8h in the big blind and moved all in for 23,100,000. Nguyen wasted no time in calling. The board ran out Ah9c7sQcKh to double Ruane up and drop Nguyen below 100,000,000.

Another double up three hands later ultimately lead to the first elimiantion of the night. Gordon Vayo raised from the button with 8c8s to 2,300,000. Vojtech Ruzicka three-bet to 8,150,000 with AsKd from the small blind and Vayo called. After the Qc8d3c flop, Ruzicka bet 6,150,000 and Vayo called. Ruzicka then bet 11,400,000 after the 7h turn and Vayo called again. The river was the 5s and Ruzicka announced he was all in for 28,700,000 having Vayo covered. Vayo called and took down the pot to take over the chip lead and leave Vayo with less than one big blind. The Czech pro was eliminated on the next hand by Nguyen.

Over the next 50 hands Vayo and Nguyen each took turns as the chip leader. That changed for good on hand after Nguyen claimed another victim. From UTG Nguyen raised to 2,700,000 with AhJs, Ruane moved all in for 15,700,000 from the small blind with KhQh and Nguyen called. The board ran out 9h9s2sJc8d to completely miss Ruane and send him out in fourth place. After that hand Nguyen has 178,400,000 chips and a stronghold on the lead.

Nguyen has now eliminated the last three players from the final table. He ended play on Sunday by eliminating Kenny Hallaert in sixth place and then continued on Monday by busting Ruzicka and Ruane.

The final three players return to action on Tuesday night just after 8 pm ET with just under an hour left in the 600,000/1,200,000 (200,000 ante) level. The ESPN broadcast begins at 9 pm ET.

Chip Counts

  1. Qui Nguyen – 197,600,000 (164 bbs)
  2. Gordon Vayo – 89,000,000 (74 bbs)
  3. Cliff Josephy – 50,000,000 (41 bbs)


  4. Michael Ruane – $2,576,003
  5. Vojtech Ruzicka – $1,935,288
  6. Kenny Hallaert – $1,464,258
  7. Griffin Benger – $1,250,190
  8. Jerry Wong – $1,100,076
  9. Fernando Pons – $1,000,000


    • Vayo must open up his game now, he’s played a bit too solid for the first two days, meaning he’s not usually gonna get paid off for his next big hand. He’s gotta show the other two he’s willing to play big pots with marginal hands.