$8m WSOP Champ Qui Nguyen Struggled with Baccarat Addiction

Qui Nguyen has won the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event along with $8,005,310. For Nguyen, this is quite a rise for somebody who was a low-level poker pro struggling with baccarat addiction. “Over the years, I have lost my ass playing Baccarat, over $250,000,” he told ESPN. “You work hard to get money […]

qui-nguyen-baccaratQui Nguyen has won the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event along with $8,005,310. For Nguyen, this is quite a rise for somebody who was a low-level poker pro struggling with baccarat addiction.

“Over the years, I have lost my ass playing Baccarat, over $250,000,” he told ESPN. “You work hard to get money from poker. Sometimes you work the whole week, then lose it all at Baccarat in a half-hour. I know that I can’t beat the game, but I couldn’t stop playing. I lost a lot of money.”

Baccarat, as you may know, only has a 1.06% house edge, making it one of the best bets in the casino. This means that Nguyen theoretically wagered almost $23.6 million ($250,000 / 0.0106) to reach his estimated losses of $250k.

Luckily, since immigrating to the US from Vietnam in 2001, he’s developed poker skills that have allowed him to overcome his baccarat addiction and make a solid living.

Now a multi-millionaire, Nguyen still plans on playing baccarat – just not for nearly as much as he did in the past.

qui-nguyen-poker“Right after November Nine, I decided myself to stop gambling,” he said. “I know I got lucky to make the final table. I don’t have to fight to get money now, so I will only play Baccarat for fun now … small amounts and go home.”

Aside from vowing to kick his big baccarat spending, Nguyen also wants to donate 10 percent ($800k) of his winnings to help unfortunate Vietnamese people and another 2.5 percent ($200K) to the Wounded Warrior Project.

The latter donation is in honor of his brother, Duc, who’s a Marine that was wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq. As for donating to his native country, Nguyen said that this is another matter close to his heart.

“[Average] Vietnamese family makes only $200 a month,” he said. “They are very poor and hungry. Some families don’t even have blankets, but I will make sure that they are taken care of. Whether I finish first or last, I plan to go to Vietnam to donate money to the poor.”

Considering that he has his gambling under control and is donating a combined $1 million to charity, Qui Nguyen is a kind guy who’s set up for a good future with his poker winnings.

 

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