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Event #12 - Limit Hold'em Results & Report

Hall of Fame Poker Classic

Event #12 - Limit Hold'em
Binion's Gambling Hall
128 East Fremont Street
Las Vegas, NV, 89101, US
Full Schedule
Scotty Nguyen AN INCREDIBLE COMEBACK Self-confidence is a valuable commodity in a poker player. Insane self-confidence is even...
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Profile: Scotty Nguyen
Date: September 7, 2002 Time: 12:00 PM

Buy-In: $1,500
Prizepool: $57,810
Entries: 41
Game Type: Limit Hold'em

Place Country Name Prize
1 USA Scotty Nguyen $26,020
2 USA Humberto Brenes $14,450
3 USA Layne Flack AKA "back-2-back flack" $8,670
4 Andrei Herasimchuk $5,780
5 USA Bernie Grio AKA "Bernie" $2,890

Tournament Report


Self-confidence is a valuable commodity in a poker player. Insane self-confidence is even better.

There were 41 entrants in the $1,500 Buy-In, Limit Hold'em for a total prize pool of $57,810. Five players were paid

To setup the Final Table, when asked to give his name our 11th place finisher declined. Our mystery man was understandably frustrated, since he hadn't been able to make a hand while several short stacks stayed alive. He stalked off when Humberto Brenes showed him pocket Queens in the small blind as an overpair to the board.

THE FINAL TABLE: 30 mins. left of 60. The blinds were $200/$300

Player Hometown Chip Count

Seat 1 John Kapovich South Holland IL $10,900

Seat 2 Scotty Nguyen Henderson NV $ 3,400

Seat 3 Andrei Herasimchuk Sunnyvale CA $ 4,000

Seat 4 Phil Ivey Atlantic City NJ $ 1,900

Seat 5 Joanne Bortner Palo Alto CA $ 7,600

Seat 6 Bernie Grio San Jose CA $ 8,900

Seat 7 Jerry Howe Cashmere WA $ 2,400

Seat 8 Layne Flack Las Vegas NV $ 7,800

Seat 9 Humbereto Brenes San Jose, Costa Rica $ 8,400

Seat 10 Huck Seed Las Vegas NV $ 8,900

"He hesitated before he bet (on the flop), so I thought he didn't have a pair," former World Champion Scotty Nguyen explained to the table after Phil Ivey got up in 10th. The flop had come 8 7 5. Phil had pocket Queens. Scotty had 5 4 in the big blind. When Ivey did bet all-in, Nguyen called and turned a second pair when a 4 came. In disgust, Phil Ivey spun his Queens toward the dealer. Ivey's appearing more human every day. Well, at least less superhuman.

Starting second in chip count, the other former Champion at the table didn't win a hand and crashed all the way down to 9th. Humanness was catching on. When Huck Seed raised all-in with his last $1,100, the betting proceeded to Scotty Nguyen in the small blind and Andrei Herasimchuk in the big. Scotty asked Huck, "Do you want me to call?" And without thinking, Andrei said, "I'll call." Huck Seed, understandably angered by this exchange, replied "Why don't you two decide between you who has the best hand and that person call." It was a funny and slightly tragic retort from a great player who was having a bad night. Scotty had the information he needed to fold and did so. Andrei called with A Q. When an Ace flopped, Huck Seed's J 10 was history. Since the incident was obviously unintentional by all parties, Seed let it go.

The most unpredictable player at any table she's at is surely Joanne (J J) Bortner. What makes her so scary is that no one knows what two cards she will turn over. Unusual for JJ, she also couldn't make a hand tonight. When she raised all-in from the big blind with A J, she didn't have enough to get the hot new chip leader Humberto Brenes to lay down his A 7. One seven on the flop would have been sufficient, but Brenes was catching the kitchen sink at the time and got another seven on the river. These kind of things don't happen to Joanne and a stunned Bortner left in 8th.

Since Humberto Brenes was winning almost every pot, and Layne Flack took most of the others there weren't many available for anyone else. This forced the roof to fall in on the starting chip leader John Kapovich. Whatever good things were happening to John before he got to the Final Table, they quit happening when he got here. From first to seventh isn't a jolly experience. Especially when only five are being paid. The quiet man from Illinois never said a word. He just took his jacket coupon and left when his all-in big blind hand of Q 5 didn't have a chance against Layne Flack's A 10.

