Scotty Nguyen, Poker and Booze a Lethal Combination

Written by:
Published on:

During the televised WSOP Horse 50K event dedicated to the memory of Chip Reese, poker pro Scotty Nguyen demonstrated an embarrassing lack of sportsmanship. The event was broadcast to millions of homes on ESPN where Nguyen can be seen abusing the wait staff, players at the table, and is visibly intoxicated for almost the entire duration of the event. Nguyen began to lose control after fellow player, Michael DeMichelle took a bow and otherwise obnoxiously celebrated after a few key hands. Other players at the table including Erick Lindgren and Barry Greenstein took exception to DeMichelle's behavior but Nguyen took it personally issuing insult after insult.

The televised portion of the event was a condensed 2 hour version of the grueling 14 hour table. It was obvious to the players at the table, the spectators and the viewers at home that the flow of alcohol to Scotty should have been cut because his incoherent, abusive behavior was an embarrassment to the game and was especially disrespectful to Chip Reese's legacy. The Horse 50K event that was won in 2006 by the late Reese, who passed away unexpectedly this past winter and is arguably one of the best players of all time, now honors him with a trophy that bears his name.

An even more important question is why the WSOP officials didn't put a stop to Nguyen's behavior. Why wasn't his access to alcoholic beverages restricted? Why was he allowed to show his cards to the audience during play? Why was he allowed to issue a relentless amount of F bombs and other vulgarities when in 2005 Mike Matusow received several 10-minute penalties for such behavior?

When questioned about the incidents during the event the WSOP said, "All players at the WSOP must conduct themselves appropriately. We obviously have some work to do on this matter. With that in mind, a process has been under way since the end of the WSOP to re-examine the rules related to player conduct and the enforcement of those rules. We will have something more substantive to say on this matter well before the start of the 2009 WSOP."

One thing we likely wont see the end to anytime soon is the debate over Scotty Nguyen's sordid behavior though the court of opinion seems to be finding him guilty as charged.