Master of One | Part V: Men “The Master” Nguyen and the Poker Hall of Fame
Table Of Contents
- A PHoF Worthy Resume’#nguyen-world-series’>Nguyen World Series of Poker Bracelets
- A Harsh Realization
- Respect of His Peers’#master-of-one’>Master of One
This is the fifth and final article in PokerNews’ Master of One series on Men “The Master” Nguyen. Click here to read earlier parts that address Nguyen’s past, present, and the controversies surrounding the seven-time WSOP bracelet winner.
Did you know Men “The Master” Nguyen has only been nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame once? It was back in 2009, the year Mike Sexton got in. Since then, his name hasn’t been bantered around much despite having one of the most impressive résumés in the game.
“Most poker players want to be in the Hall of Fame, like football players and basketball players,” Nguyen said. “I’m supposed to be in there a long time ago, but probably I won’t. Who has the best record in the world? Four-time POY. Who win more tournaments than I do?”
A PHoF Worthy Resume?
If you go by the numbers, Men Nguyen has had a PHoF-worthy career. He has won nearly 100 tournaments, sits just under $11 million in lifetime earnings, has four Card Player Magazine POY titles, four WSOP Circuit rings, and of course seven gold bracelets (only six players have more than him, and they’re all in the PHoF).
On paper, Nguyen’s résumé is more comprehensive than recent inductees like Todd Brunson, David “Devilfish” Ulliott, and John Hennigan. That’s not to say they don’t deserve their place in the PHoF, because they do, but it does go to show you Nguyen being nominated only once in the past decade is a bit curious.
“Before I wonder why they don’t vote me’virgutis’ data-zone=’sponsored:post’>
Nguyen World Series of Poker Bracelets
|1992||$1,500 Seven-card stud||$120,600|
|1995||$2,500 Seven-card stud hi-lo||$96,000|
|1995||$2,500 Limit Texas hold ’em||$110,000|
|1996||$2,500 Omaha hi-lo||$110,000|
|2003||$5,000 Seven-card stud||$178,560|
|2003||$1,500 Ace to Five Triple Draw Lowball||$43,520|
|2010||$10,000 Seven-card stud||$394,807|
A Harsh Realization
Nguyen once had high hopes of induction into the Poker Hall of Fame, but after his life got turned upside down, he’s come to the harsh realization that it’s probably not in the cards.
“After I waited so long, I don’t care anymore. I did care before,” he admitted. “I got broke in 2011 or something, after that I don’t care. I don’t have the following of Negreanu and Harman. They vote by internet. I’m too old for the internet. After I lost my wife, I lost my kids; I’m nothing. I’m not a crying baby, but me, I’m a very strong man. Why I’m strong? Nobody loves you but yourself.”
“If I die, for sure they’re going to put me in the Hall of Fame because I’m gone."
He also realizes that much of it is politics. To get nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame, first; one has to have their name submitted by fans online. Nguyen doesn’t have as many of those as he used to. Even if he did, he would then need votes from both the media and living PHoF members to get in. His relationships in both categories are weak, unlike the first Vietnamese player to ever get in.
“Scotty Nguyen, he buys in big, $50K Poker Players’ Championship,” Men reflected. “He has a backer, I don’t. Lifetime winnings, Scotty has more than I do. He has bigger scores. The Hall of Fame, that’s the most important for a poker player. Scotty Nguyen has a lot of friends, people know him. He’s the poker champ. Men doesn’t have that. Before I dream, after I give up.”
Men also attribute his slim chances to a contentious relationship with WSOP officials, most notably Jack Effel.
“He doesn’t like me,” said Nguyen. “When he became a tournament director I gave him a tough time.”
If Men were to one day get into the PHoF, he imagines it’ll be when he’s dead and gone.
“You know Devilfish, his record isn’t great, but when he died he got in the PHoF,” he said. “If I die, for sure they’re going to put me in the Hall of Fame because I’m gone, I cannot enjoy being in the Hall of Fame. But what can I do’virgutis’ data-zone=’pn2013:article728’>