For a while it looked as if Jerry Howe might pull off a daily double. He drew the same seat last night and finished fifth. Tonight, he had enough chips for fifth until his seat failed him for 6th this time. Anyone who's ever played in tournament knows that sickening feeling when your cards go dead, the blinds are coming and you are one out of the money. Rather than wait for the inevitable, Jerry raised in late position with the K 10 of Clubs and bet until his chips were gone. Layne Flack was on the button and didn't want to reraise with an A 3 when an Ace flopped. He just called Howe all the way out the door.

We'd played less than three hours and Humberto Brenes now had half the chips on the table. He was that hot. "When your cards are coming, it's an easy game," Humberto said. He should know. They've been coming for him all this year with wins totaling over $600,000. He already has one victory in this year's Hall of Fame and it looked like another was locked up. Meanwhile, Bernie Grio had been avoiding all confrontations with the incendiary Brenes and he'd managed to get into 5th for some cash. But it was time for Humberto to send him home. Bernie went all-in from the big blind with Q 5. Brenes had K 8. Both flopped their top cards. Enough said.

Remember our mystery player who finished 11th? Well, the person he was most upset about losing to was Andrei Herasimchuk. Andrei survived several all-ins with eleven players left and was extremely fortunate to be here. But once he arrived, he played very well against an awesome field to finish 4th. "I knew Layne had a better kicker, but I was committed to the hand," Herasimchuk said afterward. Andrei kept calling his K 9 with a King on the flop until he ran out of chips. Flack kept betting with his K J until the cards were turned over and the Jack played.

Three-handed now, it should have been called a 'no contest.' Brenes had 2/3's of the chips. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that Flack and Nguyen were battling for 2nd place. Brenes had nine times the stack of third place Scotty Nguyen and five times the chips of Layne Flack. Only a person with insane self-confidence would do what Scotty did now. He tried to bet $1,000 on himself with Huck Seed who was watching from the crowd. The problem from Huck's perspective was that Scotty wanted the best of it. He wanted 20-1. If it hadn't been $1,000, many in the crowd might have taken the bet with Nguyen. It looked THAT hopeless. But Huck Seed is too smart to be trapped. Seed knew the proper odds. And he knows how fast things can turn around.

Soon it got more amazing. Scotty was busted down to five chips. "If I win this hand, no more 2nd or 3rd," Nguyen bragged. FIVE CHIPS. Humberto Brenes had 100 chips. Insane! Scotty won the all-in hand.

Lost in all the tumult was Layne Flack. He couldn't beat Brenes, either, and it was making him crazy. "He can walk on water," Flack said bitterly as Humberto dragged more of Layne's chips into his mountainous stack. Brenes had just reraised Flack's reraises twice representing the nut flush. Finally, since that was what Layne wanted Brenes to think he had, Flack gave up and folded.

With Scotty ‘Nostradamus' Nguyen getting hot as he predicted, it was Layne Flack left to finish 3rd for the second day in a row. He called Scotty's raise all-in with his last two chips. Layne had K 3 in the big blind. Scotty had Q 9 and flopped a Queen.

Now there were two. And the magic Nguyen had somehow managed to climb out of the cellar onto the first floor with almost 1/3 of the chips. Unbelievable. This could no longer be declared a ‘no contest.' The hyper-confident Scotty Nguyen kept asking to play No-Limit or winner-take-all. What he knew about this matchup was anybody's guess.

From then on, there was more bluffing and trapping than real hands by both players. Each player would call or raise the other's representation and howl at the fold.

"You can't bluff Scotty."

"You tried to trap me, oh!"

"You tried to bluff Humberto three times in a row."

"In Costa Rica, you can only bluff your wife not your friends."

On and on with the taunting and trash-talking.

The chips flowed back and forth with increasing speed as the blinds went to $1,000/$1,500.

"It's just a matter of time," Scotty said when he'd taken his first 2-1 chip lead. He was correct. While Nguyen survived several all-ins from Brenes, Humberto couldn't overcome his few all-in at the hands of Scotty.

In one of the most amazing comebacks of this or any year, the insanely self-confident Scotty Nguyen performed the miracle he predicted he would. Humberto was all-in with his last four chips and a 10 5. Scotty had a 3 2. Being a big dog is nothing new to the Champ. With a 3 on the river, the comeback was complete.

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